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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Minnelli 'abuse' case dropped
Liza appeared at the Royal Albert Hall last month
Liza appeared at the Royal Albert Hall last month
The stepmother of Liza Minnelli has dropped her claim that the singer abused her and broke a contract by moving her out of her house.

Last month Lee Minnelli sued the Oscar winner, claiming she had abused the elderly lady by selling her home, cutting off the electricity and sacking her staff.

However against the wishes of her lawyers, Lee Minnelli told a Los Angeles superior court that she could not go ahead with the case because she "loved" Liza.

Lee Minnelli's lawyer Tamara Green said that the 94-year-old's home was in the process of being sold and that Liza planned to move her into a rented apartment.

I don't want to sue her because I love her, she's my daughter

Lee Minnelli
Ms Green said that her client had been persuaded to drop the claim after a phone call from the Cabaret star on Monday.

The elder Minnelli claimed that Liza told her: "I'm so glad you're not suing me mummy.

"I don't want to sue her because I love her. She's my daughter."

'Breeding pool'

The widow of Vincente Minnelli, who fathered Liza after a brief romance with actress Judy Garland, claimed in her suit that she had been kept "alone in a dark house" while Liza and her new husband enjoyed a lavish honeymoon.

Lee Minnelli said the will of her late husband guaranteed her housing - but that Liza recently sold her house and wanted to remove her "by whatever means necessary".

She claimed the singer had fired the gardener and the pool attendant and that "the pool is an unhealthful [sic] swamp and has become an insect breeding pool".
Liza married David Gest in March
Liza married David Gest in March

The claims were denied by Liza's new husband David Gest.

He said that Liza had been keeping her stepmother rent free and that the singer had offered to put her up in a new apartment.

In a statement last month Mr Gest said: "Liza Minnelli has sold her home in Beverly Hills where Lee Minnelli has lived for many years, during which time Liza has paid for all of Lee's expenses, including housekeeper, gardener etc."

Liza has been in the headlines this year after her lavish marriage to Mr Gest in New York on 17 March.

Celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Mia Farrow were at the ceremony.

Liza's wedding - her fourth - came after she rebounded from health problems that threatened her career.

The pair honeymooned in London, where she was the victim of an attempted robbery as thieves tried to steal a £10,000 diamond necklace from her while she was in a car.

She also recently sang at London's Royal Albert Hall at the start of a European tour.

See also:

17 Mar 02 | Americas
Minnelli weds for fourth time
17 Mar 02 | Americas
In pictures: Stars turn out for Liza
15 Mar 02 | Showbiz
Minnelli's turbulent times
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