Kelly Clarkson just scored a major win in a legal battle against her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock, so here’s an explanation of what’s gone down.
The first vital piece of context is that during the seven years that Brandon and Kelly were married, he also managed her professional career.
The pair ended their marriage in June 2020, and the split was finalized in March of last year. But away from their divorce proceedings, Brandon and Kelly have also been embroiled in a legal dispute about his time representing her as a manager.
According to People magazine, Kelly accused her ex of unlawfully securing her contracts for The Voice, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Wayfair, and the Billboard Music Awards, and took fees in return for the deals.
And now a new ruling has found that Brandon overstepped in his role as a manager in four of these five instances, because only talent agents can make deals on behalf of their clients — not managers.
“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 ruling states, per People, noting that the deals should have been handled by Kelly’s team at Creative Artists Agency.
Aside from The Kelly Clarkson Show contract, in which Brandon was found to have acted in accordance with the law, the new legal docs obtained by People state that he took a total of $2,641,374 in commission for the four previously business deals, which he now must pay back to his ex.
According to People, the sum can be broken down into four payments, starting with the $1,983,155.70 he was paid for her contract with The Voice, another $450,000 for her collab with Wayfair, and a further $208,125 for a promotional deal with NCL. For her multiyear contract as the host of the Billboard Music Awards, Brandon also took home $93.30.
TMZ has reported that Brandon is planning to appeal the ruling.
If you’ve been keeping up with the drama between these two, you’ll know that Kelly has talked openly about the split since she filed for divorce from Brandon back in 2020.
“Just to be brutally honest, I did not handle it well,” the singer said during an interview with Zane Lowe this summer. “I had many sessions with just my friends [where] I couldn’t even speak. I was crying so hard, even before separating.”
Kelly revealed that she and Brandon tried couples therapy to make the marriage work, but confessed, “I think I knew in my heart it just wasn't going to.”