LeAnn Rimes is taking legal action against two women Kimberly Smiley and her daughter Lexi for secretly taping their phone chat. In her lawsuit, the 30-year-old country/pop singer describes the defendants supporters of Brandi Glanville, the ex-wife of her current husband Eddie Cibrian.
She accuses them of recording her phone call without permission, which is illegal under California law. She is seeking more than $25,000 in damages for the recorded conversation that ended up online and led to people cyber-bullying her. She is also asking to block the tape from spreading further.
"The making of the unauthorized recording and the posting of it and edited excerpts of it on various websites have resulted in a public and damaging depiction of Ms. Rimes, have harmed her reputation and personal relationships, and have caused her emotional distress," she claims.
LeAnn reportedly spoke to the Smileys in March, asking them to stop running negative stories about her. The singer claimed she didn't know their phone conversation was taped until it was posted online in out-of-context snippets that put her in "false and negative light."
In her defense, Kimberly believes the lawsuit is part of LeAnn's publicity stunt to win public sympathy. "I truly think this is a PR attempt to get people to think she's been victimized," she reasons. "The whole thing is just ridiculous. It's just a celebrity who's too full of herself."
Kimberly claims the conversation was taped by her daughter Lexi due to "outrageous" things LeAnn was saying during the chat. The defendant insists she never sold the tape for profit and only shared it with online acquaintances, one of whom allegedly played it for Eddie's ex Brandi.
The lawsuit was filed hot on heels of LeAnn entering "a 30 day in-patient treatment facility to cope with anxiety and stress." Her representative explained, "She is simply there to learn and develop coping mechanisms. While privacy isn't expected, it's certainly appreciated."