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R. Kelly’s Ex-Manager Sues for $1 Mill in Unpaid Commission

David Livingston, Getty Images

R. Kelly has become the focus of a $1 million lawsuit filed against him by his former manager, who claims the singer stiffed him out of commission earnings.

Jeff Kwatinetz filed suit in a Los Angeles County Court Monday (June 20), accusing Kelly of using the funds to settle issues surrounding his child molestation allegations. According to TMZ, Kwatinetz credits himself for reinvigorating the Chicago crooner’s career in 2008, and “guided Kelly through the recording of two new albums, substantial multi-million dollar tours … a book deal, and a myriad of other appearances and events.” The suit goes on to state that Kelly “reaped millions of dollars” while under the management of Kwatinetz.

Even more explosive is the claim that the 44-year-old admitted to his former manager that he was unable to pay him because he had been paying other people off “to avoid lawsuits and adverse publicity resulting from Kelly’s alleged [sexual misconduct].”

A spokesperson for Kelly blasted Kwatinetz’ claims as completely untrue. “Jeff Kwatinetz’ complaint is a collection of half-truths, distortions, and outright fabrications,” his rep told the site. “Mr. Kwatinetz is a disgruntled former manager who apparently feels the need to try to seek retribution for his discharge. It is particularly disturbing, given his job as a professional talent manager and trusted adviser, that he would feel the need to lash out and dish what he thinks is dirt against a former client. When the actual facts are presented, however, we are confident that his allegations will be found to be completely without merit.”

Kwatinetz is seeking both unpaid compensation and punitive damages.

In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of all wrong-doing in regards to allegations that he engaged in sexual activity with a minor. Since being cleared the singer has rebooted his career, and is currently embarking on a national Love Letter tour in support of his latest album of the same name. He also has plans to release his memoir ‘Soulacoaster’ this fall.


Watch R. Kelly’s ‘Radio Message’


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