New testimony is being reported from Kelly Clarkson’s case against her ex-husband and former manager Brandon Blackstock, with the American Idol winner reportedly testifying that he told her she wasn’t “sexy” enough to be on The Voice before she landed the show.
According to court documents cited by the New York Post, Clarkson made the assertion on the stand ahead of a ruling that awarded her $2.6 million from Blackstock for overstepping his role as her manager in securing her work, including The Voice, per TMZ.
Clarkson claimed that she spent years trying to convince Blackstock she wanted to be pitched to the show as a Coach only for him to advise that producers were “looking for a more sex symbol type,” citing Rihanna as a better option for them.
The talk show host further claimed her husband told her NBC “had to have someone that was Black,” thus Rihanna, emphasizing that “they had to have a diverse thing.” He also reportedly argued she was “too similar” to Blake Shelton, who’d been with the show since the beginning.
When her lawyer asked her how she was able to recall such a specific conversation from so many years ago, Clarkson replied plainly, “Well, a wife doesn’t forget a time she gets told she’s not a sex symbol, so that stays.”
Kelly Clarkson would eventually land a gig on The Voice, starting in 2018 with Season 14. She would develop a great sparring rapport with Shelton, becoming one of the show’s most popular Coaches. She is tied with John Legend (as of the upcoming Season 25) for third most season appearances at nine, after OGs Shelton and Adam Levine.
The new comments come on the heels of Us Weekly reporting that Clarkson has made her final spousal payment to Blackstock after their long, protracted and ugly divorce.
Clarkson’s time on The Voice may be over for good, as the busy mom moved with her kids to New York after finalizing her divorce in June 2020. She took her eponymous talk show with her, but left The Voice behind.
She admitted to USA Today in October that she was spreading herself too thin in Los Angeles, citing her work on The Voice. “I’ve learned a lot about what I’m capable of handling, and also what you should not handle,” she told the outlet. “That was me saying ‘bye’ to ‘The Voice’ and having this big move.”
“I love that family, but I was like, ‘I’m struggling. I can’t smile anymore,” Clarkson continued. “I don’t feel like smiling.” Now, she says she’s happier than ever with the new NY-based Kelly Clarkson Show.