Toronto Star

Apr. 3, 08:36 EDT

Minnelli sued by stepmother for elder abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) Liza Minnelli's 94-year-old stepmother has sued her for elder abuse and breach of contract, claiming the performer has neglected her.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Superior Court claims that Lee Anderson Minnelli was guaranteed housing in the will of her late husband, Vincente Minnelli. Liza Minnelli, his daughter with Judy Garland, sold the Beverly Hills home and "has instructed her representatives to remove Lee by whatever means necessary," according to the lawsuit.

Representatives for the singer could not be reached for comment early Wednesday.

The lawsuit also claims that Liza Minnelli failed to comply with an agreement to keep the home in habitable condition. The electricity was shut off March 27, and the gardener and pool man have been fired, the lawsuit alleges.

"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," the lawsuit states. Liza Minnelli married producer David Gest last month in New York.

The living conditions have caused "extreme stress, humiliation, embarrassment and worry," for Lee Minnelli, according to the lawsuit.

She seeks a court order requiring her stepdaughter to pay utility and household bills, and unspecified general damages and legal fees. She also wants a constructive trust for $1 million (U.S.) to be placed on any proceeds from the sale of the house.

Copyright © 1996-2002. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited.