Not many things are more painful than realizing you will not spend the rest of your life with your spouse. Music icon Kelly Clarkson knows it firsthand.
Although Kelly Clarkson and former talent manager Brandon Blackstock were married for seven years and had children together, they couldn't make things work and parted ways in 2020.
Clarkson's divorce has been mentally and financially challenging, but her closest friends have shown support. Country star Blake Shelton, who was under Brandon's management for years, supposedly cut ties with him.
Kelly Clarkson at Central Park, New York, on September 28, 2019 [main] Reba McEntire and Brandon Blackstock [circles] | Source: Getty Images
FALLING OUT OF LOVE
Clarkson and Blackstock's relationship might be bitter now, but they used to be one of the most loving couples in Hollywood. They began dating in 2011, married in 2013, and raised four kids (including his two children from his previous marriage).
"The Voice" coach would frequently gush about her husband on her talk show, "The Kelly Clarkson Show," but they eventually fell out of love.
In June 2020, Clarkson filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." She later admitted she didn't see their split coming, adding that she and Blackstock were trying to protect their kids throughout the separation.
Brandon Blackstock and Kelly Clarkson on September 6, 2017 in New York | Source: Getty Images
ENTERING A NASTY LEGAL BATTLE
Although Blackstock and Clarkson signed a prenuptial agreement, he contested it. Blackstock wanted to split their properties and Clarkson's money earned during their seven-year marriage in half. More on this later.
Their divorce was complicated because Blackstock was also Clarkson's manager under Narvel Blackstock's company (his father), Starstruck Management Group.
Brandon Blackstock and Kelly Clarkson on January 28, 2018 in New York | Source: Getty Images
After announcing their split, the management company filed a lawsuit against her claiming she owed over $3 million in unpaid commissions. She paid $1.9 million and filed a lawsuit to avoid paying the remaining $1.4 million.
Clarkson's countersuit stated that Starstruck didn't meet the Talent Agencies Act's licensing requirements. She also claimed Blackstock and his father, Narvel, acted as unlicensed talent agents in California.
Blackstock and Clarkson's separation even made country music star Reba McEntire share her thoughts.
The singer even said her ex-husband "defrauded" her by charging exorbitant fees for his job. With her lawsuit, Clarkson wanted all agreements between her and Starstruck declared void, so she didn't have to pay the millions the management company requested.
Blackstock and Clarkson's legal battle kept making headlines throughout 2020 and 2021, especially after a judge ordered her to pay Blackstock $150,000 a month in spousal support and $45,000 in child support.
Coming back to their contested prenup, a judge sided with Clarkson and declared in August 2021 that the agreement had to be taken into account while making decisions about the divorce.
Although Clarkson still needed to pay almost $200,000 in spousal and child support, she gained the right to sell the Montana ranch Blackstock used as his primary residence.
WISE WORDS FROM REBA MCENTIRE
Blackstock and Clarkson's separation even made country music star Reba McEntire share her thoughts. McEntire was married to Narvel, Blackstock's dad, for almost three decades.
Clarkson previously said she was thrilled to have McEntire as part of her family, especially because she looked up to the "I'm a Survivor" songstress for years.
Both singers have a special relationship, but McEntire sees Blackstock as her stepson for all the years she was married to Narvel. About Clarkson and Blackstock's divorce, McEntire said:
"You know, I love them both. Brandon's my stepson. Kelly's my good friend… I am pulling for both of them. I hope they're happy and healthy and pull through this."
REPEATING HER FAMILY'S MISTAKES
In August 2021, Clarkson opened up about how her inexistent relationship with her father affected her romantic relationships. She told Kevin Hart on his talk show "Hart to Heart" that she didn't grow up or really know her father, Stephen.
Clarkson's parents divorced when she was six, and the family (including her four siblings) separated. After that, she barely kept in touch with Stephen. She didn't miss him, either, because you cannot miss "something you never had."
Is this your way of coming out to me?
After going to therapy, Clarkson realized growing up without Stephen was her "issue." Since she didn't know what having a father was like, she didn't know what to look for in a partner.
The singer explained she grew up with no example of how a woman should be treated or what a relationship should be like. Speaking of Clarkson's family, her mother, Jeanne, had a hilarious reaction after her daughter's divorce.
Clarkson told author Glennon Doyle that she gave Jeanne her memoir "Untamed," which tells the story of Glennon's "wake-up call" before divorcing.
Jeanne then asked Clarkson if there was a hidden reason why she recommended that book. The singer was afraid her mom would think she was giving her relationship advice and could take offense from the memoir.
However, Jeanne asked: "Is this your way of coming out to me?" Clarkson couldn't help but laugh. She was surprised that the only thing her mom got from the book was thinking she was a lesbian.
SETTLING THE LEGAL BATTLE
In March 2022, after almost two years of going back and forth in court, Clarkson and Blackstock's divorce was finalized. Although the drama is finally over, Clarkson needs to pay a lot of money.
Both parties agreed that the singer would give Blackstock just over $1.3 million as a one-time payment. He will also receive $45,000 a month in child support and $115,000 a month in spousal support until January 31, 2024.
Clarkson kept their two properties in Montana, and Blackstock will have to move out of the Montana ranch in June. Until then, he will pay his ex-wife $2,000 a month.
The singer will also keep their pets, some cars, and a flight simulator, while the retired manager obtained farm cattle, livestock, stock dogs, horses, and vehicles.
Clarkson and Blackstock had previously agreed to joint custody of their two kids, but they will now live at their mom's home in Los Angeles. Theirs was not the only highly-publicized Hollywood divorce in recent years, sadly.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard parted ways in 2017 after two years of marriage, and things got so complicated that he reportedly faced a boycott. Depp now wants to reinvent his image.