Scandal-bitten country starlet LeAnn Rimes is speaking out about her affair with Northern Lights co-star Eddie Cibrian as she gears up for a possible legal battle with her lover’s estranged wife.

The singer/actress has remained silent since she was caught sleeping with the CSI: Miami hunk on the set of their Lifetime Original Movie last spring, while she was still married to dancer Dean Sheremet. LeAnn admits she and Sheremet tried to work out their differences but it became “very apparent it wasn’t a marriage that fulfilled either one of us.” Rimes and Sheremet filed for divorce shortly afterwards, and Cibrian also split from his wife of eight years, Brandi Glanville, so the stars could be together. Now the “Holiday In Your Heart” star has stepped forward to apologize for the affair — but she doesn’t regret ending up with Cibrian.

“I take responsibility for everything I’ve done. I hate that people got hurt. But I don’t regret the outcome. It was very emotionally driven. I never once thought what I was doing was OK. I was out of balance. My marriage was out of balance. There was something missing,” LeAnn remarks in the June 14 issue of PEOPLE. “The hardest thing to hear is someone call either of us a home wrecker because we didn’t walk into a perfectly happy marriage and ruin it. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know it holds Eddie. I’m really happy. I’ve moved on, and I hope there can be some forgiveness and acceptance.”

Wow, it’s amazing what the ego does to protect itself!

Last week, Rimes slammed Glanville with a gag order, demanding that the former model stop making disparaging comments about Rimes and Cibrian to the press.



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