Country star Merle Haggard is suing an environmental awareness group - accusing the organisation of illegally using his name and image to solicit money.
The singer/songwriter filed a suit on Thursday (08Jan08) against Nashville, Tennessee environment advocates the Green Train, claiming the group forged his signature and exaggerated his involvement in their workings to raise funds.
In the suit, Haggard's legal team states any continued association with the Green Train could harm his reputation. He is seeking unspecified damages from the group and its founder, Robert K. Wolf.
According to legal documents, Haggard donated $20,000 (GBP15,000) to the group, as well as agreeing to attend a concert and train tour the organisation has planned for April (09).
But the star alleges the Green Train misused details of his personal involvement in a bid to drum up more money and support.
It also claims the group forged letters with his signature and sent them to fellow country stars, including Dolly Parton, Jewel, Vince Gill and Amy Grant.
The lawsuit states, "By using Mr. Haggard's name and other aspects of Mr. Haggard's identity to promote the Green Train project under these circumstances, defendants create the false impression that the project has been operated in a credible, ethical and legal fashion, when in fact that is not the case."