LeAnn Rimes, the young cross over country crooner, is singing a different kind of song these days.
The teenager filed a lawsuit in Dallas alleging that her father, Wilbur C. Rimes, and her former manager, Lyle Walker, took more than $7 million from her over five years.
The lawsuit claims Walker and Wilbur Rimes charged unreasonable fees and manipulated LeAnn's company for their own financial gain. Rimes is seeking an unspecified amount of money because her attorneys claim they don't know how much above and beyond the $7 million is gone.
"It would appear that her father didn't always act in a fatherly way to her," Tom Rhodus, LeAnn's attorney, told The Dallas Morning News. He is also representing Rimes' mother, Belinda.
The father's lawyer says the accusations are "completely false" and said his client's "compensation was fair?I can imagine no heartbreak greater than that of a father watching helplessly as others, for their own personal gain, alienate the affections of his daughter," Brad Rhorer said.
Not to get ignored, the lawyer for the former manager said LeAnn still owes him money, not the other way around. "Lyle Walker is the one who has been wronged here," Keith Trent said. "This effort will not be successful."
Rhodus said accountants hired by the singer's mother last fall to investigate the two men discovered that the pair had received more than $8 million in royalties--$5 million more than did LeAnn Rimes.
"An artist of LeAnn's stature should only have to pay 10 percent...or less for competent management services," the lawsuit states. "Wilbur Rimes and Lyle Walker operated LREI (LeAnn Rimes Entertainment Inc.) in complete and total disregard for the rights of LeAnn Rimes . . . and wrongfully usurped millions of dollars from LREI and LeAnn for their own benefit."
Mr. Rhorer said his client sacrificed his dreams to finance LeAnn's dreams of a musical career.
LeAnn recorded her first album when she was just 11 and has since become one of the hottest artists in country music, even winning a pair of Grammy awards in 1997.