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    "Girlfriend" Power for Avril, Chantal

    Harshing on someone else's girlfriend has suddenly become the least of Avril Lavigne's worries.

    Embroiled in a plagiarism case over her hit tune, the pop-punker has spent the better part of her summer defending her songwriting prowess. Now, though, she can take some solace that the attacks have stopped on at least one front.

    Chantal Kreviazuk, Lavigne's fellow Canadian singer-songwriter and onetime collaborator  who publicly dissed Lavigne last month—prior to the "Girlfriend" singer getting sued for allegedly ripping off a similarly boppy '70s track—has issued a mea culpa for her comments.

    "I would like to apologize for any misconceptions concerning Avril Lavigne, which may have resulted from statements I made in my interview with Performing Songwriter magazine," Kreviazuk said in a statement Tuesday. "It was not my intention to call Avril's songwriting ability or ethics into question.

    "My statements and any inference from my statements, which call into question Avril's ethics or ability as a respected and acclaimed songwriter, should be disregarded and are retracted. Avril is an accomplished songwriter and it has been my privilege to work with her."

    The make-nice comments are quite a change of tune from what Kreviazuk was quoted as saying just a month ago.

    During an interview with the magazine in support of her upcoming album, Ghost Stories, the interviewer brought up Lavigne, who had been written about in a previous issue.

    "I find it funny that it's in Performing Songwriter," Kreviazuk railed to the interviewer. "I mean, Avril, songwriter? Avril doesn't really sit and write songs by herself or anything. Avril will also cross the ethical line, and no one says anything. That's why I'll never work with her again."

    Kreviazuk blamed a misappropriation of credit for her falling out with Lavigne.

    "I sent her a song two years ago called 'Contagious,' and I just saw the track listing to this album and there's a song called 'Contagious' on it—and my name's not on it. What do you do with that?" asked Kreviazuk, who has penned hits for Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson and Alanis Morissette, and who performed a duet of "O Holy Night" with Lavigne for the 2004 holiday charity album Maybe This Christmas Too?

    Asked if she considered consulting a lawyer, Kreviazuk demurred.

    "See, I won't do that. I'll just tell you. Art should not be subjected to that kind of controversy. Art should be pure. In my head it is, anyway."

    Largely ignored when first published, Kreviazuk's statements began to get major play after Lavigne was sued by the band the Rubinoos for allegedly stealing parts of "Girlfriend" from their 1979 tune "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." (View the lawsuit.)

    Kreviazuk's sudden change of heart regarding Lavigne's professionalism came just four days after the latter posted a retaliatory message on her Website, refuting not only the claims of the Rubinoos, but also Kreviazuk's comments, a slight Lavigne referred to as "slap in the face #2."

    "I was going to be the bigger person and not reply when I read Chantal Kreviazuk's article in Performing Songwriter magazine," Lavigne wrote last Friday. "Chantal's comments are damaging to my reputation and a clear defamation of my character and I am considering taking legal action.

    "Chantal has also made false accusations about my writing skills," Lavigne continued. "I am so over this topic...I don't have to prove anything to anyone."

    Lavigne insisted the decision to cut professional ties was "simply based on the fact that we had no hits together. That is why her name is not on this record, despite her numerous attempts to be included, which were always denied.

    "From my perspective this is a clear case of bitterness. Chantal is upset that she didn't get to be a part of my record."

    As for not giving Kreviazuk a credit for "Contagious," Lavigne said that the title was the only similarity between the two songs: "Different lyrics, different melody, different genres," she wrote.

    Despite threatening legal action, Lavigne said she had forgiven Kreviazuk for her comments. "She did email me after the article came out apologizing and I forgive her," Lavigne wrote. "But I have to put the truth out there so my fans are not confused by these false accusations."

    While her beef with Kreviazuk seems kaput, the Rubinoos mess shows no signs of going away quietly.

    Lavigne lovers and haters are hitting YouTube, with side-by-side musical comparisons of the two songs proliferating on the video-sharing service to both prove and disprove the plagiarism accusation—the most popular of which are attracting upward of 1.5 million views.

    But we're guessing Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald was not among them.

    "I never heard of the Rubinoos before the lawsuit," Lavigne's "Girlfriend" cowriter and producer told the Los Angeles Times. "I never heard of the song and neither has Avril. I would take a polygraph on that in front of them.

    "Me and Avril wrote the song together. It started out with Avril wanting to make something fun and upbeat," he said, before adding to the confusion over who exactly should get credit for the song.

    "It has the same chord progressions as 10 different Blink-182 songs, the standard changes you'd find in a Sum 41 song. It's the Sex Pistols, not the Rubinoos."

    Somewhere Johnny Rotten just dialed up his barrister.

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