Kelly Clarkson's estranged husband Brandon Blackstock has hit back at the singer after she claimed he and his father Narvel Blackstock defrauded her out of millions.
The talent agent, 44, has responded to those claims with new court documents filed with the California Labour Commission last November, a month after Kelly's initial arguments were made to the commission.
In the new documents, Brandon has vehemently denied Kelly's accusations that he and his father tacked large fees onto his company Starstruck Entertainment's bills, in documents obtained by Us Weekly.
Brandon's attorneys Bryan J Freedman and Jesse A Kaplan argued that they're not subject to any of California's Talent Agencies Act as they didn't perform their work in that state.
However, Kelly's lawyer Edwin McPherson believes that the singer is entitled to all of the money and other "things of value" that Brandon was paid while he acted as her agent.
Blackstock's team further claimed that there is a one-year statute of limitations in the Talent Agencies Act, meaning any further alleged violations that could possibly be proven by Kelly, 38, will only see her paid within the year prior to the October 2020 filing.
In light of his denial, Brandon is asking his estranged wife to dismiss all of her claims and for her to pay his legal fees.
In Kelly's October petition, she claimed that she entered an oral agreement with Brandon, Narvel, 64, and Starstruck Entertainment in 2007. The documents argued that the agreement was a "fraudulent and subterfuge device" that allowed Kelly's managers to perform "illegal services" as agents in the state of California where they didn't have a licence to do so.
Narvel's original lawsuit claimed Kelly owed Starstruck $1.85 million and she would continue to owe them money based on her earnings from The Voice and her eponymous talk show.
OK! suggested at the time that a ruling in the case will be made in February, though the magazine added that given the controversial nature of the Talent Agencies Act, the case could wend its way to the Supreme Court, as "many advocates on both sides [would] like to see a definitive ruling on what some believe to be an unconstitutional regulation".
This case is separate from Kelly and Brandon's messy divorce after eight years of marriage.
In November, Kelly was awarded primary physical custody of their children – daughter River Rose, 6, and son Remington Alexander, 4 – with Brandon requesting $603,000 (US$436,000) a month in spousal support from Clarkson. However, OK! noted that, per the couple's prenuptial agreement, the latter will be an uphill battle as Blackstock is not entitled to spousal support.
In November 2020, Kelly explained on her show that, "People, like, could be bad for you in a certain time. And I think that everybody just goes, 'Oh, well that means they're bad.' Well, it doesn't necessarily mean that, it just means that you're on different paths. And I think that that's OK … Everybody's on a different learning curve."
She echoed a similar sentiment in December 2020, admitting that at one point in her marriage she realised, "This isn't happiness and we both deserve better."