LATEST: Renee Zellweger has jumped to the defence of her estranged husband Kenny Chesney, after intense media speculation over her citing of "fraud" as the reason for their marital meltdown.

In court papers filed on Wednesday (14SEP05) in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Chicago beauty filed for an annulment from country star Chesney after just four months of marriage, citing "fraud" as the reason for the breakup.

But Zellweger has now issued a statement insisting, "(The term is) simply legal language and not a refection of Kenny's character.

"I would personally be very grateful for your support in refraining from drawing derogatory, hurtful, sensationalised or untrue conclusions. We hope to experience this transition as privately as possible."

Zellweger, 36, and Chesney, 37, wed in a small surprise May (05) ceremony on the Caribbean island of St John in the Virgin Islands. It was the first marriage for both.

They met at the Concert of Hope tsunami relief benefit on 15 January (05), where Chesney was singing and Zellweger was answering telephones.