Randy Travis loses legal bid to keep DUI footage private
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A federal judge has denied a request by country singer Randy Travis to stop the state of Texas from releasing footage of him naked and ranting during a 2012 DUI arrest.
The ruling on a request for a preliminary injunction issued Thursday paved the way for the Texas Department of Public Safety to release the footage on Friday, which was requested through open records requests.
Travis' family has been in a long legal battle to stop the release of the footage that went all the way to the state Supreme Court, which denied his petition. Travis filed a federal lawsuit in September in Texas arguing that that the footage should be considered private under health record privacy regulations. But the judge said he did not show a substantial likelihood of success on the claims.
Marty Cirkiel, Travis' attorney based in Round Rock, Texas, said Thursday afternoon he is filing a motion to the judge to have his ordered stayed, and then will appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We have asked the Texas Attorney General's Office whether they will be opposed or unopposed to the motion to stay the order, but as of this discussion (they) have not responded," he said.
The Country Music Hall of Fame singer and Grammy winner ushered in a wave of neo-traditional singers like Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Brooks in the 1990s and had hits with songs like "Forever And Ever, Amen." But he suffered a stroke in 2013 that has left him with limited ability to speak.
A request was left Thursday with his publicist to speak to his wife, Mary Davis-Travis, who also was denied a request by the federal court to sue on his behalf.
The lawsuit said the footage, which according to legal records show him nude and disorientated and making threats to the officers, were highly embarrassing and intimate and inappropriate to release in light of the fact that Travis "can no longer speak cogently and is not even in the position to discuss, let alone defend, his previous actions."
"This case is about the rights of all Americans to have their most personal moments that happen to be videotaped, occurring after a concussion or a physical injury or a mental health breakdown, remain private where they should be," Cirkiel said.
The Texas attorney general agreed to redact certain portions of the footage because he was nude.
Associated Press writer Diana Heidgerd in Dallas contributed to this story.