Ex-husband sues Jennifer Lopez for breach of contract -- Ojani Noa says he was wrongfully fired from his job as manager of her Pasadena restaurant

By Gary Susman
December 23, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Jennifer Lopez: Jennifer Graylock/AP

Love don’t cost a thing, as Jennifer Lopez sings, but divorce can be plenty expensive. Lopez could find herself coughing up legal damages, thanks to a lawsuit filed by her first ex-husband. In his complaint, Ojani Noa argues that Lopez wrongfully fired him from his position running Madres, her Pasadena restaurant, after just six months on the job in 2002.

Noa was a waiter in Miami when he married Lopez, in 1997. A year later, the couple divorced, and he was running the Conga Room in Los Angeles. He was still there four years later when Lopez hired him to run Madres, her new eatery, in April 2002. According to the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lopez told Noa that she would take care of him because he was ”family” and would not fire him ”without good cause or reason.” Six months later, however, he was out of a job. ”Mr. Noa tried to call Ms. Lopez to find out what prompted this sudden change of events. His calls went unreturned,” the complaint says. ”She didn’t even have the decency… to explain why she had lied to lure him to accept a job that she did not plan on letting him keep in the first place.” Noa — who earned $1,000 a week at Madres, according to the suit — is seeking unspecified damages.

At press time, the singer/actress’ reps had not responded to EW.com’s request for a comment.