Singer: Sugarland likely would have delayed show


The lead singer of Sugarland told lawyers what she knew and didn't know the night of the deadly stage collapse at the State Fair in testimony released Monday.

Attorney Kenneth Allen, who represents victims from the August 13 tragedy, released video of sworn testimony given by Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles last Thursday.

"I don't feel it's my responsibility to evacuate fans, in a case of danger," said Nettles in her deposition last Thursday. "Do I care about their safety? Absolutely."

Allen then asked Nettles if she cared enough "to postpone the event on August 13, 2011 until the storm blew past?"

"I didn't know about it and it's not my responsibility," Nettles responded.

Allen commented on the testimony at a news conference Monday when he released the video.

"I think those statements are hard to square with the other statements released by Sugarland that they care about their fans," Allen said.

He says the band denied three requests to delay the show due to weather.

"They're the ones that said, 'keep the fans out there, we're going to perform'," Allen said.

He says the band was ultimately responsible for monitoring the weather and canceling the show, not the State Fair.

"I don't recall that I was specifically aware of a severe thunderstorm, I just know I was advised there was weather or a storm," Nettles said.

She says her manager told her there was weather, but never said severe weather.

"I do rely on them to do their jobs," said Nettles of her employees.

Allen asked her "and part of their job is to give you information regarding the weather. Right?" Nettles said, "Assumed, yes."

Victims' lawyers are trying to show that Sugarland is responsible for what its employees did or did not do that night. But Nettles says it was the Fair's responsibility to give warnings, like evacuation orders to fans, not the band's responsibility.

"Are you blaming your fans for waiting until your show began instead of leaving?" Allen asked.

"No, of course not," Nettles replied.

Then Allen asked, "Had you been asked to delay the show on August 13, 2001, would you have done so?"

Nettles' lawyer said the question called for speculation, but she could answer if she chose to.

"Yes," Nettles replied.

CNN Entertainment received a statement from Sugarland spokesman Allan Meyer. He is reacting to today's release of a portion of Jennifer Nettles' videotaped deposition, and the possible release of a portion of Kristian Bush's videotaped deposition:

"We're not sure what these lawyers think they're accomplishing by leaking selectively edited portions of the transcripts, but we don't think it's fooling anyone - and it sure isn't bringing any truth or clarity to last summer's tragedy. Their self-serving assertions about what Sugarland knew or could have done are contradicted not only by Kristian and Jennifer's complete testimony but also by the independent reports of the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the investigators hired by the state. When you think about it, you can't really blame these lawyers for attempting to try their case in the press, because if they tried to make these arguments in court, they'd quickly be tossed in the trash, which is where they belong."