Celebrity news for the week of January 30, 1998

EXITS Carsey-Werner has stopped production indefinitely on ABC’s Grace Under Fire so that star Brett Butler, 39, “may have time to resolve some personal issues,” according to a statement from the company. Sources close to the show say the suspension was precipitated when Butler unleashed an expletive-laced tirade against executive producer Tom Straw that culminated in her throwing a soft drink at him in front of a stunned crew and studio audience. Carsey-Werner won’t comment on whether or not Butler has entered a drug rehab center. (The show was shut down in August when Butler entered rehab for a dependency on painkillers.) Butler’s spokeswoman has no comment.

ARRESTED In a gruesome case of life imitating art, three Lynwood, Calif., teenagers were arrested for the Jan. 13 stabbing murder of Gina Castillo, 34. Two of the accused, Castillo’s 16-year-old son and 14-year-old nephew, told detectives they got the idea for the crime from watching the Scream movies. Castillo’s 17-year-old nephew was also arrested the next day. (The names of the suspects, all minors, were not released.) In a statement, Dimension Films, Scream‘s studio, expressed condolences and confidence that police would take “all appropriate actions.”

LAWSUITS The 17-year working relationship between Garry Shandling, 48, and his manager, Brad Grey, 40, has turned into a bitter $100 million lawsuit. In court papers filed Jan. 15 in L.A., the star of HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show claims that Grey, of Brillstein-Grey Enterprises, entered into a conflict of interest by using his position as the comedian’s manager to cut a series of lucrative TV-production deals. Shandling also claims that he was Grey’s principal client and thus entitled to $100 million of Grey’s assumed $200 million profits. “I’m saddened that the termination of our management relationship has resulted in this madness,” said Grey.

RECOVERING James Brown, 64, following treatment for an addiction to painkillers in a hospital near his Beech Island, S.C., home. According to Brown’s agent, the singer became dependent on painkillers after a recent back injury.

DEATHS Rockabilly great Carl Perkins, 65, of stroke complications, Jan. 19….Blues legend Junior Wells, 63, of lymphoma, Jan. 15.