Leann Rimes is set to sue two women she claims illegally recorded a phone conversation they had with her, after which they posted snippets online. Rimes is seeking more than $25,000 in damages from Kimberly Smiley and her adult daughter Lexi, for the recording that took place in March this year.
The recordings of the phone call ended up the net via a number of websites attacking the country singer, although Smiley denies posting them online, saying she shared it with some online associates, including someone close to the estranged wife of LeAnn's current husband, Eddie Cibrian. Rimes and Cibrian got together after eloping from their respective partners to be with one another, and have remained at the forefront of media attention ever since.
Leann is now seeking an invasion of privacy lawsuit against the two; a day after the 30-year-old singer entered an inpatient treatment centre to seek professional help for anxiety and stress issues. Her publicist, Marcel Pariseau, has described the entrance to the centre as an attempt to "learn and develop coping mechanisms". The recording apparently took place when a friend of Rimes connected the singer and Ms Smiley as a means for the singer to find a way to halt some negative posts making their way online, the lawsuit and an interview with Ms Smiley has revealed. In California, where Rimes and Cibrian are based, it is illegal for someone, or a party, to record a phone call without the other person's knowledge.