Ruben Studdard's (search) former manager is seeking $500,000 in damages from the "American Idol" (search) winner for allegedly failing to pay his management fees and not reimbursing him for expenses.

Ron Edwards' court filing on Friday is a counterclaim to the lawsuit Studdard filed in February.

Studdard's suit claims Edwards and his Birmingham marketing and advertising firm, Sez Inc. (search), misused $246,000 in the year that he worked for Studdard. The suit also accuses Edwards of making unauthorized expenses after he was fired.

Edwards, 46, denied those allegation in his filing.

Edwards' attorney, Glennon Threatt, told the Birmingham News that his client and Studdard, 26, were longtime family friends and that Edwards agreed to help Studdard for free before he won American Idol in May 2003.