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April 2002

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Rockstarbaby Wars 06/04/2002

with Paula Froelich and Chris Wilson

BON Jovi drummer Tico Torres is trying to oust the designer of his clothing line for kids, Rock Star Baby, now that it's turning a profit.

In 2000, Torres, formerly married to supermodel Eva Herzigova, started the luxury children's wear company with designer Cinzia Spalletti, who also launched Halston's baby line and worked for Donatella Versace and Giorgio Armani.

Their ad campaign features the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler holding well-turned-out tots. Last year, they staged a fashion show at the Puck Building featuring Mick Jagger's sexy model daughter Elizabeth and hot-blooded hotel heiress Nicky Hilton.

Since then, the line has caught on with stores like Nordstrom, Saks, Henri Bendel and Fred Segal. Rock Star Baby now makes healthy profits. All of a sudden, Torres has decided he no longer needs Spalletti and is trying to drum her out of the business.

Spalletti alleges Torres is trying to replace her with his hot new 24-year-old Venezuelan model wife, Malejandra, who barely speaks English and has never had a real job in her life.

Earlier this month, Torres, with Malejandra in tow, entered their Elizabeth Street store/studio and yelled at the employees, "I own this company. Everyone eats from my plate. And if you want to continue working here you have to kiss my a- -and my wife's a- - too," Spalletti says.

After she complained, Torres said he was shutting the company down. On Monday, things came to a head when Torres had some henchmen change the locks on the door.

Spalletti went around the corner to her lawyer Robert Hantman's office, who called police. The cops made Torres' hirelings change the locks back and told them they could not lawfully bar Spalletti from entering.

Yesterday, Spalletti sued Torres in Manhattan Supreme Court, alleging he has "attempted to use his wealth, power and celebrity status to oust [me] by sheer intimidation and force." She maintains she did all the work and came up with all the designs while Torres merely put some money into the business and promoted it.

Torres' lawyer, Dorothy Weber, was in court yesterday and could not be reached. His rep at Island Records did not have a comment.

"I'm shocked," Spalletti told PAGE SIX's Jared Paul Stern. "What is going on is so totally unfair. I worked my butt off. I think the way he's acting is really pathetic."

"Even rock stars have to pay the price for trying to bully a young lady into the street," Hantman says. "The company is her whole life and we hope for a fair resolution."

(Found on an online news group.)