The legal drama between Kelly Clarkson and her estranged husband continues. Brandon Blackstock, Clarkson’s ex, has filed a formal response to the singer’s previous legal docs, in which she claims his talent agency defrauded her.
In court documents obtained by ET on Tuesday, Starstruck Management Group — run by Brandon’s father, Narvel Blackstock — deny all of the allegations and purported causes of action in Clarkson’s petition, which she filed back in October.
Clarkson’s petition accused Starstruck Management of violating California Labor Code and charging exorbitant commission fees.
In Starstruck’s response, the company claims they are not subject to regulation under the Talent Agencies Act — which Clarkson claimed in her filing — because they did not perform their duties in California. They further deny that Clarkson is entitled to any relief whatsoever.
Clarkson’s attorney, Ed McPherson, released a statement to ET on Tuesday addressing the response: “We stand by our allegations that Starstruck violated the Talent Agencies Act, despite their boilerplate denials, and we look forward to trying the case before the Labor Commissioner in August.”
The increasingly messy legal drama began in September, when Starstruck Management Group filed a lawsuit against Clarkson claiming that she owed them more than $1.4 million in unpaid commissions.
The company, which represented Clarkson for the last 13 years, was paid a 15 percent commission on her gross earnings. The suit alleges that the singer has paid the firm $1.9 million last year, but owed another $1.4 million.
The lawsuit did note that Clarkson and Starstruck did not have a written management agreement, alleging that the terms of their deal were verbally negotiated by her attorney and business manager in 2007. The docs also claimed that Clarkson spoke with Narvel, confirming their management agreement.
In October, Clarkson filed a countersuit, claiming that Starstruck Management Group violated the California Labor Code by “procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements” without being properly licensed,” according to documents obtained by ET at the time.
She also argued that all of their agreements be “declared void and unenforceable,” including their reported verbal contract in which she allegedly agreed to pay them 15 percent commission on her gross earnings.
Clarkson alleges in her labor petition that the company evaded “the licensing requirements” of the Talent Agencies. Among their alleged violations include failing to submit a written application for a license and a formal talent agency agreement. She also claims that they demanded “unconscionable fees and compensation” from her for “illegal services,” failed to deposit a $50,000 surety bond with the Labor Commissioner, failed to post a schedule of fees in their offices which is in violation of the California Labor Code, as well as failed to maintain proper records.
“Based on these wrongful acts,” Clarkson argues that all agreements should be “declared void and unenforceable,” that she doesn’t have to pay Starstruck any commission they are seeking, and that they should return any money she previously paid them.
Starstruck’s attorney Bryan Freedman, meanwhile, expressed in a statement to ET, that the singer’s petition “conveniently ignores the fact that Kelly had her own licensed talent agency [Creative Artists Agency] at all times.”
“While Starstruck Management Group provided talent management services on her behalf, it did so at all times that CAA was her agency of record,” he continued. “It is unfortunate that Kelly is again attempting to avoid paying commissions that are due and owing to Starstruck to try and achieve some perceived advantage in her ongoing custody and divorce proceedings.”
This contract dispute comes amid Clarkson’s on-going divorce proceedings with her estranged husband.
The pair announced they were calling it quits on their six-year marriage in June 2020.
In December, the 43-year-old talent manager filed legal docs requesting that Clarkson pay him $436,000 a month. The breakdown is $301,000 in spousal support and the remaining $135,000 for child support for their two children, River, 6, and Remington, 4.
He also requested $2 million from his ex to cover his attorney’s fees.
Days before the spousal support filing, Clarkson won primary custody of the estranged couple’s two children The 38-year-old musician and talk show host stated she plans to stay in Los Angeles with her kids while Blackstock plans to live primarily in his Montana home where the family quarantined together earlier this year, according to court documents obtained by ET.
The documents state that Blackstock will have the kids on the first, third and fifth weekend of every month, though he’d have to visit them in Los Angeles for the first and fifth weekends. This means that Clarkson will spend the majority of the time with them.
Court documents filed in November claim that the former couple has been struggling to come to a mutual agreement about their children amid their divorce. “The level of conflict between the parents has increased,” the document reads. “The parties have a difficult time co-parenting due to issues of trust between them.”
For more on the ongoing divorce drama, see the video below.
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