Kelly Clarkson might be giving Bethenny Frankel a run for the title of “worst divorce in history” after her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock recently fired back against a lawsuit she filed last month. 


In her March lawsuit, Kelly claimed she should be entitled to more than the $2.6 million a California labour commissioner said she was owed last November by Brandon as it pertained to claims that Brandon and Starstruck Management, his firm, had been violating state labor laws going as far back as 2007. According to the court documents, Brandon and his firm are denying “each and every allegation” Kelly has brought forth.


In his pushback, Brandon is urging the court to dismiss her most recent lawsuit. His reasoning? The judgement is “binding” on Kelly, and because she failed to file an appeal within 10 days of the judgement being made, his team says she doesn’t have the right to file a separate lawsuit now. Now, I’m no legal expert but I’m afraid Brandon might actually get his way on this one. Court deadlines are in place for a reason, and that reason is to have something to defer to in cases like these, so that an actual court hearing is truly the last resort.

The thing is, for most people, there’s a sense of urgency to get court matters wrapped up as fast as possible because the process is so incredibly expensive and tiring. A few years ago, I endured a small claims court case with some friends that owed me money and during that process, I was also in a brutal custody battle with my ex. And despite neither of my cases being even remotely near the amount of money at stake here, it was exhausting. Mentally, emotionally, and of course, financially. So every time I read about the latest in Kelly and Brandon’s divorce, I find myself wondering whether they will tire themselves out soon.


It’s obvious that the divorce has been taxing on Kelly. Last year, she completed her final season on The Voice after being a coach for nine seasons, and making that decision wasn’t easy for her. In an interview with USA Todayshe described feeling like walking away from the show was a “horrible decision”, but knew she had to make a move.

“I put on a smile a lot of those times because I was struggling a lot in my personal life,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot about what I’m capable of handling and also what you should not handle. That was me saying ‘bye’ to The Voice and having this big move.”

That’s another thing that comes up in the divorce process - the obstacles that pop up with mobility. That in and of itself is exhausting, too. Feeling like you can’t just up and leave anymore, kind of like you’re trapped. Moving is something that, even for celebrities with kids, is more often than not about school semesters rather than affordability. Depending on what your custody arrangement is, packing up and leaving is sometimes beyond your control – and in cases where it is allowed, it can come at a hefty cost between airfare, accommodations, and fees for live-in nannies or whatever childcare arrangements one has worked out.


In terms of her legal filings against Brandon, it appears Kelly is taking the energy she used to put in to being a Voice coach and redirecting it towards her court case. She recently asked for “full and complete accounting from Starstruck of all monies received by Starstruck, directly or indirectly, in connection with any and all contracts, employment, or engagements pertaining in any way to the personal services of [Clarkson],” which includes commissions, fees, profits, advances and producing fees. This is a heavy lift, even for companies with the most sophisticated accounting. And it could be her attempt to tire him out over her disagreement with the nearly $50,000 monthly child support payments she’s been ordered to pay him, in addition to the $1.3 million settlement he received.

Personally, I admire Kelly's tenacity. And I hope she gets every last thing she’s after. But I also hope, for her and her children’s sake, that she’s got some insanely restorative self-care rituals going, because she’s got to be tired. Most of all, though, I hope that the effects of this bitter divorce are minimal on the couple’s children – and that neither Brandon nor Kelly forget that one day, even if it isn’t right now, they will be privy to a lot of what unfolded. 

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