Alleged Affair Puts LeAnn Rimes Back in Spotlight

LeAnn Rimes once again is gracing a magazine cover -- but likely not in the way she intended.

The country music prodigy, all grown up and married at age 26, is on the current cover of Us Weekly, with the boldface headline: "Caught in an Affair."

CLICK HERE for video of Rimes and Cibrian kissing.

Us is reporting that Rimes has been having an affair with married television actor Eddie Cibrian, 35, her co-star in the upcoming Lifetime movie "Northern Lights."

The magazine is citing as proof security camera images of the couple making out during an intimate dinner and photographs of them arriving at and leaving an exclusive Beverly Hills hotel, where they allegedly had a four-hour rendezvous.

"She is having an affair," senior editor Ian Drew said. "It's not even a joke or speculation or from a shady source."

But why put Rimes, whose biggest hit "How Do I Live" was back in 1997, and who has been overshadowed by current country-music princesses Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, on the cover?

"Everyone thought she had this perfect marriage, she always had such a perfect reputation," Drew said. "It's just a surprise to everyone."

LeeAnn Rimes with husband Dean Sheremet.

After the story of their alleged affair broke on Tuesday, Cibrian, who is married to model Brandi Glanville and the father of two boys, released a statement, which obtained:

"Other than being friends and two actors who were romantically intertwined in a movie-for-television we filmed last fall, there is no truth to the reporting initiated by Us magazine. It is a fabricated story that is using random snapshots as connective tissue to create a scandalous relationship."

Rimes' rep refused to comment on her client's personal life.

Rimes, married seven years to aspiring songwriter Dean Sheremet, responded to the report in a blog post on her Web site. But she left readers with plenty to read into:

"This is a difficult time for me and my loved ones, but I appreciate all your continued support. I would like to assure all of you that this is a place for you to hear things directly from me and as you all know, not everything in our lives is always black and white. Have faith, Le."

More Than Black and White

Later on Wednesday, when she appeared on "Live with Regis and Kelly," Rimes didn't exactly put rumors to rest.

"Everything's great. There's rumors all the time," she said. "Things pass, life happens. You know, everything people read is not ... as easy as black and white. That's what it is. I let it roll off my back most of the time."

"Even if she did deny it, she would look like a liar," Drew said. "These are real photographs. She's on video making out with him. She can't deny it. It happened. There are no ifs."

The magazine said the couple's affair began March 7 with a romantic lunch at the restaurant Mosun and Club M. in Laguna Beach, Calif. They held hands, laughed and kissed throughout their dinner.

Then on March 14, Rimes was spotted sans wedding ring carrying a copy of the book, "For Better or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered." Later that day, Us Weekly said she checked into a $725-a-night suite at the Malibu Beach Inn. An hour later, Cibrian pulled into the parking lot and headed for Rimes' room. They remained inside with a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door for more than three hours before leaving separately.

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