Judge rejects tabloid’s motion to dismiss Blake Shelton suit

A federal judge says Blake Shelton’s defamation lawsuit against the publisher of In Touch magazine can proceed because a headline declaring the singer was headed to rehab could be considered libelous.

Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles ruled Tuesday that the country music star had shown that the magazine’s headline "Rehab for Blake" could be interpreted by the average reader as meaning the singer was receiving addiction treatment.

Shelton sued Bauer Publishing Co. in November over a cover story that proclaimed, "Rehab for Blake" and included several anecdotes about drunken antics the singer supposedly engaged in. Shelton denies the incidents occurred and has said he doesn’t have a drinking problem.

Bauer’s lawyer Elizabeth McNamara has said an appeal is planned, but did not immediately return an email message seeking comment.

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