Director Tim Burton's Ex Sues Him for Fraud

Director Tim Burton's Ex Sues Him for Fraud
Marie and Burton in 2001
Jim Spellman/WireImage

12/28/2006 AT 09:10 AM EST

Director Tim Burton has been sued for fraud by his former lover, Lisa Marie, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

In a suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Marie, who describes herself as an actress, model, artist, writer and photographer, claims that Burton owes her palimony from their 10-year relationship, and that after their split she'd settled for a lesser amount under false pretenses. TMZ.com was first to report the suit.

She says she and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory director, 48, began dating beginning around December 1991, and that when they began living together they agreed to combine their earnings, with Marie serving as Burton's personal manager. She also says Burton promised to support her for the rest of her life.

In August 2001, Burton abruptly ended their relationship, news that the court papers call "totally unexpected" and which made Marie "extremely depressed and emotionally unstable for months thereafter."

Around the same time, Burton began dating actress Helena Bonham Carter, 40, whom he met while directing her in 2001's Planet of the Apes. They now have a son together, Billy-Ray Burton, 3.

Marie claims that after Burton left her, his associates, claiming they were acting on her behalf, conspired with Burton to fraudulently convince her that she had little chance of winning a palimony claim. Burton even held secret talks with one of her close friends, a woman named Cherry Vanilla, in a plot to convince Marie to settle.

As a result, she accepted a settlement of their Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City and a Jaguar. She now wants to rescind the settlement agreement and is seeking unspecified damages.

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