LOS ANGELES — Kelly Clarkson will receive a multimillion-dollar payday in her latest legal victory against ex-husband Brandon Blackstock.
Earlier this month, a California labor commissioner ruled that Blackstock owes the talk-show host and Grammy-winning singer more than $2.6 million in commissions for overstepping his managerial duties. The country music manager allegedly "'unlawfully" procured business deals that should have been handled by Clarkson's talent agents, according to multiple outlets citing court documents.
Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower ruled in a Nov. 21 decision that Blackstock, 46, violated the state's Talent Agencies Act (TAA). "A manager, like any person without a talent agency license, cannot procure or attempt to procure employment for artists" under TAA, the ruling reportedly said.
Blackstock must pay back commissions on four deals: $1,983,155.70 for procuring Clarkson's lucrative judging spot on NBC's "The Voice"; $208,125 for a promotional deal with Norweigan Cruise Lines; $450,000 for a collaboration with furniture brand website Wayfair; and $93.30 to host the Billboard Music Awards from 2018 to 2020. In total, Blackstock must pay the "Since U Been Gone" singer $2,641,374.
In recent years, the singer, 41, grew her empire with the addition of her daytime TV series, "The Kelly Clarkson Show." The commissioner also reportedly ruled that Blackstock's involvement in that deal was "at the request of CAA" and did not violate the law, despite Clarkson's request that he pay back commissions for it.
Blackstock's legal team has filed to appeal the ruling, People reported.
Clarkson's attorney did not comment on the decision. Representatives for Blackstock did not immediately respond to the L.A. Times' request for comment Friday.
Clarkson and Blackstock married in 2013 and share two children— 9-year-old daughter River Rose and 7-year-old son Remington Alexander. Blackstock has two children from a previous marriage. The singer filed for divorce from Blackstock in June 2020 and finalized their separation in March 2022.
The singer, who in June released her 10th studio album, "Chemistry," has been vocal about her divorce from Blackstock. Speaking to radio DJ Zane Lowe for Apple Music, she admitted, "I don't know how people get through anything like that.
"I'm not going to say I did it gracefully behind closed doors. ... Just to be brutally honest, I did not handle it well," she added.
In addition to processing her divorce through music, Clarkson started fresh on the East Coast. Earlier this year, she moved her family and talk show from Los Angeles to New York City, where she began filming at NBC's studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
"I knew I needed a fresh start and couldn't be in L.A. I really wanted to be in Montana, but you can't really do a show from there quite yet," she said. "So I was like, 'The only other option would probably be New York.'"
L.A. Times staff writer Carlos De Loera contributed to this report.