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Country Weekly - January 8, 2002

Tim and Kenny go on trial, but theirs wasn't the only case on the country docket
For some stars, 2001 meant time spent not only onstage and in the studio, but also in court.
Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney were cleared in May of all charges in the notorious "horse incident" 11 months earlier in Buffalo, N.Y.  "Justice prevails!" declared Tim, whose wife, Faith Hill, tearfully watched as her husband was aquitted.
Kenny was accused of trying to steal a police horse, while Tim was charged with attacking an officer who had confronted his friend and tourmate.
Also facing the scales of justice were Terri Clark and Trace Adkins, both of whom were charged with drunk driving.  Terri paid a $350 fine and is on probation after her Nashville arrest in May; Trace paid a $350 fine, had his license suspended for a year, spent two days in jail and is on probation for 11 months and 29 days.
"While I had had some alcohol with dinner, I did not feel like I was impaired," explained Terri later.  However, she added, "I know that no matter how little alcohol one has, one should never drive after drinking."
Also getting into trouble on the road was Andy Griggs, who had been arrested in February for joyriding in an ambulance in Tallahassee, Fla.  The charges were dismissed, but Andy nonetheless played a benefit concert for the hospital to apologize.
Carlene Carter and husband Howie Epstein of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers also ran afoul of the law.  The couple was arrested in June, allegedly driving a stolen vehicle that contained heroin and drug paraphernalia.
Some stars were in court by choice - like the Dixie Chicks, who took on their record lable, Sony.  The corporation sued the Chicks in July for trying to leave the label - and the group countersued, claiming the company had cheated them out of millions of dollars through "systematic thievery."
LeAnn Rimes' own effort to get out of her recording contract hit a roadblock in March when a judge refused to dissolve her deal with Curb Records.  Although she quickly appealed the decision, LeAnn unexpectedly laid the matter to rest in late November by signing a new contract with Curb and withdrawing her litigation against the label.  She still has suits pending against her father, Wilbur Rimes.  In a related story, LeAnn's former bodyguard, Robert Lavetta, was sentences to 18 months probation for trying to exhort over $2 million from the 19-year-old singer.
SHeDAISY's Kristyn Osborn filed suit against a New York karaoke-music company, which she accused of copyright infringement.  Kristyn announced that she was taking on the fight on behalf of all songwriters, and that if she wins the case, she will donate the money to charity.
An older lawsuit was happily resolved for John Michael Montgomery, who had been sued by his stepmother for using footage of his late father in his "I Miss You A Little" video without permission.  In November, Kentucky's supreme court ruled that John Michael was in the right.
One much-discussed lawsuit didn't make it to court, however.  A Nashville-area male stripper had threatened to sue Naomi Judd for allegedly assaulting him in early 2001, but the suit never materialized.  Naomi had confronted the man while he was performing for a birthday party in a Nashville-area restaurant at which minors were present.

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