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RIMES SUES DAD, FORMER MANAGER
Teenage Crooner Seeking Unspecified Damages, Claims Loss Of More Than $7 Million Over Five Years

LeAnn Rimes says her father and her former co-manager took more than $7 million from her over five years.

The teenage country crooner, in a lawsuit filed May 2 in Dallas County District Court, claims Wilbur C. Rimes and Lyle Walker funneled money away from her personally and from the company set up in 1995 to manage her finances.

The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages because attorneys don't know how much money above and beyond the $7 million is gone, attorney Tom Rhodus told The Dallas Morning News in a story published today.

"It would appear that her father didn't always act in a fatherly way to her," Rhodus said Wednesday. He is representing Rimes, 17, and her mother, Belinda Rimes. According to Rhodus, accountants hired by Rimes' mother last fall to investigate the two men discovered that the pair had received more than $8 million in royalties while Rimes received around $3 million.

Brad Rhorer, a Baton Rouge, LA-based attorney representing the singer's father, called the accusations "completely false" and said his client's "compensation was fair." He added, "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…unless it was the image of a parent trying desperately to live failed fantasies through his or her child. That's pretty pathetic too."

Keith Trent, the lawyer for Rimes' former manager, has responded by claiming Rimes still owes Walker money, not the other way around. "Lyle Walker is the one who has been wronged here," Trent said. "This effort will not be successful."

Whichever way the suit ends up, it'll still be great fodder for a country song.

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