General News

Wayne Newton sued for defamation

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Jul 23, 2013 | 6:38pm EDT

Veteran entertainer Wayne Newton has been hit with a defamation lawsuit from his former barn manager after allegedly accusing the employee of killing his horse. Courtney McGrath claims she was initially hired as the singer's horse caretaker at his Las Vegas estate, Casa de Shenandoah, in 2010, but was resigned to working in an office after filing a harassment complaint against her then-manager. He was subsequently dismissed and McGrath was promoted to barn boss, but it was only when she returned to the stables that she discovered conditions in the area had "grossly deteriorated", according to her legal papers. She found out one horse, named Infinity, had been diagnosed with a disease in its pituitary gland, called Cushing's, but the animal had not been given the diet it had been prescribed by the veterinarian and it later died in January, 2012. McGrath alleges the Years singer then announced the horse's death by posting "a handwritten note on the barn door for everyone to see falsely accusing plaintiff for (the) death of Infinity". The 71 year old is also said to have signed the message. Newton's wife, Kathleen, is also accused of making the same allegations about McGrath during a phone call to executives at CSD LLC, the company which now owns the land. Newton was allowed to continue living at the property and keep his horses there after selling the rights to the home. The plaintiff claims Newton and his wife are responsible for neglecting the horse and is seeking damages for defamation and emotional distress.

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