Ex-Staffers Who Turned On Jennifer Lopez

Triple threat singer, dancer, and actor Jennifer "JLo" Lopez has been an international icon since the 90s. She has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, and a Primetime Emmy for the Super Bowl LIV halftime show she headlined in Miami. Leading up to the singer's big 5-0 birthday bash in July 2019, she played international stops for her "It's My Party" tour. 

Lopez has certainly built a strong legacy as an entertainer and her brand doesn't stop there. The Bronx, New York native of Puerto Rican descent is also an entrepreneur and an influencer. Forbes lists the superstar's 2020 earnings through June at $47.5 million.

JLo's personal life is also fodder for fans, as millions of prying eyes devour every detail of Lopez and fiancé Alex Rodriguez's relationship. The power couple is a headline-making machine, whether it was their ownership bid for the MLB's New York Mets or shenanigans they post on social media. And while many, including the superstar's 131 million+ followers on Instagram, adore her, there have been people who turned on JLo throughout her illustrious career — including members of her own team. These are the ex-staffers who turned on Jennifer Lopez. 

JLo's chauffeur got tired of taking her around... the block

Hakob Manoukian began chauffeuring Jennifer Lopez and her then-husband Marc Anthony in 2005 before eventually being promoted to Lopez's staff full-time "as her personal Head of Security and Transportation" in early 2011, according to TMZ. By September of that year, Manoukian was gone from JLo's staff, after which he filed a lawsuit for breach of contract and wrongful termination against Lopez, her company Nuyorican Productions, and her manager Benny Medina. Manoukian claimed his agreement with Lopez included a $72,000 yearly salary with additional "production pay" potentially increasing his compensation to $200,000 yearly. According to E!, however, he claimed that "he received no production pay or overtime whatsoever." CNN further reported that Mankounian's suit claimed he dealt with "intolerable" labor conditions such as working more than 40 hours a week and being prevented from taking "proper meal periods," which forced him to resign.

Lopez filed a countersuit against Manoukian "seeking a minimum of $20 million in damages," claiming the former driver was allegedly blackmailing her for $2.8 million as he threatened to expose private information he overheard when chauffeuring her. The countersuit also alleged that Manoukian became "hostile and angry" after JLo rejected his desire to lead and appoint members to organize a security team for a music video shoot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

JLo's countersuit was dismissed in December of 2012. The "I'm Real" singer ended up settling Manoukian's original lawsuit for undisclosed terms in February 2013.

Benny Medina spoke ill of JLo after she fired him

In early July 2003, Jennifer Lopez fired manager Benny Medina (pictured above). She also accused him of "violating [California's] Talent Agency Act," "filed a petition" accusing Medina of misappropriating her money, and sought "millions in back commissions plus 10 percent interest," according to Billboard. The assertion was that Medina was not a licensed talent agent under the Labor Commissioner, a violation that entitles a performer to seek a refund for any payments to the acting talent agent up to a year before filing the petition. In Lopez's case, this amounted to "10% of earnings from movies and television, 15% of her music, recording and publishing earnings and 10% of her earnings from ancillary activities, including fashion and cosmetic interests."

Medina denied the allegations to The Hollywood Reporter (via Entertainment Weekly): "Jennifer Lopez, by making false allegations against me, is now trying to add me to the long list of people whom she has used and discarded after she took from them all she could get ... I will defend myself against these lies and will collect from her every dollar for which I am owed."

Less than two weeks after the fallout hit the headlines, The New York Times reported that the former colleagues were "close to settling their differences." By December, Fox News reported the dispute "was settled quietly some time ago." Lopez later rehired Medina to revive her music career in 2005. The two have remained friends and business partners ever since.

Scott Barnes spilled the tea on the time JLo iced him out

Forbes credits makeup artist Scott Barnes (pictured above) with creating the "signature technique" that became Lopez's iconic "Glow," which in turn "became the preferred look of the era." The two have worked together since 2000, whether it was serving as JLo's personal makeup artist for her role in 2019's Hustlers or for JLo's Super Bowl LIV halftime performance. While their working relationship and friendship spans two decades, there was a time when Barnes apparently didn't have her love.

Barnes spilled the beans during an interview on The Jeff Probst Show. After rumors circulated that Barnes and two others leaked plans of JLo and Anthony's secret marriage, JLo's team shunned Barnes. "Nobody would talk to me. It was like I had the plague," Barnes told Probst. When the truth came out that Barnes did not leak the news — or even know about the wedding ahead of time — he received a phone call, presumably from Lopez, whom Barnes claimed said the following: "It was like, 'Hey, it was a big misunderstanding. You know we have a lot of stuff coming up and I really miss you so let's just get back to work.'"

Although Barnes was extremely diplomatic in his recounting of the temporary fallout, it's clear that he never received a direct apology. What's even more interesting is that considering Barnes and Lopez quickly reconciled, he chose not to keep this story about her in-house.

JLo's former assistant sent a pretty clear silent message with her new gig

Geetanjali "Gilly" Iyer was a long time assistant for Jennifer Lopez until 2013 when she reportedly left JLo without informing her she had been looking elsewhere. According to R Online, Iyer went to work for Jermaine Dupri a week after he "joined [Mariah] Carey's management team." Lopez and Carey have been publicly painted as rivals for quite some time, so Iyer jumping ship to Lopez's alleged nemesis' camp seemed to sting even more. 

