Phillip Phillips Sues to Escape 'American Idol' Contract, Claims to Have Been 'Manipulated'

The winner of the 11th season of the reality series says in the petition that 'Idol' producer 19 Entertainment has been taking jobs that benefit the company and its affiliates rather than him.

AceShowbiz - Former "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips wants to part ways with producer of the show that launched his career. The singer has filed a legal petition against the show's producer 19 Entertainment to get out of an "oppressive, fatally conflicted" contract.

"I am very grateful for the opportunities provided to me through appearing on 'American Idol'," he says. "The value that the fans and the show have given to my career is not lost on me. However, I have not felt that I have been free to conduct my career in a way that I am comfortable with. I look forward to being able to make my own choices about my career and to being able to make great music and play it for my fans."

Phillips claims to have been "manipulated" into accepting jobs since he won the 11th season of the singing competition series. He says that he was forced to perform for free for one of "Idol" sponsors and not even knowing the title of his last album "Behind the Light" before it was announced publicly. He is also required to give 19 Entertainment up to 40 percent of his earnings on endorsements.

In the petition, Phillips cites the Talent Agencies Act that says only licensed talent agents can procure employment for their clients. 19 Entertainment is not licensed as an agent. However, Phillips claims the company has a fiduciary duty to him and has breached such duty by forcing him to take jobs that benefit the company and its affiliates rather than him.

The "Home" himatker says he "frequently requested" to renegotiate his deal, but it's to no avail. "Because 19 Recordings, Inc. is also Petitioner's record company, 19, as Petitioner's management company, failed to secure even a single improvement to the terms of the Recording Agreement, in breach of Respondent's fiduciary obligations to Petitioner," he explains.

When asked for comment on the issue, a spokesperson for 19 Entertainment tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We're very proud of everything we've accomplished together with Phillip, working closely to help nurture his extraordinary talent and advance his career. We have always acted in the best interest of Phillip. We will vigorously defend ourselves from any baseless claims to the contrary and from any attempt to interfere with our rights and relationships."

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