Saturday, August 6, 2022

Kelly Clarkson sued by ex-father-in-law: the legal battle continues

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The legal battle between former The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson and her ex-father-in-law’s company will continue until at least 2023, Heavy court documents show. Clarkson and her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock finalized a divorce settlement earlier this year but are still finalizing the final details in court, records show.

After the couple split, Blackstock’s father’s company, Starstruck Management Group, sued Clarkson, according to court documents. Narvel Blackstock said in the 2020 lawsuit that Clarkson owed his company nearly $2 million in unpaid commissions. Clarkson filed a countersuit with the California Labor Commissioner, accusing Narvel Blackstock and his son Brandon Blackstock of acting as unregistered talent agents, court documents show.

A new judge has been assigned to the civil complaint filed by Starstruck Management in February 2022 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Judge Wendy Chang recently issued an order staying all lawsuits until Clarkson’s complaint was heard by the state labor commission. Chang said in her order, which can be read here, that a status conference will be held on March 23, 2022.

According to Starstruck Management’s lawsuit, Kelly Clarkson began dating Narvel Blackstock, Reba McEntire’s ex-husband, in 2007. According to the lawsuit, he was her manager. Clarkson later began dating Blackstock’s son in 2012 and she and Brandon married in 2013. They have two children together. She filed for divorce in June 2020. Starstruck Management filed its lawsuit against the singer and “American Idol” winner in September 2020.

“In 2007, Starstruck agreed to manage Clarkson’s career. Like any other customer, Starstruck invested a great deal of time, money, energy and dedication in Clarkson. Over the course of about thirteen years, Starstruck has grown Clarkson into a mega-superstar,” the lawsuit states, which can be read here. Starstruck’s attorneys add:

According to the lawsuit, Clarkson agreed to pay Starstruck an industry standard commission fee of 15% of its gross earnings, including future earnings, “from any project, engagement or artistic work that began, continued and/or was commercially exploited while managing Starstruck.” by Clarkson. She agreed to continue paying them as long as Starstruck was “ready, willing and able to continue providing administrative services to the Clarkson defendants.”

Starstruck’s attorneys say in the lawsuit that things changed in 2020:

Starstruck’s attorneys allege that Clarkson violated her management agreement by failing to pay the full commission she owes in connection with “The Voice” and Clarkson’s talk show, court documents show. According to Starstruck’s attorneys, Clarkson is obligated to continue paying commissions on her projects, including “without limitation future earnings from The Voice, Clarkson’s talk show and Clarkson’s Wayfair deal.”

Im Okto by Heavy, which can be read here.

Clarkson’s attorneys are charging Starstruck Management, namely Narvel Blackstock and Brandon Blackstock, with “providing Clarkson employment” “without obtaining a talent agency license from the Labor Commissioner,” according to the court documents. Clarkson’s attorneys allege that if the Labor Commission rules in their favor, Starstruck’s allegations in their lawsuit “will lapse.”

They are asking the labor commission to determine that Starstruck owes no commissions from Clarkson as a result of alleged breaches of the Talent Agencies Act, court filings show. “The Labor Commissioner has not yet held a hearing on the defendants’ application and no decision has been made on the allegations contained therein. However, if such a decision is ultimately made, the decision will resolve all of the issues raised in plaintiff’s lawsuit in this case,” Clarkson’s attorneys say in the court filings.

The status of the labor commission dispute was initially unknown, apart from the fact that it is still ongoing. Attorneys for Clarkson and Starstruck have not commented on the ongoing cases in state courts and the Labor Commissioner.

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