6 February 2003 (WENN)
Former Golden Girls actress Rue McClanahan is at the center of a legal wrangle - after being sued for $45 million for alleged fraud. Her ex-boyfriend Dirk Summers is suing her in relation to an aborted project in 1997, where McClanahan allegedly backed out of a deal to open a luxury spa in San Diego because he wouldn't marry her. Summers, 71 has also threatened to show explicit love letters at the trial which will commence on 21 February - the actress's 69th birthday. He claims that the couple were "involved in an intimate, romantic relationship for over 16 years" and alleges that they began raising money for the Elan Vital spa in the mid-1990s where after he secured financial backing from a major hotel corporation in June 1997, she demanded that they marry. McClanahan denies the claims and counter-alleges that Summers took $180,000 from her and never paid it back.