In June 2015 rising country star Katie Armiger shocked fans by announcing her departure from country music.
Her record label, Cold River Records, released a statement on Armiger’s behalf at the time saying the singer had “decided to take a breather and decide her next career aspirations.”
However, the singer quickly fought back saying she had no plans on quitting country music and now she has filed suit after months of silence claiming her record label told her to “sex it up” in order to become successful.
According to the lawsuit, Armiger says she was asked to “purchase ‘hot, ‘game- changing’ clothes,” and “hug, kiss and flirt” with radio programmers.
“[Cold River Record head Pete] O’Heeron repeatedly told Ms. Armiger that she needed to make Radio Program Directors ‘wish you would take them home with you,'” the filing claims. “O’Heeron told Ms. Armiger that if ‘they don’t wanna take you home, they’re not gonna play your music. Period.'”
FOX411 Country spoke with O’Heeron who said the suit is “baseless.”
“It’s an attempt to try and smear good people,” O’Heeron said. “It speaks for itself the fact that Katie claims we were asking her to ‘sex it up,’ yet two months later, she is campaigning to be country music’s hottest bachelorette.”
O’Heeron also noted the timing of Armiger’s claims that he says only came to light after Cold River was “forced to sue Ms. Armiger for refusing to perform the remainder of her contracts.” He believes her suit is an attempt to “get out of her contracts and to gain publicity for her career.”
Armiger told FOX411 Country that it took a lot of bravery to come forward with her suit as she feared backlash from industry leaders.
“It was incredibly scary,” she told FOX411 Country. “I was very worried about it…I was really scared to come forward with some of the evidence and the filing because I didn’t want to alienate anybody and I didn’t want anyone to be offended or upset.”
In the end, Armiger decided to speak out.
“There are so many challenges for women in music. I think that this keeps the conversation open and give women that are in my position a needed voice.”
While Armiger said she cannot speak to the lawsuit, she said, “Anybody can go and look at the filing and see the details and the timeline of exactly what happened.”