The redhead, who plays villainous vampire Victoria in the box-office smash and its upcoming sequel New Moon, was left "stunned" and "deeply hurt" when studio executives at Summit Entertainment announced that she was being replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard for the third film, Eclipse.
Producers claimed Lefevre failed to tell them in advance that she had signed up to star in independent movie Barney's Version and that shooting on the project would overlap with production on Eclipse.
Explaining their decision earlier this week, they said, "Ms. Lefevre took a role in the other film that places her in Europe during the required rehearsal time, and at least ten days of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse's principal photography. This period is essential for both rehearsal time with the cast, and for filming at key locations that are only available during the initial part of production."
Now the fallout is about to turn ugly -- Lefevre has called in her lawyers to secure the salary she was due to receive for the third installment of the Twilight films, citing breach of contract.
She alleges that her agreement with Summit Entertainment allows her to pursue small independent films while still being involved in the vampire franchise.
One source tells E! Online's Marc Malkin, "Rachelle's contract says she's allowed to do smaller projects like Barney's Version."
But studio bosses are claiming otherwise and insist Lefevre is owed nothing.
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