By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 04, 2002 02:23 PM

SUED: Shock rocker Marilyn Manson (real name: Brian Warner), 33, has been charged with wrongful death by the mother of 28-year-old Jennifer Syme, who alleges that the musician gave her daughter drugs before she was involved in a fatal car accident last April, reports the Associated Press. The mother, Maria St. John, is seeking unspecified damages and attorney fees in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in L.A. Superior Court . . . ACCUSED: At R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck’s air-rage trial, currently taking place in London, prosecutor David Bate said Buck, 45, “has a powerful motive to change his story because he realizes it will reflect badly upon him and the group of which he is so justifiably proud,” reports the AP. Buck, who denies charges of assault, intoxication and damaging British Airways dishes, claims that he suffered a bad reaction to the combination of a sleeping pill and red wine and doesn’t remember his alleged actions, the AP reports . . . COMMITTED: John Michael Hughes of Navarre, Fla., 30, who claimed to be married to Meg Ryan, was committed to a mental hospital after a closed-door hearing in Alabama. “Hughes has been diagnosed as suffering a form of mental illness,” Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis wrote in an order Tuesday, reports the AP . . . HIRED: Veteran talk-show host Phil Donahue, 66, will go to work on MSNBC and compete with the Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly as MSNBC attempts to strengthen its position in the cable news chattering war, reports the AP. Donahue will launch a topical talk show at 8 p.m. on weeknights sometime this summer, MSNBC said Wednesday . . . NAMED: TV and film comedian Bob Newhart, 72, has been awarded the fifth annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the Kennedy Center, reports the AP. Previous winners of the award are Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner and Whoopi Goldberg . . . HONORED: “Laugh-In” hosts Dick Martin, 80, and the late Dan Rowan (who died in 1987 at the age of 65) received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Tuesday, reports the AP. Cheering on Martin were “Laugh-In” vets Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Gary Owens and Jo Anne Worley, as well as friends and fellow comics Don Rickles, Dick Van Dyke and Mark Twain awardee Bob Newhart . . . FILED: Former “All My Children” hunk Michael Nader, 57, has sued ABC for nearly $34 million, claiming that in February 2001 the network fired him from the daytime soap (on which he played Hungarian Count Dimitri Marick) and stopped him from working elsewhere when he entered drug rehab, reports Reuters. A spokeswoman for “AMC” declined comment, as she had not seen the legal papers . . . SET: The 45th annual Grammy Awards will be held on Feb. 23, 2003, in New York (rather than L.A., where they have been for the past four years), it was announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Michael Greene, president and CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, on Wednesday, reports The New York Times. The move is seen as a way of helping the embattled city, whose former mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, had a reportedly contentious relationship with Greene.