LeAnn Rimes sues over phone call; enters treatment

Associated Press Modified: August 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm •  Published: August 30, 2012
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeAnn Rimes sued two women she claims illegally recorded a phone conversation with her and posted snippets online, one day after she sought professional help for anxiety and stress.

Rimes sued Kimberly Smiley and her adult daughter Lexi on Thursday, seeking more than $25,000 in damages for recording a March phone conversation that ended up online on websites bashing the country singer.

Kimberly Smiley denied she posted the recording, saying she shared it with online acquaintances, one of whom played it for the ex-wife of Rimes' husband, Eddie Cibrian. "The whole thing is just ridiculous," she said. "It's just a celebrity who's too full of herself."

The invasion of privacy lawsuit came one day after Rimes, 30, entered an in-patient treatment facility in what her publicist Marcel Pariseau describes an attempt to "learn and develop coping mechanisms."

Pariseau says Rimes isn't seeking treatment for an eating disorder or substance abuse, adding that "while privacy isn't expected, it's certainly appreciated."

The recorded phone call occurred because a friend of Rimes connected the singer and Smiley to try to stop some negative online postings, according to the lawsuit and an interview with Smiley.

It is illegal in California for a party to record a phone call without the other person's knowledge.

"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," the lawsuit states.