Alleged Affair Puts LeAnn Rimes Back in Spotlight

Singer linked to TV movie co-star Eddie Cibrian hasn't exactly denied reports.

ByABC News
March 19, 2009, 4:19 PM

March 20, 2009— -- 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."

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."

Eddie Cibrian with wife Brandi Glanville.

Rimes and Cibrian, who has appeared in episodes of "Samantha Who?" and "Ugly Betty," first met on the set of their television drama "Northern Lights," in which she starred as an Alaskan bush pilot who fell for the new detective in town, played by Cibrian. Through the shoot, which included some steamy love scenes, they became close.

The director Mike Robe told Us: "From the moment we rehearsed, LeAnn and Eddie honestly developed a really strong bond and a warm relationship. I could sense a lot of trust that grew between them. Once I yelled 'cut,' they did have a rapport. They became very good friends."

Various media reports say Rimes' marriage has been in trouble for some time, a product of getting married too young. Rimes wed former backup dancer Sheremet when she was 19.

A friend of the couple told People magazine: "Like any marriage, they've had a couple of rough patches. They've gone to therapy. But they did marry very young and when people marry young it's very difficult to maintain a marriage for the long haul."