4:06pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Fox News Hit With $25M Defamation Lawsuit From Songwriter
Nashville music multihyphenate Greg Hudik is suing Fox News over a story he says implies he wasn't telling the truth about efforts to raise money for Daryle Singletary's widow by selling the singer's final sound recording.
After Singletary's Feb. 12, 2018, death, Hudik sent out an email blast via a music promotion service that included a song the two recorded in 2016 called "We're Not Going to Hell for Having a Hell of a Time" and a message about Singletary.
He then released a song called "She's Been Cheatin' on Us," which Hudik says he wrote and Singletary performed before his death. Hudik sent another blast with the new song and a note saying all of the revenue from digital downloads would go to the Singletary family.
That prompted a cease-and-desist from Chuck Rhodes, who claimed to be Singletary's business partner, demanding that Hudik take down photographs of the late singer that were used to promote the two songs. He took them down, according to the complaint, but says he later got permission from Singletary's manager and sent out another blast. Rhodes then issued a statement that the song wasn't approved by Singletary's widow Holly and no "fund" for the family existed.
An associate entertainment editor from Fox News emailed Hudik asking for a comment, and he says he spoke with her and explained his position and that he was in the process of creating a fund. The same day, Fox News posted a story online called "Daryle Singletary's new single is a scam, not benefiting his widow and kids, business partner says."
"The Defendants’ article contains numerous false statements and omissions which create a false, defamatory impression of and concerning the Plaintiff," writes attorney Bryant Kroll in the complaint. "The title, alone, is defamatory, accusing Mr. Hudik of a scam, when nothing of the sort was alleged or even implied by Chuck Rhodes."
Hudik says he even reached out to Rhodes to confirm he never said such a thing to Fox News, and the songwriter contacted Fox News on multiple occasions. The outlet eventually changed the headline to remove the word "scam."
Hudik says he's been humiliated and has suffered emotional distress, and is asking the court for at least $25 million in damages.
Fox News has not yet responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit, which is posted below.