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One Direction fans make death threats to US band

AN American boy band has received death threats after suing One Direction for allegedly using their name.

Californian band One Direction claim that fans of the X Factor heartthrobs have inundated them with threatening messages since their lawsuit became public.

The American five-piece band, fronted by Sean O'Leary, is suing Simon Cowell's record label Syco Entertainment, and Sony Music for $1m (¤0.7m).

The controversy comes just weeks after fans of another Irish-British boyband, The Wanted, sent death threats to a Herald reviewer who was unimpressed by their performance at a Dublin show.

Now followers of Irish teen Niall Horan and his bandmates have reacted violently to the lawsuit.

"There has been so much hate mail, like people threatening to cut our b***s off," said Sean of 1D (USA).

"The one that stands out for me is a girl saying she wanted to kill my father [band manager Dan]."

Sean made the comments as he attended a meeting with his band's lawyer, Peter Ross and bandmate Scott Nagareda (18) in Los Angeles.

He said that 1D fans were "confused", and that while he had "huge respect" for One Direction (UK), his music was better.

Less than a month ago The Wanted, which includes Dublin singer Siva Kaneswaran, issued a statement insisting that they would never "condone any threats of violence or aggression" after their supporters sent intimidating messages to Herald reviewer Chris Wasser.

Chris' review of The Wanted's performance at The O2 had prompted the onslaught of abusive comments online.

"Some of them tweeted disgusting insults about my appearance based on my Twitter profile picture," he told the Herald. "It doesn't matter that I gave these kids' favourite band a bad review -- some of them actually said that they'd kill me."

It is expected that One Direction will distance themselves from extreme fans as The Wanted did.