Christina Aguilera slapped with counter-suit

Steven Kurtz--the manager against whom Christina Aguilera filed suit last month--filed a counter-suit against the singer in a U.S. District Court in New York City on Friday (10/27). In the suit, Kurtz alleges that Aguilera violated the terms of their March 1999 management agreement by prematurely and inappropriately terminating his services last month. The suit also names Aguilera’s assistant tour manager, Kiki Lee Baker, whom the suit credits with orchestrating Kurtz’ ousting, and entertainment manager Irving Azoff.

Kurtz’ suit seeks over $1 million for services already rendered, $50,000 for a loan he claims that he made to fund Aguilera’s fanclub, punitive damages and reimbursement for the legal fees associated with the lawsuit.

Pointedly targeted in the suit is Baker, whom Kurtz alleges purposely sabotaged his relationship with Aguilera to “deflect attention from herself.” The suit claims that this was done after Kurtz learned of Baker’s alleged mishandling of Aguilera’s money, which is described in the suit as Baker’s failure to account for over $180,000 of Aguilera’s tour money and the “inappropriate” wiring of $15,000 to a bank account in the names of both Baker and Bobby Herr. Herr is described in the suit as Baker’s boyfriend and Aguilera’s tour manager.

According to the suit, Baker had formerly been employed by the artist Seal, with whom Aguilera performed at a charity event in Las Vegas on Oct. 7. The suit claims that “Baker urged Aguilera to terminate Kurtz no later than October 2, 2000 because Baker did not want Kurtz to meet Seal and/or learn the true reasons behind the termination of Baker's employment with Seal.”

Baker could not be located for comment.

Azoff, Kurtz claims, has been representing Aguilera as of late and, by doing so, is violating the terms of Kurtz’ agreement with Aguilera. The suit claims that Kurtz notified Azoff of that fact early last month, and further claims that Azoff has disregarded the information.

Azoff did not respond to a request for comment.

Last month, Aguilera filed a lawsuit against Kurtz in which she alleged that Kurtz had been billing her for more money than he was entitled to under the terms of their management agreement.

Kurtz initially responded by issuing a press release in which he implored Aguilera to "question the motives of those persons who have encouraged her to pursue this baseless litigation and isolated her from those who have contributed to her success."

On Thursday (11/2), Kurtz told liveDaily that he had not been contacted by anyone in the Aguilera camp since Oct. 2, at which time he claims that he received a short, two-sentence letter and a brief phone call from Aguilera’s lawyer telling him his services were being terminated.

Aguilera’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

Aguilera recently completed a tour in support of her self-titled, debut disc. The album has been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipping over 7 million copies since its release in August of 1999.

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