Soul star R. Kelly's former manager is suing the singer for more than $1 million (£625,000) in commission cash he insists he's owed.
Jeff Kwatinetz claims Kelly used the money to pay off people who accused him of sexual misconduct instead.
In his lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles on Monday (20Jun11) and obtained by Tmz.com, the singer's former manager claims he helped resurrect Kelly's career in 2008 when the singer was fighting child pornography charges.
He states, "(I) 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," adding, "Kelly reaped millions of dollars" while under his management.
But the singer has "failed and refused to pay" the 15 per cent commission rate they allegedly agreed on.
According to the lawsuit, Kelly's business manager regularly told Kwatinetz the money wasn't available because Kelly needed the cash "for payments to avoid lawsuits and adverse publicity" resulting from the singer's alleged sexual misconduct and resulting legal battle, which was resolved in 2008 when Kelly was found not guilty of all 14 counts against him.
But Kelly appears keen to fight his former manager's claims, telling Tmz.com, "Jeff Kwatinetz's complaint is a collection of half-truths, distortions, and outright fabrications."
A representative for the soul star tells the website, "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."