Kids talk: Donnie Wahlberg's split, Jordan Knight's fright

By Inside Track
Thursday, September 25, 2008 - Updated 39m ago

A s the members of New Kids on the Block pull into town tomorrow for the first of two sold-out hometown performances, there is all kinds of behind-the-scenes intrigue involving Donnie, Joey, Danny, Jordan and Jonathan .

First off, there's newly-filed- for-divorce Donnie, who announced his split with wife, Kim , just as NKOTB embarked on the tour.

Donnie claims he's single, but our spies say he hooked up with Danity Kane lead singer Aubrey O'Day back in June - after he and Kim reportedly separated but before they filed for divorce. And the New York tabs said the two looked “cozy” at the premiere of Donnie's new flick, “ Righteous Kill ,” last week.

But Wahlberg took pains to advertise his availibility at a gig in Jersey the other night. Saying he'd like to “address a few rumors,” Wahlberg put on a black baseball cap that said “Single” - to the delight of the ever-faithful NKOTB faithful.

Perhaps the Aubrey thing was just a fling and he won't be Loving her (Forever). Because Diddy 's protege was supposed to be in town this weekend to do a gig at The Estate . Which would have put her in rather close proximity to Donnie, who's at the Garden .

However, we're told that Ms. O'Day abruptly pulled the plug on her appearance yesterday and rescheduled it for Oct. 11 - when the New Kids will be 2,500 miles away in Las Vegas. Discuss . . .

Then there's Jonathan Knight , who we hear may be suffering a recurrence of those panic attacks that ended his first NKOTB go-round.

You may recall that Jonathan dropped out of the group back in 1994 because he couldn't cope with the New Kids' massive success. Knight told People that the unrelenting spotlight, the out-of-control crowds and relentless touring schedule caused him to suffer debilitating anxiety attacks.

After NKOTB broke up he retreated to a farm in Essex, Mass., and went into the real-estate biz. Knight lived under the radar until the reunion - which, we're told, he thought would be a small little “for old times' sake” kind of thing.

“He didn't think it would be this big,” said our snitch. “None of the guys really did.”

A source close to the band denies that Jonathan is having issues, saying all was “fine” during the Canadian leg of the tour last week.

“You are correct about their expectations though,” said the band source. “I don't think anyone thought it would be THIS big. They are thrilled . . .”

Sunday night VH1 will do its first-ever “Behind The Music” live special from the Garden, hosted by Medford homegal Maria Menounos of “Access Hollywood” fame.

BTW, a limited number of tickets to the Boston shows became available yesterday. Go to the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office, www.livenation. com or call 866-448-7849 .