American Idol 19E Files $6 Million Lawsuit Against Phillip Phillips

19 Entertainment, the producer of American Idol which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late April, filed a complaint against season 11 winner Phillip Phillips on Thursday in New York bankruptcy court, reports The Hollywood Reporter

The suits alleges that Phillip has been holding onto as much as $1 million of 19’s money and that he should also be forced to pay at least $5 million for breaking agreements with the company.

In January 2015 Phillip filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner claiming 19 “manipulated” him into accepting jobs that were not in his best interest. The petition also claimed that 19 was operating in violation of California’s Talent Agencies Act, which declares that only licensed talent agents can obtain employment for clients. The singer claims 19 failed in their fiduciary duty to him  by compelling him to take jobs that were more a benefit to the company and their affiliates than to him.

The petition didn’t move quickly enough to come to a conclusion before the April 7 American Idol series finale, which is why it was surprising when Phillip agreed to appear on the telecast. The appearance only happened after executive producer Nigel Lythgoe reached out to the singer’s lawyer.

19 declared bankruptcy on April 28 before a scheduled Labor Commissioner hearing on May 31.

According to court documents, a hearing officer with the Labor Commissioner announced he was “closing the file without adjudication of the petition.” The bankruptcy, in effect, paused the petition.  Not wasting any time, 19 is going on the offense, filing their own adversary complaint in bankruptcy court.

The complaint alleges that Phillip has been holding back somewhere between $850,000 and $1 million based upon the “anticipation” that his agreements with 19–including a recording and publishing deal–would be voided.

“Phillips has refused and insists that he will continue to refuse to perform pursuant to the Agreements, thereby causing Plaintiffs additional damages,” says the complaint. “The amount of the additional damages from these continuing breaches is not presently calculable with precision but will be presented at the time of trial and will exceed $5,000,000.”

Phillips’ attorney Howard King reacts: “19’s new complaint is a blatant attempt to evade California’s jurisdiction and thwart its fundamental public policies crafted to protect artists. 19 cannot murder its parents, then seek mercy as an orphan.”

I bet Phillip didn’t see that one coming and was expecting the bankruptcy would complicate the situation in his favor, maybe to the point that his contracts with the company would be voided. Guess again. What a mess.

Currently, Phillip is set to embark on a tour later this summer with Matt Nathanson. He’s also writing and recording his next record.

Did some vocals today. My view.. #NEW #ALBUM #PPLP3

A photo posted by Phillip Phillips (@phillphill) on

About mj santilli 35052 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!