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Katie Armiger, Former Record Label Trade Lawsuits, Allegations

Katie Armiger not quitting country music
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Katie Armiger‘s departure from Cold River Records continues to be a he said, she said situation, and it now involves two lawsuits.

In June of 2015, Armiger’s former record label released a statement saying that the singer had “decided to take a breather and decide her next career aspirations,” and was no longer a part of the Cold River roster. Shortly thereafter, Armiger said on social media that those were “not my words, and certainly not my intention,” and that she had been locked out of her social media accounts.

“I can’t talk about it too much,” Armiger told The Boot in November, “but things like this just happen in the music industry sometimes.”

Both parties have been quiet about the situation in the months since, but on Wednesday (Jan. 27), Armiger released a statement saying that Cold River Records had filed a lawsuit against her, and that she has filed a counter-suit.

“I never quit country music. I haven’t spoken because I wasn’t able to,” Armiger explains. “… I kept hoping for an amicable solution. Now, everyone can see my response. The answer I filed with the federal court speaks for itself.”

The press release containing the artist’s statements goes on to talk about the recent resignation of Heathcliff Berru, a music publicist who has been accused of sexual harassment, as well as Taylor Swift‘s counter-suit of a DJ who was fired from his job after he allegedly groped the superstar during a meet and greet.

“I’ve worked hard, and I’m proud of what I’ve done musically and personally,” Armiger says. “My label had expectations for how I should behave to get ahead, particularly how I should interact with influential men in the industry. I just wasn’t willing to take that approach. I wanted to make it with integrity, and I still do.

“I know that there are good people in this business, and particularly in country radio, and I’m so grateful to those who support my career and play my music,” she continues. “I didn’t think I should have to do the things my label wanted me to do to ‘make it’. It should be about the music.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Cold River Records president Pete O’Heeron responded to Armiger’s statements, saying, “Cold River is saddened and disappointed to learn of Katie Armiger’s malicious and completely false statements against the label.”

O’Heeron’s statement explains that the label has sued Armiger “for refusing to perform the remainder of her contracts with the label.”

“It appears that Ms. Armiger is simply attempting to use these false claims to get out of her contracts and to gain publicity for her career, at Cold River’s expense,” the statement continues. “Her assertions are completely without merit and fabricated.”

O’Heeron goes on to question Armiger’s “[complaints] that Cold River promoted her career by focusing on her appearance rather than purely her music” in light of the fact that her new management team “have actively campaigned for her to become Country Weekly’s Hottest Bachelorette.”

“This paradoxical behavior belies the sincerity of Ms. Armiger’s claims and further evidences that she is simply trying to get out of her contracts with Cold River and generate free publicity for her career,” O’Heeron’s statement concludes. “Cold River looks forward to clearing its name in court and, when that day comes, hopes that Ms. Armiger will be as vigorous in apologizing to the label as she was in smearing its name.”

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