Jennifer Lopez files $20 million lawsuit against former driver for blackmail
Jennifer Lopez filed a $20 million lawsuit against her former driver for blackmail.
The 42-year-old singer filed the extortion and defamation countersuit against Hakob Manoukian after he threatened to leak "disruptive and potentially damaging" information unless she paid him $2.8 million.
Manoukian sued Lopez, her manager Benny Medina and Marc Anthony in April, for breach of contract. At the time, he demanded $2.8 million and threatened to "disclose sensitive and personal information that he had allegedly overheard" and "report Ms. Lopez to the 'authorities,'" if they didn't pay up.
In the legal documents, obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com, Lopez states that Manoukian had an oral confidentiality agreement, prohibiting him from revealing anything he heard while under her employment.
Manoukian began driving Lopez occasionally in 2004, but only worked as Lopez's personal chauffeur for one month in 2011 before quitting "under false pretenses" and threatening to "severely damage" Lopez's reputation.
The chauffeur and Lopez originally got into a dispute in July 2011, when Manoukian was hired as her driver and head of her "personal security" and became "hostile" after Medina chose to hire a different security team for one of Lopez's music video shoots.
Lopez claimed that the suit caused her "irreparable injury" and demanded $20 million in damages, legal fees, unspecified exemplary and punitive damages and an injunction.
Lopez recently made headlines by signaling her departure from her position as a judge on "American Idol."
Lopez has been dating 25-year-old back-up dancer Casper Smart since late 2011. He is the chief choreographer of her current concert tour with Enrique Iglesias.
This is not Lopez's first legal battle, she also sued her ex-husband Ojani Noa, who she was married to between 1997 and 1998. The multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed after Noa allegedly attempted to release a home video of the star.