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Dad, Label Respond To LeAnn's Accusationsd

A series of statements have been released in the wake of an apology LeAnn Rimes posted to her fans on the Web last week, regarding the release of the album "I Need You" by Curb Records. As previously

A series of statements have been released in the wake of an apology LeAnn Rimes posted to her fans on the Web last week, regarding the release of the album "I Need You" by Curb Records. As previously reported, Rimes said she was "shocked" to learn of the project, claiming the album is a compilation that "consists largely of unfinished material and songs that didn't make other albums."

Her manager, Tom Ross, followed by posting a note of support on the site late Friday, saying that after his client has endured "a year of painful legal decisions," he finds it to be "truly devastating to now see Curb Records issue an unplanned and unauthorized album to the public."

"This is an album for which LeAnn was not offered nor given any creative input or choices, and whose existence LeAnn was not even aware of until a month ago," Ross states in part. "To not give LeAnn any artistic input is terribly unfair, not only to her, but to those celebrated fans who are waiting for an accurate collection that truly reflects her current musical direction and tastes."

The artist and her mother are suing her father and his business partner Lyle Walker (LeAnn's former co-manager), alleging they stole more than $7 million from her over several years time and manipulated finances for their own personal benefit. Wilbur Rimes filed a countersuit against his daughter's company, LeAnn Rimes Entertainment Inc. (LERI) in December. A month earlier, the artist sued Curb to void her contract with the label.

Today (Feb. 5), both Curb Records and Wilbur Rimes issued separate statements in reaction to those posted on the Web.

The Curb statement reads: "We believe that LeAnn Rimes' newly released 'I Need You' album is the best album that she has ever recorded. Nevertheless, we are excited about the new musical directions that LeAnn is exploring for the future, and as always we respect her talent and her opinions. We are excited to see how her fans react to the 'I Need You' album."

"This album has great sentimental meaning to me because it was the last project that my daughter and I worked on together, and I am so proud of all of my daughter's accomplishments," Wilbur Rimes said in his statement. "I believe this is one of the best albums LeAnn has ever recorded. The songs she chose for this album demonstrate her newfound maturity and the continuing development of her tremendous talent. These were all finished masters and LeAnn loved the way it all came together when it was complete."

Among the songs on the 10-track "In Need You," released last Tuesday, is "Written In The Stars," a duet with Elton John that was released in February 1999 as a single on John's Rocket Records label. The album also features two songs -- "Can't Fight The Moonlight" and "But I Do Love You" -- which also appear on the "Coyote Ugly" soundtrack. That album retakes the No. 1 position on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart this week, and rises to No. 23 on The Billboard 200.