Jessica Simpson has accused a California businessman of attempting to emotionally blackmail her to win a payout in a $12 million lawsuit over her fashion empire.
The singer-turned-style guru sold a majority stake in The Jessica Simpson Collection to Sequential Brands Group bosses in April (15).
However, four months later, Jessica and her father Joe were slapped with legal papers from Jeffrey Bowler, who claimed he helped to make the deal happen.
He sued for the ten percent commission he was allegedly promised in a verbal deal with Joe Simpson, but the manager father hit back and filed a countersuit, accusing Bowler of trying to extort his family.
Joe insisted Bowler had nothing to do with negotiations with Sequential executives, and alleged he had failed in his earlier attempts to find a buyer.
At the time, Jessica's lawyer distanced the singer from the controversy, declaring she "has never met Mr. Bowler nor has she ever had any dealings with him whatsoever".
The 36-year-old recently headed to court to fight the case and took aim at Bowler, insisting his suit is just a "despicable attempt to extort millions of dollars" from the star, according to legal papers obtained by DailyMail.com.
During the hearing on 11 October (16), Jessica claimed Bowler tried to manipulate her close family ties by including her mother Tina and sister Ashlee as defendants, while also naming her longtime business manager David Levin in the suit, in the hopes of landing a hasty settlement. Ashlee and Levin have since been dropped from the case.
She also backs up her father's denial of any oral agreement, casting doubt on Bowler's claim as he failed to note what year the supposed deal was made.
Jessica goes on to argue that her dad ceased any involvement in her fashion brand years ago, before it was sold in a multi-million dollar deal, and has requested the case be dismissed to make an example of Bower.
In the court filing, she explains she wants to send a message to the "Plaintiff and all other would-be frivolous parties that (it) is inappropriate and unprofessional to rope in a party's entire family merely to gain a perceived settlement advantage through causing heartache and anxiety."
A ruling has yet to be made.