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Love & Theft Singer Says Trace Adkins ‘Fight’ Story Is Exaggerated

Steven Barker Liles Trace Adkins
Christopher Polk / Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Trace Adkins checked into rehab earlier this week after admittedly falling off the wagon during the Country Cruising entertainment cruise. But while early reports suggested the singer had been in a brawl on board the ship, Love and Theft singer Steven Barker Liles — who witnessed the event first-hand — says those accounts are inaccurate.

According to TMZ, Adkins was in the ship’s bar during the trip to Jamaica when something happened that touched off a fight between him and a Trace Adkins impersonator who had been singing karaoke. The site reports that a physical altercation followed, and that Adkins departed for rehab as soon as the ship docked.

But Liles tells Radio.com that although a confrontation did take place, no punches were thrown.

“You know, there’s only so much you can take when someone’s trying to be you,” he says. “[Eventually] you’re like, ‘Ok bro’, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, you’ve been following me around … and now you’re going to come on this small cruise ship …’”

Liles thinks Adkins finally snapped when his impersonator began signing autographs, using a signature that closely resembled that of the real singer.

“It kind of gets you after some point,” he states. “It’s cool for a little while, and then you get in a confined space, and when the dude is mocking your autograph … ”

According to reports, Adkins had been drinking when he confronted his impersonator. But Liles says Adkins just “got up in his face,” but did not strike him.

One fact is not in dispute: when the ship docked in Jamaica, Adkins — who had been sober for 12 years prior to the incident, and was the headliner on the country cruise — opted to depart the run early and go immediately to rehab.

“Trace has entered a treatment facility after a setback in his battle with alcoholism,” a spokesmen for the singer confirms to Country Weekly. “As he faces these issues head-on, we ask that his family’s privacy will be respected.”

Next: What's Your Favorite Trace Adkins Song?

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