Jennifer Lopez Splits With Publicist

9:46 PM PST 09/11/2013 by Shirley Halperin, Kimberly Nordyke
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Jennifer Lopez

The "American Idol" judge leaves Mark Young, who managed the PR crisis over her controversial performance in Turkmenistan, to sign with bicoastal firm Sunshine Sachs.

Jennifer Lopez has parted ways with her publicist Mark Young after about three years.

The newly reinstated American Idol judge has signed with Sunshine Sachs, where she will be repped by Ken Sunshine, Keleigh Thomas Morgan and Whitney Tancred.

The news comes just over a week after Fox officially confirmed that Lopez will return to the Idol panel after taking a season off.

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It also comes two months after Lopez was criticized by the Human Rights Foundation and others for performing a private concert in Turkmenistan, whose government has been accused of restricting free speech and jailing political opponents. Lopez came under scrutiny after singing "Happy Birthday" to President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov at the event.

Young, founder and president of public relations firm The Fame Factory, handled the media crisis for Lopez. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Lopez's decision to part ways with Young was unrelated to that PR nightmare and instead was due to Sunshine Sachs' presence in New York and Los Angeles and experience in such areas as branding and corporate communications as well as personal publicity. Lopez is the rare talent active in film, television, music, endorsements and several other endeavors.

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Idol began filming its 13th season last week. Lopez joins Harry Connick Jr. and returning judge Keith Urban (longtime judge Randy Jackson is segueing into a mentor role).

Lopez, who was last on the big screen opposite Jason Statham in Parker, next stars in the Chilean miner drama, The 33.

She also serves as chief creative officer of NuvoTV and executive produces ABC Family's The Fosters.

Her eighth studio album is scheduled to be released next year.

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