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LL Cool J is sued for $2 mil

Plus, the Dixie Chicks go diamond, ”Big Brother” beats the Olympics, Drew Barrymore will play ”Barbarella,” and more

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LL Cool J
LL Cool J: John Spellman/Retna

LEGALESE LL Cool J may not be celebrating the windfall from his first No. 1 debut ”Greatest of All Time” for long. Promoter Jerry L. Costs believes some of those winnings belong to him. The rapper is due in court this week to face a $2 million lawsuit filed by Costs, according to Launch. The tour boss claims that LL ditched a 1999 European festival without giving him proper notification. Costs says the rapper failed to show at dates in England and the Netherlands in order to shoot the shark thriller ”Deep Blue Sea.” ”He put up a phony excuse at first, and then he admitted what happened,” Costs told Launch. ”He wants to blame it on his agent and his manager, and he fired them both.” LL’s label, Def Jam, declined to comment on the disagreement and his attorneys couldn’t be reached at press time. We can see why he might want to blame someone else for ”Deep Blue Sea.”

MUSIC NEWS The Dixie Chicks join Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks, and Shania Twain as the only country acts to be certified diamond. Their 1998 major label debut ”Wide Open Spaces” surpassed the 10 million mark this week, according to the Recording Industry Association of America…. Meanwhile, another hot Southern belle, LeAnn Rimes, has returned to the stage. The 18 year old singer canceled 30 gigs last summer because she was suffering from tonsilitis and mononucleosis…. Some teens tour, others construct a strategy. Though 98 Degrees’ ”Revelation” is due this week in stores (and the anticipatory squeals can already be heard throughout the country), the group’s lead singer Nick Lachey says they won’t be touring until 2001. ”We’re going to take the fall and really concentrate on international [promotion], spend a little time in Asia and Europe,” the heartthrob tells Wall of Sound. ”We really feel like this is our opportunity to make this a worldwide event.” A young Napoleon plans his first global campaign.

TV NEWS Even while we scorned ”Big Brother,” it was slowly racking up enough interested adult viewers to tromp NBC’s Olympic coverage on Friday night. The final episode — in which 21 year old Eddie McGee claimed the $500,000 grand prize — beat NBC’s Sydney coverage by 58 percent in the key category of adults age 18 to 34. While the Peacock surpassed the Eye in total viewers (13.4 million to 10.5 million), young adults are the group once stodgy CBS is most interested in wooing. The house’s youngest inhabitant said he was ”awestruck” by the news of his victory. ”I did not expect to win,” he said. CBS might have said the same thing.

RESOLVED A federal judge cleared Clint Eastwood Friday in the lawsuit filed by a disabled woman who claimed that the actor director’s Carmel, Calif., hotel was not properly equipped for wheelchairs. ”I think there were too many lies told in court, and I think the jury could see through that,” Eastwood told the Associated Press. ”Once you tell a lie and it gets out of control, it’s like a runaway train.” Dirty Harry also shook hands with jurors upon hearing the verdict, and signed a few autographs. Meanwhile, his historic hotel is no doubt sifting through more reservation requests than ever.

CASTING Hot off the upcoming ”Charlie’s Angels,” Drew Barrymore is attached to another bimbo remake. She’ll slip into a snug space suit to take the lead in ”Barbarella,” according to Empire…. ”Almost Famous”’s Billy Crudup has finally earned his male lead stripes. He’ll star opposite Cate Blanchett in the $20 million budgeted drama ”Charlotte Gray,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.