'American Idol' Producer Sues Phillip Phillips for More Than $5 Million
By Sophie Schillaci
Phillip Phillips' legal drama is getting deeper.
The season 11 American Idol winner is being sued by 19 Entertainment, a producer of the former reality series, over allegedly witholding $1 million in management fees, according to court documents obtained by ET.
19 Entertainment, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, is seeking more than $5 million in the suit, claiming Phillips owes the company compensation over multiple deals.
As ET previously reported, Phillips first filed suit against 19 Entertainment last year in an effort to escape what he called an "oppressive" contract. In a complaint filed on Jan. 22, 2015, Phillips claimed that 19 Entertainment had "manipulated" him into accepting jobs and entering into other transactions that were actually for the benefit of the company and its affiliates. The "Home" singer was seeking to void his management, recording and merchandising agreements with the company.
The newest court docs allege that Phillips ceased payment to 19 Entertainment at the time of filing his lawsuit. Since the case has not yet been settled, representatives for 19 Entertainment argue that Phillips' contract with them is still valid.
"The value that the fans and [American Idol] have given to my career is not lost on me," Phillips told The Hollywood Reporter last year. "However, I have not felt that I have been free to conduct my career in a way that I am comfortable with. I look forward to being able to make my own choices about my career and to being able to make great music and play it for my fans."
"We're very proud of everything we’ve accomplished together with Phillip, working closely to help nurture his extraordinary talent and advance his career," a spokesperson for 19 countered. "We have always acted in the best interest of Phillip. We will vigorously defend ourselves from any baseless claims to the contrary and from any attempt to interfere with our rights and relationships."
Amid the tangled legal web, Phillips still made an appearance on the April series finale episode of American Idol, along with fellow winners including Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery, Jordin Sparks and more. Re-live the show's biggest moments in the player below.