Jennifer Lopez claims her former chauffeur tried to blackmail her about dirty laundry involving the actress/singer and American Idol judge, so she is suing him for $20 million.
TMZ reports that Hakob Manoukian allegedly wanted $2.8 million for keeping quiet “about secrets he overheard while driving her here and there.”
Lopez’s extortion and defamation claim comes as a countersuit to a legal complaint that Manoukian has already filed against Lopez, former manager Benny Medina, and soon-to-be former husband Marc Anthony for breach of contract after the chauffeur was apparently forced to resign. A countersuit is where the plaintiff and the defendant in effect switch positions in the same pending lawsuit.
According to EOnline, the alleged extortion occurred as a result of the driver leaving Team Lopez:
“Lopez says that Manoukian and Medina, had a falling out last summer over the security team Medina planned to hire (it wasn’t the one recommended by the chauffeur), after which the defendant became ‘hostile and angry’ toward Medina and ‘plotted to retaliate’ against them.”
Lopez is seeking at least $20 million in damages for “disruptive and potentially damaging” information that Manoukian allegedly threatened to reveal to the media and to law enforcement authorities.
The driver reportedly had signed a confidentiality agreement with Jennifer Lopez that would legally prevent him from talking about any sensitive matters, however.
Jennifer Lopez recently quitAmerican Idol, as did Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and, among other things, is planning to reboot her movie career.