Jennifer Lopez Sues Former Driver for $20 Million
Jennifer Lopez is suing her former chauffeur and head of personal security for extortion and defamation, claiming he tried to blackmail her.
According to court documents filed in Los Angeles last week, the singer-actress is accusing Hakob Manoukian of threatening to blab "disruptive and potentially damaging" information about her unless she forked over him $2.8 million.
Lopez is seeking at least $20 million in damages.
The suit claims that an attorney for Manoukian %u2014 who sued Lopez, her manager, Benny Medina, and ex-husband, Mark Anthony, for breach of contract in April %u2014 demanded the nearly $3 million payday to in order to keep his lips sealed on "sensitive and personal information that he had allegedly overheard" while working for the former American Idol judge.
The lawsuit also accuses the former chauffeur of making "other ominous threats to report Ms. Lopez to the 'authorities' if his demands were not met."
The legal action is technically a countersuit to Manoukian's original filing, denying his allegations that she didn't pay him the full agreed-upon salary.
The story of Manoukian's employment under Lopez is marred with contradicting claims. The driver went to work for Lopez after leaving employment with her ex-husband Marc Anthony's production company, but quit after a month of service. While she asserts he "abruptly terminated his employment...under false pretenses," but he maintains he walked away from "intolerable" working conditions.
Lopez's lawsuit notes that Manoukian signed a confidentiality agreement that prohibits him from disclosing anything information he acquired during employment about the star's business or family.