On Jan. 22, the singer filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner to get out of his "oppressive, fatally conflicted" contract with "Idol" producer 19 Entertainment. Phillips says the company "manipulated" him into accepting jobs since he won season 11 of the singing competition.
The claim also asserts Phillips was forced to perform for free promoting JetBlue, since the company benefited from the 2013 Idol live tour (which Phillips wasn't even on), and that the title of his most recent album, "Behind the Light," was withheld from him until being announced publicly.
The claim also says 19 Entertainment gets up to 40 percent of the profits when Phillips does endorsements, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition, Phillips says that 19 Entertainment chose a producer for his first two albums that "compromised his interests," and also promised the producer wouldn't receive greater mechanical royalty rates on songs than he would, which was a lie.
"I am very grateful for the opportunities provided to me through appearing on 'American Idol,'" says Phillips. "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."