Reports surfaced that Lopez's then boyfriend, Casper Smart, allegedly ruffled feathers within Lopez's staff. "Casper always insisted that Jenifer's staff call him Mr. Smart and even demanded that Gilly get him drinks," a source told R Online. With Jenny from the Block allegedly doing nothing to set him straight, that may have been the breaking point as to why Iyer left. "Gilly had enough, she was over it. Gilly had been looking to leave for sometime and as soon as Mariah hired Jermaine, she quit. Jennifer was stunned," the source further claimed. 

Iyer may not have publicly trashed JLo, but is there anything colder than a personal assistant leaving a celeb's staff on short notice to go work for their rival? So, just how bad did this hurt the former Fly Girl? It's unclear, but in 2015, Page Six revealed that JLo reportedly had a "No Mariah" clause in her contract with her manager Benny Medina, barring him from managing Carey simultaneously.

Ultimatums don't work for Jennifer Lopez

In 2003, Endeavor Talent Agency reportedly gave Jennifer Lopez an "ultimatum" to either leave them or fire her manager Benny Medina as they found him too "high-maintenance," according to E!. In a shocking move, Lopez did fire Medina, but then also fired her Endeavor agent Patrick Whitesell and signed with rival agency CAA. 

At the time, Lopez and actor Ben Affleck were a couple. Whitesell had long represented Affleck and had added Lopez a few months before the firing. Despite gaining traction in her acting career and being the girlfriend of their longtime client Affleck, the agency still chose to put her in a tough position. And while it was Lopez who swung the axe on the professional relationship, Endeavor seemingly made it public they didn't value her enough to figure out how to make things work with her manager. 

See if you can spot the unsubtle shade in Endeavor's statement about the fallout, which attempted to make the firing seem like a mutual decision while also throwing Medina under the bus and taking a shot at Lopez's decision-making. "Endeavor has parted company with Jennifer Lopez," the agency stated (via Variety), adding, "Jennifer is an incredibly talented actress and a good friend, and we wish her much continued success. However, as an agency, we were no longer able to work with her manager Benny Medina. We thought it best for Jennifer and Endeavor that we part company at this time."

Did JLo get a hotel maid fired over an autograph?

While JLo was in Germany during her 2012 world tour, she was reportedly checked in at a hotel room on the same floor housekeeper Pray Dodaj was cleaning. A self-described "incredibly big fan," Dodaj took it upon herself to attempt to get an autograph from Lopez, only to be "rejected by two assistants at the door" to her room, Dodaj told Daily Star (via Hindustan Times). "A day later, the cleaning company that employed me at the hotel called and said that Ms. Lopez had complained. I was fired right there on the phone. Because of an autograph," Dodaj further claimed. 

After the story circulated, Lopez denied the alleged notion she had Dodaj fired via Twitter: "C'mon thought you knew me better than this.. Would never get anyone fired over an autograph. 1st I heard of this was on twitter. #hurtful."

A rep from Lopez's staff further defended the "Waiting For Tonight" singer by pointing out two social media photos to TMZ of the singer doing meet-and-greets. TMZ also cited an anonymous source, identified as someone "close to Lopez," who claimed an unidentified housekeeper allegedly "barged" into Lopez's room and JLo's security guided her out for safety purposes.

The hotel's director, Cyrus Heydarian, seemingly confirmed the latter account, and justified Dodaj's firing by telling E! that "she has acted contrary to the contractual arrangements and disturbed the privacy of our guests." 

Throw JLo's other 'representatives' under the bus and you'll soon cease to be one

In 2013, Jennifer Lopez's morals came into question when it was reported that she earned in the neighborhood of $10 million performing for shady dictators, according to The Independent. The outlet also pointed out that the Human Rights Foundation and others were critical of JLo's decision to put on a private performance in Turkmenistan for President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who's government allegedly restricted free speech and imprisoned those who spoke against the nation's alleged corruption.

Lopez's then-publicist Mark Young issued a response, however, the statement made JLo's team appear surprisingly ill-informed. "This was not a government sponsored event or political in nature," Young said (via Reuters), adding, "The event was vetted by her representatives, had there been knowledge of human-right issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended." That statement probably didn't go over well, considering how Human Rights Watch's Rachel Denber, deputy director for Europe and Central Asia Division, explained that JLo's team did not have to dig deep for information revealing the controversy surrounding President Berdymukhamedov's reportedly corrupt leadership. It was something even JLo herself could have discovered. "Just do a few Google clicks to look up their human-rights record," Denber told Reuters.

Two months after the backlash, Young was fired from Lopez's team. With the whole fiasco blowing up in JLo's face, was it possible Young eventually took the fall for what appeared to be some blame-shifting after the fact? 

Even indirect service staffers have spoken out against JLo

The singer who famously declared, "Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got/I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block," has weathered tales of her alleged snobbery for years. In just one instance reported by the Daily Star, when contractors were hired for a job that could take up to a year on JLo's house, those contractors were reportedly informed they were to not communicate directly with the international star. A source told the tabloid (via HuffPost), "She has made it clear that if any of the contractors, drivers or domestic help made eye contact or speak to her, she will not be impressed."

Jenny from the Block's supposed superficial superstar antics apparently extend to service workers who aren't directly in her employ, but who have the unfortunate one-time experience of being snubbed by her.

"She doesn't speak to salespeople, restaurant or hotel staff — or flight attendants. She only talks through her assistants," the source toldStar (via R Online). A United Airlines flight attendant backed up this claim, sharing a similar experience with the "Booty" singer"I just said, 'what can I get you to drink?' But Jennifer refused to even acknowledge me," the unnamed airline employee said, adding, "She turned her head away and told her personal assistant, 'Please tell him I'd like a Diet Coke and lime.' She wouldn't even look at me."