Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Brouhaha Keeps Brewin': Affidavits Filed in the Jared Ashley vs. John Rich Case Include Allegations of Copyright Infringement

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 4:57 PM

click to enlarge John Rich and Jared Ashley at Legend's.
  • John Rich and Jared Ashley at Legend's.

The Jared Ashley vs. John Rich saga continues, and the latest details include more testimony that Rich is a big jerk, and even accusations of copyright infringement.

It all started back in March, when Rich allegedly threatened Ashley at a performance at Legend's. Next, Rich allegedly popped Ashley a good one in the face after the former Nashville Star contestant allegedly showed up and drank for free at Rich's private bar, The Spot. Ashley filed assault charges. Rich allegedly left threatening voicemail messages on Ashley's phone. Ashley filed an affidavit. Ashley went on a Florida radio interview and allegedly said Rich hit him. Rich filed a defamation suit. Ashley filed assault and harassment charges. Warrants were issued.

We recently told you John Rich had turned himself in to police for those three arrest warrants out against him for assault and harassment, and that he posted bond. Part of his statement to the press alleges that Ashley and his team asked for $2.9 million in damages for Rich to drop the charges. Now Ashley alleges he's the one who has been defamed.

The Associated Press has reported that Ashley has filed a lawsuit against Rich in Circuit Court as of Monday, contending that "Rich and Rich's attorney defamed him by falsely telling the media that Ashley demanded $2.9 million to drop the charges." The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

But Cream readers may be interested to find that one of the affidavits filed on behalf of Ashley, in an effort to establish a long history of abusive, intimidating behavior by Rich, comes courtesy of one Robert L. Smith, a local private security guard most of us know as Bobby from Mercy Lounge. We already knew he was one of hell of a nice guy who only uses his brute force when necessary, but court documents also show him as an extremely principled guy as well--someone who won't work for a famous dude if that dude consistently abuses his power and position.

Smith protected MuzikMafia members and Rich from June 2004 to April 2006, but the $200 a night wasn't enough to put up with Rich's hunger for conflict, according to the court documents. Check out Smith's affidavit here.

And that copyright infringement business? Another affidavit filed by artist Dawn Martin alleges that the Gretchen Wilson/John Rich-authored hit "Redneck Woman" is actually "substantially similar" to Martin's own song, "Redneck Country Girl." Martin claims the demo was played to Rich, who acted "extremely impressed," and that she also performed the song at MuzikMafia events at Pub of Love in his presence. In 2004, the Wilson hit "Redneck Woman" gained immediate popularity. When Martin emailed Rich to tell him she wasn't very happy about his version of her song, she alleges his response was that she should "really think about the consequences of your accusations before you start slinging them around the internet."

More deets as we get them.

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