Huh? What's going on? Two weeks ago, the singer enjoyed an early birthday bash on the beach, complete with a cheeky "die, 20s, die!" theme and a group of close friends. On Wednesday, she detailed her "wonderful day full of peace" including a romantic dinner at Nobu with husband Eddie Cibrian.
"I feel healthier, more grounded and self-confident at 30 than I ever have," she told Celebuzz this week. She's even got a new album coming out, which is scheduled for release next spring, as well as a new website which she promises will bring her even closer to fans.
So, what exactly broke Rimes down, when for all appearances she's been doing just fine? The answer probably lies in the fact that her life has never been entirely settled since she entered the spotlight as a child prodigy in the early '90s. Rimes's public issues really started, however, in 2000--and have run the course of more than a decade without much relief. Here's a refresher course on Rimes's past dozen years of controversy.
Legal woes with her near and dear. Just 4 years after her breakout hit, "Blue," thrust her into award-winning stardom, Rimes alleged that her father, Wilbur, and former co-manager, Lyle Walker, took more than $7 million from her. She filed a second and separate suit against her label, Curb, seeking release from her contract. Rimes settled on undisclosed terms with her dad two years later, while Curb restructured her contract in response to her claims.
Subsequent affair with Eddie Cibrian. All seemed fairly well in the Rimes-Sheremet camp for seven years. However, during an acting stint on Lifetime movie Northern Lights, Rimes fell in love with costar Eddie Cibrian, who himself was married with two children. The affair went public in 2009--with first Rimes and Sheremet filing for divorce in July, followed by Cibrian in August. Both marriages were officially dissolved in 2010. Rimes took the brunt of public criticism for the affair, with her country audience especially discouraged and throwing terms such as "homewrecker" her way.
Online and press feuds with Cibrian's ex. Sheremet seemed to take the affair and separation in stride, with little public comment on the matter. However, Cibrian's wife of 8 years, actress Brandi Glanville, was definitely more sour about the entire scenario--and wasn't afraid to take her opinions to the press and Twitter, calling Rimes a "stalker" who refused to leave Cibrian alone. Later, she expressed fury at Rimes's involvement with her children, claiming amongst other things that she was not notified of an accident her older son was involved in at Rimes's house. Rimes filed a cease-and-desist order against Glanville's alleged accusations, citing them as defamatory.
Steamy photos controversy. In summer of 2010, Rimes found herself the subject of gossip yet again, when shots of her in a bikini and on top of Cibrian in a heated embrace hit the web. A scantily clad celeb making out with her boyfriend--so what? Well, the issue was that Cibrian's preschool-aged son was right next to the couple during the sesson. Rimes reacted angrily to the scandal: "Whose right was it to take pics of us in a private moment and display them for judgement?" she tweeted, then declared she was quitting Twitter. (She rejoined the social media site after a short break, without comment on her absence.)
Shape controversy. In late 2010, Rimes--who at this point was beginning to attract attention for what appeared to be extreme and rapid weight loss--appeared on the cover of Shape magazine in a bikini. Her cover story included candid discussion of her affair with Cibrian. Shortly after the magazine hit newsstands, Shape editor Valerie Latona sent out a letter to subscribers, saying that the publication had made "a terrible mistake" and did not intend to "put a husband-stealer on a pedestal." Latona later backtracked, saying that her comments were taken out of context and that she only wrote to the small number of readers who complained.married him in April 2011. The following month she took a belated honeymoon trip and tweeted shockingly thin photos of herself in a bikini. A concerned fan told the star that she looked "scary skinny," to which Rimes responded, "Those are called abs, not bones, love."
Repeated defense of her figure. Rimes seemed undeterred by criticism of her body and continued to post many shots of herself in skimpy gear. However, she did respond to discussion by having her personal trainer talk to the press about her exercise regime--as well as allowing Cibrian to comment on how "she eats more than I do." When this did not quell gossip, she appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in September 2011, telling DeGeneres that she does not suffer from an eating disorder and that she finds such claims "bullying."
Delay of new music. During all this controversy--where was Rimes's first love, i.e., her music? After releasing Family in 2007, the singer went through a fallow period in terms of new material. Her all-covers album, Lady And Gentlemen, hit stores in 2011 after several release-date changes. While the record received positive reviews and showcased Rimes's commitment to the country genre, some questioned whether her image had become too tarnished at this point to remain viable to the country audience.
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- LeAnn Rimes
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