After news about Trace Adkins’ continued battle with alcoholism and an incident aboard the Norwegian Pearl on Country Cruising 2014 broke last week, Love and Theft’s Stephen Barker Liles is stepping up to inform fans about what really happened between Adkins and Michael Larsen, the Trace Adkins impersonator.
According to Liles, who watched the incident unfold from a few feet away, there was no physical fight between Adkins and Larsen. However, a confrontation did occur. “You know, there’s only so much you can take when someone’s trying to be you,” Liles told CBS Sacramento’s KNCI. “[Eventually] you’re like, ‘Okay, bro,’ I’ve been doing this for 20 years, you’ve been following me around… and now you’re going to come on this small cruise ship.”
Further debunking reports of a physical altercation between the pair, Liles added that Adkins “just confronted” the impersonator and “got up in his face.”
Liles thinks the breaking point was when Larsen started giving out autographs that looked very similar to that of Adkins’ signature. “There’s only so much you can take if someone’s pretending to be you. It’s cool for a little while, and then you get in a confined space, and when the dude is mocking your autograph….”
The impersonator did seem to feel bad about the incident. “He feels like he disappointed him,” Liles said.
Following the incident, Adkins, who had been sober for more than a decade, disembarked the ship and checked into a rehab facility to be treated for alcoholism.