Carey: Keibun Mivamoto/Retna
Lori Reese
September 19, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

LEGALESE Veteran songwriters Seth Swirsky and Warryn Campbell filed a lawsuit Friday against Mariah Carey for copyright infringement. The two claim Carey’s 1999 hit ”Thank God I Found You,” from the album ”Rainbow,” borrows heavily from their tune ”One of Those Love Songs,” which was recorded by Xscape in 1998. Mariah, the label, and the producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are named in the suit. In response, Mariah’s publicist Cindi Berger tells ”Several musicologists have stated that there is no copyright infringement. Mariah, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Sony did not copy the song.”

SPLIT Melissa Etheridge and her girlfriend, director Julie Cypher, are ending their relationship after 12 years. ”With the utmost love and respect for one another, we have decided to separate,” the couple said in a statement released today by the singer’s label, Island Records. The couple have two small children — conceived through artificial insemination — a girl, 3, and a boy, 1. In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, the pair revealed that the children’s biological father is rocker David Crosby. Etheridge’s publicist said the two don’t wish to discuss custody issues or other details about the breakup.

CHILD CUSTODY Shortly after the death of British TV presenter Paula Yates, the sister of deceased INXS frontman Michael Hutchence has begun legal proceedings for custody of their orphaned daughter. The 4 year old, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, is being cared for now by Yates’ ex Bob Geldof. In 1998, Hutchence’s father, Kell, tried unsuccessfully to gain custody of his granddaughter. ”Questions have been raised about Tiger’s future, and all I can is that she is in good hands at present,” he told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

CROSSOVER Nelly‘s not just a chart topping rapper, he’s a chart topping rapper with cross branding savvy! According to the Hollywood Reporter, the St. Louis musician will soon make his feature debut in the thriller ”Snipes,” which is set to begin filming Oct. 2. RuffNation Films, an arm of the hip hop leviathan RuffWorld Entertainment, will produce. Guess which part Nelly will play? A hip hop star.

NIXED MTV has lost its ”Loveline.” After four years, the music network has decided not to renew the late night advice show, according to Daily Variety. As yet, no one knows why. Though the program’s ratings were never high, they have not suffered a significant decline in the last year. ”We were thrown for a loop by the cancellation,” producer Scott Stone told Variety. Stone says he may be pitching the show as a first-run syndicate for fall 2001. Better hope for that writers’ strike.

HONORED Richard Hatch‘s hometown of Middletown, R.I., has named a day after him. The city proclaimed Sept. 18, 2000, Honorary Richard Hatch Day and held a ceremony celebrating his Machiavellian guile. Next, he should start a religion.

TV NEWS The major networks are investing in more cable wannabe programming. Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Mamet (”Glengarry Glen Ross”) is developing a series for CBS with TV vets writer/ producer Tom Fontana (”Oz”) and director Rod Holcolm (”ER”). According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show, tentatively titled ”Bradley,” will center on a world weary city cop who returns to his hometown…. Author James Ellroy (”L.A. Confidential”) has signed on to exec produce an ABC TV movie. The small screen flick will be based on the affair between Lana Turner and mobster Johnny Stompanato, according to Variety.

AWARD NOMINATIONS The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its list of new nominees for the year. Paul Simon and Michael Jackson (both of whom have already earned a place in the Hall for their group work) are the top names on the list. Australian badasses AC/DC, art rocker Patti Smith, and cult faves the New York Dolls are also among the new nominees. Lou Reed, Queen, Aerosmith, and Black Sabbath are all contending for the crown for a second time.

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