Country singer charged with assault

May 29, 2009 5:25:04 AM PDT
Country star John Rich is charged with assault and harassment in an ongoing dispute with a former "Nashville Star" contestant. Rich says in a statement Thursday that he turned himself in to Nashville police to face the charges filed by Jared Ashley, a contestant during the fourth season of the TV show on the USA network.

The 35-year-old was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault and one misdemeanor count of harassment. He was released on $3,000 bond.

In April, Rich sued Ashley, saying the aspiring singer defamed him by claiming Rich hit him in the face. Rich says the charges are false and he rejected a settlement offer to pay $2.9 million to have them dropped.

Rich is part of the duo Big & Rich. His latest solo hit is "Shuttin' Detroit Down."

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