Thanks to his alleged overcharging, Kelly Clarkson’s ex-husband has been ordered to return millions to the “American Idol” icon. A labor commissioner has ruled that Brandon Blackstock was not authorized to act as Clarkson’s talent agent.
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, a California labor commissioner ruled that Blackstock overstepped his duties as a manager when he booked gigs and even secured deals for Clarkson. Blackstock helped Clarkson land gigs with “The Voice,” Norwegian Cruise Line, Wayfair, and as host of the Billboard Music Awards.
Except in rare cases, only agents are allowed to book gigs for their clients. During his time as Clarkson’s manager, the pop singer was repped by her agents at Creative Artists Agency. Despite acting in an agent capacity for Clarkson, Blackstock was never a legally certified talent agent. As a result, he has been ordered to return the $2,641,374 he made in commissions over to Clarkson.
TMZ reports that Blackstock and his legal team made it known that they would be appealing the order.
Kelly Clarkson Was Looking Out For Her ‘Best Interests’
In the fall of 2020, Clarkson filed a petition with the California Labor Commission claiming that Blackstock demanded “unconscionable fees and compensation” and acted “in conflict of interest with (her) best interests,” as well as other alleged violations of the California labor code.
The petition was attached to a motion Clarkson’s legal team filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Clarkson’s legal team sought to halt a lawsuit that Starstruck Management Group filed against her in September of 2020. Starstruck alleged that Clarkson owed the company $1.4 million in unpaid commissions for her work on “The Voice” and “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in 2020.
Bryan Freedman, a lawyer for Starstruck, spoke to TMZ about Clarkson’s petition. He argued that the petition “conveniently ignores the fact that she had her own licensed talent agency CAA 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.”
“It is unfortunate that Kelly is again attempting to avoid paying commissions that are due and owing to Starstruck,” Freedman said. He continued by saying that Clarkson was also attempting, “To try and achieve some perceived advantage in her ongoing custody and divorce proceedings.”
Kelly Clarkson’s Drawn Out Divorce With Her Ex-Husband
Blackstock and Clarkson first met at a rehearsal for the Academy of Country Music Awards in May 2006. After seven years of dating, Clarkson and Blackstock got married in late 2013. They remained together until June 2020. After citing “irreconcilable differences,” the singer filed for divorce. The split was finalized nearly two years later. During their marriage, the couple had two children together.
Since originally filing for the divorce in 2020, Clarkson has learned firsthand just how messy a split can be. She has even detailed the effects that the divorce has had on her children. While speaking about her soured relationship on the Podcrushed podcast, Clarkson was quite candid on the whole ordeal.
Clarkson offered up some insight into the topic of love during a divorce. “When you do go through a divorce, especially with young kids, the definition of ‘love’ comes up quite a bit. Because they’re like ‘Wait, so you don’t love Daddy anymore?’ and I’m like ‘No, no. I love Daddy, I love that Daddy gave me you two, we just don’t like each other like we did, and it’s just different.”
On November 29, Clarkson hosted the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in New York. She also kicked off the ceremony with a performance of “Underneath the Tree.”