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Friday, 12 May, 2000, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Country star Rimes sues father
LeAnn Rimes (left), with her mother and father
Happier times: LeAnn Rimes chats to reporters as her parents look on
Teenage country singer LeAnn Rimes is suing her father and her co-manager after claiming they cheated her out of more than $7m (4.4m).

The 17-year-old alleges Wilbur C Rimes and Lyle Walker took the funds from her over a period of five years.

The action filed at Dallas County District Court asks for unspecified damages because Rimes' lawyers say they do not know exactly how much money is missing.

Details of the claim came to light in a story published in the Dallas Morning News.


LeAnn Rimes
Flower child: Teenage country star LeAnn Rimes

Rimes' representative Tom Rhodus told the newspaper: "It would appear that her father didn't always act in a fatherly way to her."

He alleged money had been taken both from Rimes personally and a company set up in 1995 to manage the singer's finances.

But her father's lawyer, Brad Rhorer, dismissed the accusations as "completely false".

He said: "I can imagine no heartbreak greater than of a father watching helplessly as others, for their own personal gain, alienate the affections of his daughter."

Keith Trent, representing Walker, insisted it was Rimes' company who owed him money.

"Lyle Walker is the one who has been wronged here, this effort will not be successful," he stressed.

Grammys

Rimes shot to fame at the age of 14 with her debut album Blue.

In 1997 she won two Grammys, three Academy of Country Music awards and four Billboard Music gongs and has firmly established herself as one of the world's leading country singers.

Her father, who divorced from her mother, Belinda, last year co-managed LeAnn Rimes Entertainment Inc with Walker.

The action against the pair claims they charged "unreasonable" fees and manipulated the company for their own gains.

Rhodus alleged accountants hired by Rimes' mother to investigate the two men discovered they had received more than $8m (5m) in royalties - $5m more than her daughter.

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