The 94-year-old stepmother of Liza Minnelli has sued the entertainer for elder abuse and breach of contract for trying to evict her from a Beverly Hills residence by cutting off the electricity and dismissing the gardener and pool man.
The suit brought by Lee Anderson Minnelli and filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alluded to Liza Minnelli's recent star-studded wedding in New York to concert promoter David Gest, saying:
"While defendant is honeymooning all over the world, having fed 850 of her closest friends a 12-foot cake, plaintiff is alone in a cold, dark house, at age 94."
The living conditions have caused "extreme stress, humiliation, embarrassment and worry," for Lee Anderson Minnelli, according to the lawsuit.
A spokesman for the singer said Liza Minnelli sold the house that she had let stepmother live in for years rent-free and offered to buy her a condominium but the woman refused.
In the lawsuit, Lee alleged she was guaranteed housing in the will of director Vincente Minnelli, her late husband and Liza's father. She said that Liza, whose mother was legendary singer Judy Garland, "has instructed her representatives to remove (Lee) by whatever means necessary."
She seeks a court order requiring her stepdaughter to pay utility and household bills, and unspecified general damages and attorney fees. She also wants a constructive trust for $1 million to be placed on any proceeds from the sale of the house.
Liza Minnelli's spokesman Warren Cowan said in a statement: "Liza ... has sold her home in Beverly Hills where Lee Minnelli has lived for many years during which time Liza has paid for all of Lee's expenses including housekeeper, gardener, etc. In addition, Liza has offered to buy Lee a condominium but apparently her generous offer has been refused. It is now in the hands of attorneys."
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