Kelly Clarkson Fights Back Against Lawsuit Filed by Her Father-In-Law's Management Company
She argues that their contract should be "declared void and unenforceable."
Kelly Clarkson is fighting back after being sued by her father-in-law Narvel Blackstock's management company, Starstruck Management Group, for unpaid commissions. Back in September, the agency claimed that Clarkson owed more than $1.4 million in addition to the $1.9 million she already paid for her work on The Voice and her talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show. However, the singer is arguing that she doesn't have to pay, and that the money she previously provided should be returned.
According to People, Clarkson filed a labor petition last month, alleging that Starstruck Management Group violated California Labor Code — specifically for "procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements" without a talent agency license. Therefore, her legal team says that the reported verbal contract between Clarkson and the management company be "declared void and unenforceable."
Court documents reveal that Kelly claimed that both her estranged husband, Brandon Blackstock, and his father, Narvel, acted as unlicensed agents, and that Starstruck dodged "the licensing requirements" of the Talent Agencies Act — including failure to submit a written application for a license, failure to write a formal talent agency agreement, and demanding "unconscionable fees and compensation" for "illegal services."
In response to the American Idol alum's petition, Starstruck's attorney Bryan Freedman says it "conveniently ignores the fact that Kelly had her own licensed talent agency [Creative Artists Agency] at all times."
He continued, "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."
Starstruck's original filings claim that Clarkson's legal team and business managers had verbal negotiations back in 2007 to hash out the deal and that Clarkson confirmed the details on the phone. She's reportedly been paying them regularly despite not having a written contract. Clarkson faces charges for breach of oral contract.