LEGALESE Guess what? It’s National Celebrity Related Lawsuit Week! In honor of this auspicious occasion — which only arrives about four times a month — we bring you Christina Aguilera and Don Henley. Aguilera has filed a fraud and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against her ex manager Steven Kurtz. According to Allstar, the former Mouseketeer alleges that Kurtz — who had managed the teen queen’s career since she was 17 — exacted ”improper, undue, and inappropriate influence over [Aguilera’s] professional activities,” and induced her to sign an agreement in 1999 that made Kurtz her exclusive manager. (Aguilera recently broke with Kurtz and signed on with a new manager, Irving Azoff.) The main point of contention is a 20 percent commission on income the manager was to have earned from the pop star. The lawsuit states that Kurtz did not place the singer’s ”interests above his own; did not act fairly and honestly in protecting [her] rights and interests; did not advise [Aguilera] independently of his own interests” among other things. Kurtz’s lawyers could not be reached for comment at press time…. Don Henley, meanwhile, has a more creative lawsuit on his hands: A fan complains that the ex Eagle hit her on the forehead with a maraca during a concert. According to the Associated Press, the Henley lover, Mary Ann Haley, 43, alleges that the singer smacked her with the percussive implement when she attempted to take a photo of him during his Oct. 4 Little Rock, Ark., performance. Haley’s suit contends that the maraca (usually such a benign instrument) caused ”highly unpleasant mental reactions, including fright, horror, disappointment, chagrin, worry, disgrace, embarrassment, indignity, ridicule, shame, humiliation, anger, and outrage.” Henley’s lawyers were not available for comment. Does this mean we get to sue our parents for forcing us to attend junior high school?
WEB NEWS Despite the abundance of Madonnas born each day in many Christian countries throughout the world, the World Intellectual Property Organization has decided that only one of them — Madonna Ciccone — deserves the right to own http://www.madonna.com. The three member panel ruled that the site, previously owned by up and coming New Jersey pornographer Dan Parisi, ”has been registered and used in bad faith.” Presumably they consulted the Pope to find out whether the pop star uses the name in good faith.
NIXED Fans of ”Xena: The Warrior Princess” may be distraught to learn that the syndicated show will end its run in 2001, after six seasons. ”Xena” distribution prez, Steve Rosenberg, told Variety that one reason for the cancellation is a lack of prime time slots available for the show and that there are no plans for a ”Xena” spin-off. But weep not! Rosenberg also says he’s intent on using the program’s star Lucy Lawless in future projects. We imagine it won’t be long till she runs for the office of Minnesota governor.
DEATH A man fell to his death at an AC/DC concert in Belgium last weekend. Isidoor Theunissen, 38, climbed on top of his chair to dance and tumbled 23 feet to a concrete floor below during the final song of the show, according to Britain’s New Musical Express. A spokesperson for the venue, Ghent’s Flanders Expo Centre, said it was their first fatality in 14 years of concert hosting. AC/DC apparently weren’t notified of Theunissen’s death until several hours after the show. Their management declined to comment.
CASTING ”Bamboozled”’s Jada Pinkett Smith is in negotiations to star in the next two installments of ”The Matrix.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, the films are set to begin production in March, though their story lines remain under tight wraps. This is no doubt because they don’t want us to know that Keanu Reeves‘ character gets away in the end.
CAPITULATION Just in time for the debut of her flick ”Bedazzled” (Oct. 20), Elizabeth Hurley has issued a formal apology to the Screen Actors Guild for shooting a nonunion commercial during the strike. The mea culpa comes in the form of a ”significant” financial contribution to the strike relief fund. ”She is making the contribution happily and freely to support the union,” her attorney Loren Plotkin told Variety. Of course, he didn’t mention that ”Bedazzled” ads have been defaced with the word ”scab” throughout Los Angeles. Hurley joins Harrison Ford, Helen Hunt, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Spacey, and Bruce Willis in donating large sums to the striking actors. ”She in no way intended to cross the picket line,” her rep added. He could have just said that she was prepping for her role as the devil.