HITCHING POST It’s been a good couple of weeks for LeAnn Rimes. The 19-year-old got to sing at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, she settled her legal disputes with her father, and she got married to 21-year-old dancer Dean Sheremet. The wedding was held on Saturday at Perkins Chapel in Dallas. The bride wore a strapless white gown. Walking her down the aisle was her father, Wilbur Rimes, whom she had sued two years ago for allegedly cheating her out of $7 million. The elder Rimes had filed a countersuit, accusing his daughter of being a ”spoiled brat.” But both father and daughter confirmed this week that their disputes had been settled, though terms were not disclosed.
After her three-year relationship with actor Andrew Keegan ended, the ”Blue” singer and Sheremet met last May at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Nashville and got engaged in December. In January, during a trip to Aspen, she presented him with an unusual gift: a snowboard decorated with her lifesize likeness. Her new album is due out later this year.
REEL DEALS Michael Jackson now wants to be the King of Celluloid. He’s announced a new movie imprint, called Neverland Pictures, of course, seeded with a $15 million investment in producer Mark Damon’s MDP Worldwide Entertainment. ”I have a lot to express in film,” Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter. ”I’ll be doing the whole thing, behind and in front [of the camera]. I love it.”
This isn’t the first time that the star of ”The Wiz” has tried to become a movie producer. As part of his 1991 deal with Sony Music, he was promised $5 million to star in a Sony Pictures musical based on his own idea, with an option for future movies, and he was given production offices on the Sony studio lot. The musical never happened, and his production company, Nation Films, folded two years later. But in going the indie route, Jackson is already able to oversee the releases of three already existing projects. ”The United States of Leland” began shooting this month, with Don Cheadle, Chris Klein, and Ryan Gosling. Also in the works are ”The Extremists,” an extreme-sports movie, and ”Fear.com,” a cyber-thriller. Jackson hopes Neverland can produce three to four movies a year, with budgets under $40 million, as well as TV programming and animation.
One thing Jackson won’t be doing is performing at tomorrow’s . This after the bitter battle being waged over him between Grammy chief Michael Greene and honcho Dick Clark. Clark sued Greene over the Grammy exclusivity practices that, Clark alleged, unfairly bars performers from the February Grammy telecast on CBS if they plan to appear (as Jackson did) on Clark’s January ABC telecast. Clark cried unfair competition, while Greene said the exclusivity policy was standard awards-show practice. In the end, Jackson won’t have performed on either show. (He appeared on the AMAs but didn’t sing, in what appeared to be a bid to remain eligible for a Grammy performing slot.) Hey, at least Janet Jackson will be on the Grammys, if only as a presenter….
Robert Downey Jr. has landed his first post-rehab movie role. He’s starring in ”The Singing Detective,” based on Dennis Potter’s legendary BBC miniseries about a bedridden writer whose delirious hallucinations come in musical, 1940s detective movie form. Producing the movie is Downey’s ”Air America” pal, Mel Gibson. Shooting begins April 23, with Keith Gordon (”Waking the Dead,” ”Mother Night”) behind the camera….