Kelly Clarkson is fighting back after her management company Starstruck Management Group–which is owned by her estranged husband Brandon Blackstock’s father, Narvel Blackstock–filed a lawsuit against her in September claiming she owes more than $1.4 million in unpaid commissions this year, in addition to the $1.9 million she already paid.
Kelly Clarkson claims Starstruck violated California labor law
The Voice coach and OG American Idol winner filed a labor petition on Oct. 20. People magazine obtained the document. In in it, the afternoon talk show host claimed that Starstruck Management Group violated the California Labor Code for “procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements” for her without first obtaining a talent agency license. As a result, Kelly argued, any and all agreements must be “declared void and unenforceable.” Their agreements include their reported verbal contract in which she agreed to pay Starstruck 15% commission on her gross earnings.
Starstruck’s attorney Bryan Freedman told People magazine in a statement that the petition “conveniently ignores the fact that Kelly had her own licensed talent agency [Creative Artists Agency] at all times.”
Starstruck accuses Kelly of attempting to avoid paying commissions
“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.”
Kelly claims in the petition that Starstruck evaded “the licensing requirements” set forth by the Talent Agencies Act by listing their alleged violations, including that they failed to submit a written application for a license, failed to write a formal talent agency agreement with her, demanded “unconscionable fees and compensation” from her for “illegal services,” gave her false information in regards to their engagements, failed to deposit a $50,000 surety bond with the Labor Commissioner, failed to post a schedule of fees in their offices, failed to maintain proper records and failed to post a copy of the Talent Agencies Act in their offices.
Furthermore, claimed Kelly, both Brandon and Narvel acted as unlicensed talent agents.
Kelly believes she doesn’t have to pay Starstruck, and money already paid should be returned
Subsequently, Kelly argued that she doesn’t have to pay Starstruck the commission they’re seeking and that any money she previously paid to them should be returned. She also stated that she is “entitled to a full and complete accounting” from them of all money they received “directly or indirectly” from all contracts, employment or engagements pertaining to her in any way and that any money made from those commissions, fees, profits, advances and producing fees be returned.
In their original lawsuit, Starstruck claimed that despite their “hard work and dedication” to Clarkson’s career over the past 13 years, she decided “to stop paying Starstruck for what is contractually owed.”
In separate court documents, Clarkson asked that Starstruck’s case against her be suspended until after her Labor Commission proceedings happen because if she wins, all of the claims made against her in the case will be “moot.”
Kelly filed for divorce from Brandon on June 4, citing irreconcilable differences after seven years of marriage. Brandon responded, hinting that their financial arrangements would be up for litigation.