Garth Brooks' former assistant is suing the country superstar for hundreds of thousands of dollars, saying Brooks is a "paranoid, angry, deceitful and vindictive man who will turn against those closest to him on a dime," according to a lawsuit obtained by TVGuide.com.
Lisa Sanderson is seeking $425,000 from her former boss in unpaid bonus and salary, plus punitive damages. Sanderson worked for Brooks for nearly 20 years and considered him a "treasured family member," according to the lawsuit, but now claims the singer "manipulated" her and considers herself a victim of "one of Brooks' paranoid vendettas."
Sanderson, a TV producer, claims that Brooks hired her to forge a career in television and movies, but was "his own worst enemy" and killed several opportunities due to unreasonable demands, the lawsuit states. Among those opportunities were a part as a sniper in Saving Private Ryan, which Sanderson claims Brooks turned down because he didn't want to "share the limelight" with other stars, and a role as a villain in Twister, which Brooks allegedly rejected because he felt the part would be outshined by the tornado in the film, according to Sanderson.
Sanderson also accuses Brooks of tax fraud. "Brooks is willing to lie to avoid paying his debts, and he revels in using his vast wealth and influence to crush anyone who Brooks believes is standing in the way of him getting what he wants," according to Sanderson.
A spokesperson for Red Strokes Entertainment Inc., which represent Brooks, released the following statement: "Mr. Brooks, of course, denies everything in the lawsuit filed today by Lisa Sanderson. Mr. Brooks and Red Stokes Entertainment Inc. will continue to take the necessary steps toward resolving this matter through the legal system."