Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez just lost the first round in an ongoing legal battle against her former driver.
In a lawsuit filed April 30, 2012, J.Lo’s former chauffeur Hakob Manoukian alleged he was hired to be the superstar’s full-time driver, but that Lopez failed to pay him his previously agreed upon yearly salary of $72,000.
The chauffeur claimed that he had been working for Lopez since 2005 when the singer’s manager, Benny Medina, forced him to resign in 2011 and publicly berated him.
In August, however, Lopez fired back with her own suit that alleged Manoukian was trying to blackmail her out of $2.8 million.
In her countersuit, the 43-year-old star alleged Hakob became obsessed with power and wanted to control her entire security team and get more money for doing it. When he was turned down, Lopez claimed he retaliated by threatening to spill confidential information that would be highly embarrassing.
According to E! News, Lopez’s countersuit was dismissed Thursday under California’s anti-SLAPP law, which allows a plaintiff in a lawsuit to request dismissal of a cross-complaint believed to be a “strategic” move to try and detract from the previous case.
Manoukian’s case against Jennifer Lopez is scheduled to go to trial sometime next May. He is seeking compensatory and general damages and overtime compensation.
Meanwhile, Lopez has remained busy with her music career and is currently wrapping up her Dance Again word tour with Enrique Iglesias and is set to hit the studio for a new album in 2013.