LEGALESE Kid Rock‘s ex manager, Stephen Hutton, is suing the Detroit hip hop man for $4 million. Hutton, who has worked with Kid Rock since 1994, claims that he was unjustly sacked a little over a week ago. He alleges that the artist violated his contract and failed to fully pay him. Hutton is suing for compensation for damages, plus a chunk of Kid’s future earnings. A statement issued by Hutton’s lawyers claims that the rocker was ”an unknown struggling artist” whose early albums received a ”lukewarm response” until the manager came along. Hutton helped Kid Rock ink his first deal with Atlantic records that led to his multiplatinum major label debut ”Devil Without a Cause.” Kid Rock’s current release, ”The History of Rock,” hit No. 2 in its first week on the charts and has since fallen to No. 9. (Atlantic Records has not responded to the suit.)
HOT TIX Don’t everyone squeal at once, now. Starting Saturday ‘N Sync is auctioning tickets via the Internet on Yahoo! Auctions. The highest bidder not only gets a set of four tickets to a show, he or she wins a meet and greet pass that allows the fan to hang with the boys before or after the concert. Only the excessively solvent need apply: Bids start at a cool $500. But hey, it’s for a good cause: Proceeds go to the Justin Timberlake Foundation and ‘N Sync’s Challenge for the Children Foundation.
SURVIVOR WATCH That little CBS game show about stranded castaways on a desert island, ”Survivor,” scored its highest ratings yet on Wednesday. Some 24.5 million people tuned in to watch the episode in which highly favored teacher Gretchen got the boot, according to Nielsen. The Eye network’s ratings are more than 10 times higher in the crucial adult category than they were a year ago. How long till Mike Wallace, the anchor of CBS’ former No. 1 show, ”60 Minutes,” sacks producers and hires a bevy of sweaty competitive women in bikinis?
REEL DEALS Aussie hunk Russell Crowe may take a stab at directing his first pic. He is reportedly in talks to helm ”A Lesson in Miracles,” a film about a Jesuit priest in a crisis of faith who is sent to investigate purported miracles. If the deal goes through, the actor would likely star in the film as well. (Call it ”Mr. ‘Insider’ Goes to Church.”)… Jerry Bruckheimer has renewed and increased his deal with Walt Disney Co. for another three years. The ”Gone in 60 Seconds”/”Armageddon” man is the Mouse House’s most profitable producer.
CASTING Da Brat will join Mariah Carey in the upcoming feature ”All that Glitters.” The pop stars will play sisters in the flick, which is loosely based on Carey’s life. They better work fast, because Da Brat is also expected to appear in court next month to face assault charges stemming from an altercation the rapper got into with a nightclub patron in March. If convicted, the artist faces up to 20 years in the slammer.
OH NO Yoko Ono filed a lawsuit in Japan, demanding that a Tokyo subway operator stop selling tickets showing a portrait of her late husband John Lennon. She says the reproductions violate her copyright on secondary use of the ex Beatle’s portrait. The subways stopped selling the passes after learning of the dispute, according to the Kyoto news agency. Good thing Jesus never got married.
DR. RATINGS A judge ordered the Michigan Department of Corrections to allow ABC’s ”20/20” to interview Jack ”Dr. Death” Kevorkian in his jail cell. The suicide doc, who is serving 10 to 25 years for second degree murder, will be interviewed by Barbara Walters.
IMMIGRATION Yusuf Islam, the Muslim once known as Cat Stevens was denied entry to Israel just hours after arriving, because he allegedly gave money to a militant Islamic group. Officials say that an internal intelligence agency had ordered him barred from the country. Come on everybody — ride on the fatwa train!
TV NEWS Two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest is joining the cast of NBC’s ”Law & Order” this season. The Woody Allen fave (”Hannah and Her Sisters,” ”Bullets Over Broadway”) will play a new district attorney on the show.
BOOKS Eminem‘s ex bodyguard is shopping a tell-all book about the rapper, according to the New York Post. The book will reportedly detail the Slim Shady’s sexcapades with groupies, his alleged drug abuse, his uncontrolled temper, and supposed involvement with a 15 year old girl. Em’s publicist denies that the rapper had sexual relations with a minor, but he didn’t comment on his other rumored affairs.
OBIT The creator of the up-tempo calypso fusion soca, Ras Shorty I, died of bone cancer in a friend’s home in Trinidad. Shorty, whose work is said to have embodied the true soul of calypso, was 59.