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Kelly Clarkson Sues Ex-Husband Brandon Blackstock Again

LawKelly Clarkson Sues Ex-Husband Brandon Blackstock Again

Kelly Clarkson has filed a new lawsuit against her ex-husband and former manager Brandon Blackstock, just months after a California agency ordered him to repay the singer over $2.6 million.

Filed on March 11 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the new lawsuit claims that Brandon and his father Narvel Blackstock’s management firm, Starstruck Entertainment, violated labor laws since the beginning of their relationship with Clarkson, which started in 2007.

Clarkson alleges in the lawsuit that Starstruck “was not licensed as talent agents” and argues that the firm never “obtained a talent agency license from the California Labor Commissioner.”

In June 2020, Clarkson filed from divorce from Brandon Blackstock after seven years of marriage. That September, the Blackstocks’ company sued her, alleging she owed Starstruck unpaid commissions. The “Since U Been Gone” singer responded by filing a petition with the California Labor Commission, arguing her ex acted illegally as her manager.

Clarkson’s latest cross-complaint furthers the ongoing battle over “commissions, fees, profits, advances, producing fees or other monies” she made while working with the Blackstocks’ firm, court documents show.

TODAY.com has reached out to representatives for Clarkson, Brandon and Narvel Blackstock and Starstruck Entertainment for comment and did not hear back at the time of publication.

Here’s everything to know about the former couple’s ongoing legal dispute and their divorce timeline.

What is Clarkson seeking in the latest lawsuit?

The new court documents allege that from 2007, Starstruck acted as “unlicensed talent agents” for Clarkson, which equates to “a violation of, among other things, the licensing requirement of Section 1700.5 of the California Labor Code.”

The lawsuit states that Starstruck entered an agreement to act as Clarkson’s “personal managers” to “attempt to circumvent and evade the licensing requirements and other requirements, restrictions, and regulations of the Talent Agencies Act.”

Clarkson’s legal team is seeking to declare any agreements between the singer and Starstruck as “void and unenforceable” and requesting an “accounting” from the firm of the money it received from Clarkson.

“No monies should be paid by (Clarkson) to Starstruck, and all monies previously paid by (Clarkson) to Starstruck should be disgorged from Starstruck, forthwith,” the lawsuit states.

In other words, Clarkson’s legal team is asking for Starstruck to return any money they received while working with the singer, “including, but not limited to, any and all commissions, fees, profits, advances, producing fees, or other monies.”

Brandon Blackstock and Kelly Clarkson at the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards in 2020.
Brandon Blackstock and Kelly Clarkson in January 2020.David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

A timeline of Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock’s legal filings

2020: Kelly Clarkson files for divorce from husband Brandon Blackstock

Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock’s legal battle dates back to 2020, when the singer filed for divorce after nearly seven years of marriage (they got married in 2013).

During their relationship, Blackstock served as his wife’s manager and was also a producer for her talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” which is produced and distributed by NBCUniversal Syndication Studios. (NBCUniversal is the parent company of TODAY.com.) 

While they were married, the former couple welcomed two children, a now 9-year-old daughter named River Rose and a 7-year-old son named Remington Alexander.

After they announced their divorce, Starstruck filed a lawsuit against Clarkson in September 2020. The firm alleged that the singer owed the company $1.4 million in unpaid commissions.

Clarkson then filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner on Oct. 20, 2020, arguing Starstruck acted “unlawfully.” The hearing did not occur until 2023, according to Clarkson’s latest lawsuit.

2022: Kelly Clarkson is ordered to pay Brandon Blackstock millions in divorce settlement

In 2022, Clarkson and Blackstock reached a settlement in their divorce and agreed to joint legal custody of their children, with Clarkson obtaining primary custody.

Court documents stated that the singer was required to pay her ex-husband a one-time payment of $1,326,161.

In addition, the star was asked to pay monthly spousal support payments of $115,000 through Jan. 31, 2024, and $45,601 in child support monthly until the children reach 18. Clarkson was also required to pay Blackstock a one-time sum of $350,000 for their kids’ private air travel.

When it came to the former couple’s joint assets, Clarkson took ownership of their two Montana properties and California residence. At the time, Blackstock was asked to pay $2,000 a month in rent for one property and $12,500 per month for the other. He was also asked to move out of both properties on or before June 1, 2022.

2023: A judge orders Brandon Blackstock to repay Clarkson over $2.6 million

In November 2023, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement ordered that Blackstock return $2,641,374 that he was paid in commissions while he was Clarkson’s manager.

Clarkson had accused her ex-husband of unlawfully securing work for her between 2017 and 2020 and taking on work that her talent agents should have handled.

“Under the Talent Agencies Act (TAA), a manager, like any person without a talent agency license, cannot procure or attempt to procure employment for artists,” the California labor commissioner’s ruling says.

In response, Blackstock appealed the decision and is requesting a trial de novo — or a new trial, according to the California Rules of Court — with the Los Angeles Superior Court. The talent manager did not respond to TODAY.com’s request for comment at the time.

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