Why Kelly Clarkson’s Legal Battles With Brandon Blackstock’s Family Will Extend Into Another Year

As the saying — and Kelly Clarkson’s 2011 hit — goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and if the singer ever is able to free herself from the legal battles being waged with the Blackstock family, she should be damn near unbreakable. Since filing for divorce from Brandon Blackstock in 2020, the former Voice coach has been in and out of court, fighting several contentious issues with her now-ex-husband. Even after Clarkson’s divorce was finalized in March 2022, there are still matters that remain unsettled; however, it’s the legal battles with her former father-in-law Narvel Blackstock that are going to extend the legal proceedings into 2023, which means she's going to have spent time across four calendar years dealing with this.

In September 2020 — just months after Kelly Clarkson filed to end her seven-year marriage to Brandon Blackstock — she was hit with a major lawsuit by Starstruck Management, Narvel Blackstock’s company, which alleged that the American Idol winner owed millions of dollars in unpaid commissions for her work on The Voice and The Kelly Clarkson Show. She, in turn, countersued, saying that her husband and father-in-law acted as unlicensed talent agents on her behalf, making their verbal agreement for commissions “unenforceable.” Two years later it looks like no progress has been made, as The Sun reports the next hearing on the case is set to take place on March 27, 2023.

With the battle between the two parties continuing into another year, a new judge, the Honorable Wendy Chang, has been assigned to the case. In March she will hear a status conference of stay action "pending determination of controversy before California Labor Commissioner," per the site, who has reportedly seen the court documents that were filed in Los Angeles.

Starstruck Management Group has said Kelly Clarkson owes them “at least $5,430,122.54 in estimated commissions” after breaching her verbal contract, which stipulated that she pay 15% of all commissions earned to the company. However, the singer made some major accusations against the Blackstocks in her labor petition, not only saying that Brandon and Narvel acted illegally as her agents but accusing them of giving false information and charging her “unconscionable fees and compensation” for their allegedly illegal services. 

Therefore not only is she saying she doesn’t owe them any money, but she is asking that Starstruck Management repays her the amount they earned by way of her employment — which includes all contracts, commissions, fees, and other profits made from her work.

The past couple of years has been tough on the talk show host, fighting with her ex-husband over everything from custody of their two kids to division of assets to the security cameras at her ranch in Montana. The judge assigned to Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock’s case was actually asked to delay his retirement because there were still “issues that need to be settled.”

It’s no wonder the “Stronger” singer chose to take a step back from The Voice in order to spend the summer with her the kiddos, Remington and River Rose, especially as a major revamp is expected for The Kelly Clarkson Show when it returns this fall. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see when all of your favorite shows are premiering.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.