HOUSTON (AP) _ A woman convicted last year of trying to hire a hitman to kill the mother of her daughter's cheerleading rival is suing over another murder-for-hire story about her.

Wanda Holloway filed the $3 million defamation lawsuit Tuesday in state District Court, alleging that a second family unrelated to the criminal case against her made up a similar story and aired it on national television. The Houston Post and talk show host Maury Povich also were named as defendants.

Mrs. Holloway, of Channelview, was convicted Sept. 3, 1991, of trying to hire a hitman to kill Verna Heath, whose daughter Amber was competing with Mrs. Holloway's daughter, Shanna Harper, for a spot on the high school cheerleading squad. Prosecutors said she plotted the murder in the hope that Amber would be so upset she would drop out of cheerleader competition.

Mrs. Holloway was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but won a new trial because one of the jurors was under indictment on drug charges.

The lawsuit alleges that a teen-ager, Nancee Carter, said on the Sept. 24, 1991, Povich show that Mrs. Holloway wanted her and her mother killed because of a drum major rivalry beween Nancee and Holloway's 19-year-old son, Anthony Shane Harper. The two teen-agers were former classmates. The Post ran a story the day of the broadcast mentioning the girl's claims.

''Anything we said was verified by the district attorney's office,'' Nancee's mother, Edith Carter, said Tuesday.

Post editor Gerald Garcia said Wednesday that he had no comment on the lawsuit.

Linda Lipman, spokeswoman for ''The Maury Povich show,'' said she was unaware of the lawsuit and declined further comment.

Meanwhile, a $1 million defamation lawsuit was filed against talk show host Phil Donahue, People magazine and Tony Harper, Mrs. Holloway's ex-husband. That lawsuit was filed by Gina Bradley of Highlands and her daughter, Nicole Slankard, who say a photo in the magazine and on Donahue's television show misidentified Nicole as Amber Heath.