Earlier this year, Kelly Clarkson announced that she and her husband Brandon Blackstock would be getting a divorce. The divorce was further complicated, however, by Clarkson’s father-in-law’s management group filing a lawsuit against the superstar.
Starstruck Management Group is run by Narvel Blackstock, Clarkson’s father-in-law, Variety reported. The lawsuit claims that the management group is owned $1.4 million in unpaid commissions from the pop star and TV personality.
Now, People reported that the singer is refusing to pay because Starstruck Management Group violated the California Labor Code for operating without a talent agency license and “procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements” for her prior to obtaining the necessary licensing.
The petition requests that all agreements between Clarkson and the management company be “declared void and unenforceable.”
Clarkson has worked with Starstruck Management since sometime in 2007. It is run by Narvel Blackstock, Clarkson’s father-in-law, Variety reported.
Clarkson Hit Back at the Lawsuit Against Her
Clarkson is hoping that the lawsuit would end up in her contract, which includes her agreement to pay the company 15% commission on her gross earnings, will be declared void.
In a statement to People, however, Starstruck’s attorney Bryan Freedman said that the statement “conveniently ignores the fact that Kelly had her own licensed talent agency [Creative Artists Agency] at all times.”
He said that while they did provide her the talent management services, they only provided those when her own agency was her agency of record.
“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,” the statement read.
Clarkson’s Management Company Says They are Owed $1.4 Million
According to Variety’s report, Starstruck Management Group’s claim in the original lawsuit is that they have not been paid full commission for Clarkson’s work on The Voice and The Kelly Clarkson Show.
It’s notable that the contract was never put in writing and relies on a verbal agreement between Clarkson and the company.
“Over the course of approximately 13 years, Starstruck developed Clarkson into a mega superstar,” the complaint states, according to Variety. “By way of example only, Starstruck was instrumental in helping Clarkson achieve success in terms of numerous hit albums, multiple Grammy wins and nominations, her role on popular television shows like ‘The Voice’ and her own talk show.”
“Despite Starstruck’s hard work and dedication, Clarkson has decided she is going to stop paying Starstruck for what is contractually owed,” the complaint concludes.
Clarkson has been represented by the same management group for 13 years. The alleged verbal agreement states that Clarkson pays the company 15% of her gross earnings, according to Variety. The company says that that has not been upheld this year.
Clarkson’s petition says that Starstruck management got around the licensing requirements in California and said that they failed to apply for a license, failed to write a formal talent agency agreement with her and then demanded “unconscionable fees and compensation” from her.
She also alleged that her soon-to-be ex-husband Brandon and his father Narvel acted as unlicensed talent agents for her.
The Voice airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.