R+B star Alicia Keys' plans to turn her diary entries into a book have sparked a bitter battle in the publishing world.

Two literary agents are vying for the right to represent the FALLIN' singer's publishing contract, with one claiming the deal has already been made.

Keys first made the rounds to shop her book with literary agent NOAH LUKEMAN, who took a series of meetings with New York publishers earlier this year (04) and then conducted an auction, with BANTAM reportedly coming out on top with a bid of $1.15 million (GBP605,263).

But in an unusual move, a second agent, DAVID VIGLIANO, started telling publishers that he represented the rights to the singer's journal. He's since been conducting his own set of publisher meetings, as if the book had never been sold.

Lukeman says, "The situation is simple. I was fully authorised by Alicia's management company to represent this book. I did so, and brought them a substantial offer... They suddenly, without cause, decided not to honour their commitment to me. Apparently, they are now engaging someone else to be the agent, presumably to try to find more money."

Vigliano adds, "I'm really not interested in discussing Noah Lukeman or his ideas about whether he was representing Alicia."

02/03/2004 17:43