(CN) – Country singer LeAnn Rimes says friends of her husband’s first wife secretly recorded a private phone call and posted excerpts online as part of a “campaign of cyber harassment.”
Rimes claims in Los Angeles Superior Court that she “has been the target of an increasingly aggressive Internet campaign by supporters of her husband Eddie Cibrian’s first wife,” former model Brandi Glanville.
She says Kimberly Smiley and her adult daughter Lexi “are among the individuals behind this campaign,” which started when Rimes began dating her “Northern Lights” co-star while he was still married to Glanville and Rimes was still married to backup dancer Dean Sheremet.
Cibrian and Rimes divorced their spouses in 2010 and were married in April 2011, making the couple tabloid fodder.
In an effort to smooth things over, the country singer says she agreed to talk to Kimberly Smiley on the phone.
During the conversation, Smiley allegedly “insisted on re-hashing the past and repeatedly insulted, taunted and provoked Ms. Rimes.” She secretly recorded the call, and later posted snippets of it on a “hate blog” and other sites, according to the lawsuit. Outside blogs, including Celebitchy.com, soon began linking to the unauthorized recording, Rimes claims.
“With neither Ms. Rimes’ knowledge nor consent, defendants secretly made a recording of a private telephone conversation with Ms. Rimes,” the lawsuit states. “They then conspired to spitefully ensure that out-of-context excerpts of that recording would be disseminated to the public on various websites and referenced in several online articles in an effort to portray Ms. Rimes in an egregiously false and negative light and cause her emotional distress.”
Kimberly Smiley told The Associated Press that her daughter made the recording to capture some of the “outrageous” comments Rimes was making.
“I truly think this is a PR attempt to get people to think she’s been victimized,” Smiley told the AP.
Rimes claims the Smileys invaded her privacy and violated California law by recording the call without her knowledge or consent. She seeks actual and punitive damages, and an order barring them from further distributing the recording.
Her attorney is Stanton Stein with Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor.
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