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LOS ANGELES, Calif.--R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly was sued today by a former manager, who alleges the entertainer owes him more than $1 million commissions for helping him revive his career amid child pornography allegations.
Jeff Kwatinetz, through his company, Prospect Park, filed the case in Los Angeles Superior Court.
He is alleging breach of contract and fraud and also is asking for unspecified punitive damages from Kelly and his business manager, Derrel McDavid.
A representative for the 44-year-old performer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, could not be immediately reached.
According to the suit, Kelly sought out Kwatinetz in 2008 and asked him to be his talent manager at a time the singer's "career and personal life had hit an all-time low" because of the child porn allegations. Kwatinetz took the job after getting assurances from Kelly's representatives that the charges were false, according to his suit.
Kwatinetz says he helped Kelly through the recording of two CDs, organized concert tours--including one in Africa--a book deal and other events, earning the singer millions of dollars.
He alleges that McDavid told him that his commission money was needed to pay off people threatening to expose sexual misconduct and other details about the singer that would be embarrassing to him. Kelly ultimately claimed he was not obligated to pay Kwatinetz, according to the plaintiff's court papers.
"It is now obvious that Kelly and his handlers never intended to pay commissions due ...," the suit alleges.
Kelly was acquitted of the child porn charges s in 2008.