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Natalie Maines Sued for Defamation

Dixie Chicks‘ lead singer Natalie Maines is being sued for defamation over statements she allegedly made about Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of three eight-year-old boys murdered in West Memphis, Ark., in 1993 — an incident made famous by the 1996 acclaimed documentary ‘Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.’

Hobbs filed the complaint on November 25 in Pulaski County Circuit Court alleging that Maines made a “false and reckless claim that [Hobbs] committed the murders of the three boys …”

Steve Branch (Hobbs’ stepson), Christopher Byers and Michael Moore were found dead May 5, 1993 in West Memphis, Ark. Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin, all of West Memphis, were convicted of the murders in 1994.

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Maines — identified by her married name, Pasdar, in the lawsuit — made the comments at issue during a rally last December on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock. (Watch video of those comments here.)

The lawsuit also claims that Pasdar “recklessly published or caused to be published malicious, libelous, slanderous, and false statements” on the band’s website in November 2007 and that those statements were republished by several media outlets, including FOX News, The Memphis Commercial Appeal, and PEOPLE magazine.

The lawsuit seeks undisclosed punitive damages and “all other just and proper relief to which he may be entitled.”

The case has attracted national attention, with many claiming insufficient evidence was presented to convict Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin, known as the “West Memphis Three.”

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