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Country Singer, Mother Wage Custody Battle in Palm Beach Court

Country singer Mindy McCready is involved in a long-term child custody dispute with her mother, Gayle Inge, concerning McCready's five-year-old son Zander. The matter is contentious and, says McCready, marked by a public portrayal of her that is inaccurate and driven by her mother's attempts to make the singer look unfit as a parent.

That has to stop, says McCready, who responded in a forceful and equally public manner last week by filing a lawsuit against her mother and the parent company of the National Enquirer newspaper in Palm Beach County circuit court.

The complaint alleges that a recent article in the paper, which quotes Inge liberally, is false, defamatory and has harmed McCready's professional and personal reputation. McCready seeks $50 million in damages, as well as an injunction that would bar Inge from making false statements of any type about McCready "to any other person or entity."

McCready's son currently lives with his grandmother and is allowed overnight visits with his father, a convicted felon who served a jail term in 2005 for assaulting McCready.

McCready acknowledges a past dependence on drugs and alcohol, but says that her rehabilitative path is well demonstrated and that "redemption for me is as close as it's ever been." She calls her mother's statements that question her parenting abilities and current mental state "deplorable and fraudulent," and says that the National Enquirer was negligent in not checking them for accuracy.

"The focus needs to be about the safety and well-being of my son and not about untruthful statements that have lent to unjust results," McCready states in her complaint.

Related Resource: New York Daily News, "Mindy McCready files suit against her mother and the National Enquirer" June 18, 2011

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