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Country Singer Claims He’s Been Defamed

HOUSTON (CN) - A record company claims a man defamed its aspiring country singer Jason Cassidy by posting false statements online that he is "a liar and a con man," and "doesn't write his own songs."

Jason Cassidy and A-Blake Records sued Michael Sanders and John Does 1 and 2 in Harris County Court.

A-Blake Records claims it "has invested several hundred thousand dollars developing and promoting Cassidy who is a rapidly rising national star in the country music genre."

The complaint states: "Sanders claims that he is owed money by a member of the Jason Cassidy Band and that he has not been reimbursed for one half of the cost of a guitar he was awarded via the winning bid at an auction held at Jason Cassidy's wedding in August, 2011 that he then donated back to Jason and his wife. There are no agreements between plaintiffs and defendants to compensate defendant Sanders for these claims which are, by definition, gifts."

The plaintiffs say Sanders is using the Internet to smear Cassidy's reputation.

"Defendant Sanders has posted in public defamatory, false and harassing statements regarding Cassidy on the Internet through websites, chat rooms, Blogs, and on the Facebook sites of several of Cassidy's fans, as well as on sites that are accessible to the public in general," according to the complaint. "Within the past week, plaintiff A-Blake, both in its own interest and on behalf of its artist Cassidy, contacted Sanders asking him to cease and desist this defamatory and disparaging conduct.

"Sanders not only refuses to do so, but upon information and belief, has since engaged others in the form of Doe defendants I-II to continue prosecuting his malicious campaign of personal vengeance against Cassidy."

The plaintiffs say Sanders' postings "state, imply and suggest that Cassidy is of immoral character and that he has committed copyright infringement and/or has otherwise stolen musical compositions from another recording artist and claimed them as his own. In these postings Sanders has stated that Cassidy is a 'liar and a con man,' stated that Cassidy 'doesn't write his own songs,' and 'should be honest with his fans.' Sanders' statements are untrue and are motivated from personal animosity towards Cassidy and another member of his band."

The plaintiffs say the Doe defendants use pseudonyms to post statements on You Tube and Facebook, which "parrot the false, slanderous and disparaging statements made by defendant Sanders towards plaintiffs."

Plaintiffs add: "Sanders remains committed and engaged in illegal activity detrimental to the career, reputation, and future of Cassidy as a musical artist, and A-Blake as a record label. Further, the false, slanderous and disparaging Internet postings of Sanders and Doe Defendants I-II falsely paint plaintiffs A-Blake and its artist Cassidy in a negative light amongst both the music community at large and the local community in general."

They seek an injunction and damages for defamation and business disparagement, tortious interference and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

They are represented by Jack Terry.

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