Lawyers representing Steven Tyler have contacted Aerosmith's manager threatening legal action unless the band halts auditions for a replacement singer.
Guitarist Joe Perry recently revealed the musicians are looking to replace the rocker while he takes a hiatus to recover from a recent stint in rehab - insisting they want to continue with plans for a new tour and album without the frontman.
Several stars have been linked to the role, including Lenny Kravitz and Billy Idol, but now an attorney representing Tyler has come forward in a bid to protect his client's place in the group.
In a letter to Aerosmith manager Howard Kaufman, Tyler's Los Angeles-based lawyer Skip Miller urges the band to "immediately cease and desist from engaging in acts and conduct to the harm and detriment of your own client, Aerosmith, and our client who is one of its members."
The note, obtained by Billboard.com, also states that "we reserve all of our legal rights and remedies in this matter, including, without limitation, pursuing legal action for damages and other appropriate relief."
In a subsequent interview with the website, Miller insists Tyler does not want to take legal action against his bandmates - he just wants to maintain his place in the group.
Miller says, "Steven Tyler does not want lawsuits. We do not want to go in that direction. The direction we want is Aerosmith, with Steven Tyler, touring in Europe, touring Latin America, releasing a new album... This is the direction it's all intended to go. It's just amazing to me current management would be taking any other position."
Miller has demanded a meeting of Aerosmith's "shareholders" on 9 February (10) to discuss the band's future.