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Colorful Lawsuit Claims Garth Brooks Turned Down Parts in Spielberg Smash Hits

Our Country

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Garth Brooks (Photo: Ethan Miller)

Garth Brooks has a new lawsuit slapped on his radar: It's from a former friend, and it goes to "low places" indeed. In addition to levying serious charges against the singer, it also attacks his character--calling him "paranoid, angry, deceitful, and vindictive."

The suit was filed Monday by Brooks's former production partner Lisa Sanderson, who attests that over 20 years Brooks repeatedly messed up deal after deal she tried to strike for him in the film and television realms--as well as failed to pay her the full percentage of producer fees they'd agreed on when she signed up to work for his company Red Strokes Entertainment.

Among the high-profile projects Brooks allegedly refused acting roles in: Saving Private Ryan (he wanted the starring role), and Twister (he felt the tornado would overshadow his part). He also allegedly turned down numerous other deals, including the chance to work with Tim Burton on Alice In Wonderland (he withdrew when he was not allowed to co-write the script).

Sanderson also relates a few stinging stories in the suit, including one standout regarding a pitch Brooks made to Fox, in which he referenced his father's death and started "weeping openly." One catch: Brooks's dad was alive and doing fine. (The project allegedly ended up being scrapped when Brooks refused to share revenue from the soundtrack.)

On a more serious note, Sanderson claims that Brooks fudged on his taxes, issuing her dummy checks while reporting her income to the IRS.

Overall, Sanderson--who alleges she left a successful career in film and TV to work for Brooks-- is suing for $425,000 in unpaid salary/bonuses and punitive damages.

A statement from Brooks's camp in response brusquely noted that the singer "denies everything in the lawsuit" and that he is prepared to defend himself against it.

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