"[Paula Cook] has threatened via her lawyers to me to sue Fantasia," the singer's lawyer, Gena Morris, tells PEOPLE exclusively about the North Carolina woman who accuses Barrino of breaking up her marriage.
The law, which exists in seven states and allows a party to sue a "home wrecker" for alienation of affection and criminal conversation, is "a comical irony," says Morris, "because they arise out of laws when women were property of men."
The merit of the potential lawsuit, however, relies on when the couple separated. According to the American Idol winner's manager, Antwaun Cook told Barrino he split with his wife in summer 2009, while Paula, in a court filing, has contested it was June 16, 2010.
In Oct., 2009, the law changed so that if a relationship occured after a couple got separated, "there is no cause of action for alienation," according to Morris.
Sex Tape?As for the wife's claim that Barrino and her husband made a sex tape, Morris declines to comment on any allegations because "it would be imprudent … presumably [Fantasia] could be deposed in that lawsuit and she could answer all those questions."
Asked if Cook and Barrino, who her manager said "dated off and on for 11 months," were still a couple, Morris says "no comment."
The lawyer adds, "I cannot comment on the facts of the case given the pending and threatened litigation."
For now, the singer is still recovering from an overdose of aspirin and a sleep aid but hopes she'll be able to promote her third album, Back to Me, set to be released Aug. 24.
"She wasn't as effervescent and peppy as she normally is but she has a lot on her mind," says Morris, who saw Barrino, 26, on Thursday. "She is still physically and emotionally drained but when she gets knocked down, she gets up pretty quick and she is on the same track to do that again."
Reporting by LIZ McNEIL