Original American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini has decided to part ways with BENNY MEDINA - because the manager was more focused on taking care of Mariah Carey's needs.

Guarini, who has struggled to stay in the spotlight since losing out to Kelly Clarkson in 2002's first season of the talent contest, had been working with Medina, former manager of Jennifer Lopez, but later decided it was better to part ways.

He says, "Originally Benny and I had tried a bit of a tentative working relationship, but at the end of day it didn't work out.

"He had his priorities, and he's been focusing a lot on Mariah.

"It was one of those mutual things were it was like, 'Look, this isn't quite the right fit,' but we parted amicably."

Guarini, who is now with a consultant group in Washington, DC, adds, "(I'm) currently in negotiations for a new Broadway show. There are also a lot of film and television projects under the pipeline, so there is a lot of cool stuff happening."

07/10/2004 21:15