'Bachelor' star Clayton Echard earns legal victory in paternity lawsuit: 'Very grateful'

Clayton Echard won a paternity case earlier this week when an Arizona judge sided with the reality star in a lawsuit filed last year, according to documents obtained by Fox News Digital. The former "Bachelor" star was accused of being the father of unborn twins in a suit filed by Laura Owens. During the trial, which began earlier this month, Echard said his accuser "fabricated her pregnancy, a condition which cannot have resulted from the parties' interactions, because according to [Echard] they never had sexual intercourse." "The previous victims and I are very grateful that we took a major step toward justice with an official ruling from the court that is referring Laura Owens to the County Attorney based upon perjury and tampering with physical evidence," Echard told Fox News Digital.  "Our hope is that she is criminally prosecuted for fabricating multiple pregnancies, so that she learns a lesson to never do this again. We do not want to see a 5th victim arise on the other end of this all and deal with the mental struggles that we all endured." ‘GOLDEN BACHELOR' GERRY TURNER FINALIZES DIVORCE WITH THERESA NIST Echard was granted his Petition for Non-Paternity and will be paid for attorney fees. "Clayton and our legal team are happy with the outcome and the court’s thoughtful ruling," Echard's lawyer, Gregg Woodnick, told Fox News Digital. "We hope this is the end of the saga for all the victims." ‘BACHELORETTE’ STAR RYAN SUTTER SAYS HE, TRISTA SUTTER ARE ‘FINE’ AFTER SERIES OF CONFUSING POSTS Arizona Judge Julia Ann Mata agreed that Owens "knowingly presented a false claim, knowingly violated a court order compelling disclosure or discovery," documents stated. Mata found that "[Owens] acted unreasonably when she initiated litigation without basis or merit. Without an authentic ultrasound, sonogram, physical examination, and in conjunction with a belief she passed tissue in July 2023, the Court finds the underlying petition premature at best. At worst, however, fraudulent and made to incite communication, a relationship, or both, with the [Echard]." In addition, the court determined that Owens has "a pattern of similar, if not identical behavior, and court involvement," and referred the case to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for further review. LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS Following the court's ruling in the paternity case last week, Owens released her own statement in a blog post shared on Medium titled, "When Judges Play Doctor." "The ruling defies logic, medical evidence, and even Clayton’s own version of what happened on the night of our one-night stand last May," Owens wrote.  "At the end of the day, I can’t help but wonder: would the judge have allowed this to go on for months and months if Clayton and I were unknown and poverty-stricken? Would her father have shown up and sat with Clayton’s side if he weren’t a former ABC Bachelor ?" CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER The lawsuit came to light in August after Owens, who at the time remained anonymous, claimed Echard refused to take a paternity test. By September, Echard shared receipts on social media showing he scheduled an appointment at a paternity clinic.  APP USERS CLICK HERE TO VIEW POST On Oct. 6, the motivational speaker declared "good news" was in order in a video posted on Instagram.  "The test results came back early and they said little to no fetal DNA present," Echard said. "Let’s go baby! I knew that was going to happen and thankfully five months of torture can finally be put to rest." He added, "This has been a trying time but I learned so much about myself and now back to the regularly scheduled program."

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