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Bankrupt American Idol producer now suing winner Phillip Phillips

American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips is being sued by 19 Entertainment, the company that produced the Fox show but is now bankrupt.

In 2015, Phillip sued 19 to get out of his contract and filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner. His lawyer, Howard King, said at the time that Phillip “never anticipated that the producers would favor their own interests above his career or commit egregious violations of the California’s Talent Agencies Act.”

19 Entertainment, which was founded by Simon Fuller and produced Idol, Pop Idol, and So you Think You Can Dance, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late April. (Variety’s story explained the complexities behind the company, its ownership, and its finances.)

19 Entertainment now wants Phillip to pay more than $5 million, saying in a complaint quoted by The Hollywood Reporter that “Phillips has refused and insists that he will continue to refuse to perform pursuant to the Agreements, thereby causing Plaintiffs additional damages.”

Phillip’s attorney, Howard King, had an amazing response to THR:

“19’s new complaint is a blatant attempt to evade California’s jurisdiction and thwart its fundamental public policies crafted to protect artists. 19 cannot murder its parents, then seek mercy as an orphan.”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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