As if Jennifer Lopez hadn’t gone through enough after spending more than a decade fighting her money-grubbing first husband’s attempts to smear her reputation…now she’s acquired a new foe. A short-lived former employee has threatened to reveal damaging information about the star, and Lopez is fighting back.
On Friday, Lopez filed a $20 million suit against Hakob Manoukian, claiming he engaged in “blackmail, extortion, and related acts.” It seems he worked for Lopez for a month last year before quitting after a dispute with the singer/actress’s manager Benny Medina.
Manoukian has since filed a complaint that he was demoted from his original job as Lopez’s chief of security to a lower-paying gig as her driver and denied “production pay.”
According to the suit by Lopez, Manoukian’s then-attorney “made written and oral demands that unless Manoukian was paid $2.8M, he would disclose sensitive and personal information that he had allegedly heard while driving Ms. Lopez.”
That sounds like blackmail to us, especially since Manoukian had signed a confidentiality agreement when he went to work for Lopez.
Let’s get real here—both sides are blowing smoke. If this guy had $20M sitting around, he wouldn’t be trying to extort money out of J.Lo, and she knows you can’t get blood out of a turnip. This one is likely to play out with either Lopez giving him a small settlement to go away, or the whole thing will sit around the courts for years before both suits are dropped. Either way, this ex-employee isn’t likely to score a major chunk of J.Lo’s millions.