Ex-Employees Sue Lorrie Morgan For Ruining Their Credit

Lorrie Morgan ’s former tour manager, personal manager and personal assistant (who is also Morgan’s sister) have sued the country star, charging she ruined their credit by failing to pay off business-related credit cards erroneously issued in their names. SunTrust Bank, through which the Visa credit cards were secured, is also named as a defendant in the two separate suits filed Wednesday (May 15) in the Chancery Court for Davidson County in Nashville. Morgan’s company, Lorrie Morgan Entertainment, is a defendant as well. The plaintiffs are asking for a total of $1 million in punitive damages alone.

John Payne, the ex-tour manager, and husband-and-wife plaintiffs Billy Michael Chamberlain and Bethany Morgan Chamberlain all tell the same story. (Billy Chamberlain was Morgan’s personal manager; Bethany, her personal assistant.) In applying for Visa cards with which to conduct the business of Lorrie Morgan Entertainment, SunTrust Bank also submitted the names and the Social Security numbers of the plaintiffs, thereby making them parties to the business debts incurred. They all maintain that SunTrust did so without their authorization.

The jobs of all three plaintiffs were terminated in December 1999. Even after they left Morgan, the suit says, her company continued to make the credit card payments until December 2001. The totals left owed were $12,100 on Payne’s card, $15,703.97 on Billy Chamberlain’s and $18,681.42 on Bethany Chamberlain’s.

Payne says he became aware of the blot on his personal credit when he sought to refinance a piece of property in March. In addition to their damaged credit standing, the plaintiffs also say they have suffered “severe emotional distress.” They all ask that Morgan clear their credit and that they be awarded compensatory and punitive damages. Payne is asking for $500,000 punitive, and the others are seeking $250,000 each.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.