Jamie Spears illegally recorded daughter Britney Spears in her bedroom, a private investigator and former FBI agent concluded after an investigation.
via: Page Six
Sherine Ebadi, who worked on fraud and corruption cases for over 10 years at the federal agency, claimed in a declaration filed Friday in Los Angeles and obtained by Page Six that Jamie Spears “engaged in and directed others to engage in unconscionable violations of [Britney’s] privacy and civil liberties.”
Ebadi alleged in the filing that her findings “raise criminal implications” for Jamie, who oversaw his daughter’s personal, medical and financial affairs for the bulk of her nearly 14-year conservatorship before a judge terminated it in November 2021.
Britney’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, submitted Ebadi’s declaration as part of a larger court filing accusing Jamie, 69, of taking more than $6 million from the 40-year-old “Toxic” singer’s estate and using “his role as conservator to further his own personal and business interests.”
Rosengart had retained Ebadi, who now works as an associate managing director in the Forensic Investigations and Intelligence practice of Kroll Associates Inc., to investigate Jamie’s management of the conservatorship.
Ebadi’s declaration said she “personally debriefed and interviewed” Alex Vlasov, the whistleblower who alleged in the New York Times documentary “Controlling Britney Spears” in September that Jamie had monitored Britney’s cellphone and bugged her bedroom, and concluded that he was a “highly credible” witness.
Vlasov, who worked for Britney’s former bodyguard Edan Yemini, told Ebadi that his employer, Black Box Security, “was already monitoring” the Grammy winner’s BlackBerry in 2012 when he started working there. Vlasov claimed that when Britney switched to an iPhone the following year, he was entrusted with “finding monitoring software and installing it as a hidden app,” according to the declaration.
“Mr. Vlasov was tasked with reviewing the monitored content and relaying that information through Yemini to [Jamie],” Ebadi said. “Sometimes, Mr. Vlasov provided information on [Britney’s] monitored communications directly to [Jamie].”
By 2015, Jamie allegedly instructed Black Box “to mirror the content of [Britney’s] iCloud to a separate device that could be reviewed” at the suggestion of Robin Greenhill, an associate of Britney’s then-business manager, Lou Taylor, per the filing.
“According to Mr. Vlasov, Black Box sent [Britney’s] personal communications to [Jamie] at his explicit request,” Ebadi said, alleging in the declaration that Jamie “would on occasion” ask to see his daughter’s “therapy notes or text messages” — even after he stepped down as the conservator of her person in September 2019.
Ebadi said Vlasov also alleged that Jamie was “particularly interested in his daughter’s attorney-client communications and wanted regular updates from Black Box on the substance of those privileged messages.” Vlasov claimed his employer did not ask him to stop reviewing such communications until 2020.
Ebadi, who was on former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, said in her declaration that she also “corroborated” Vlasov’s bugging claim based on their meeting, though she did not specify whether Vlasov had provided physical evidence.
“According to Mr. Vlasov, Black Box was initially responsible for suggesting that a secret listening device be planted in [Britney’s] bedroom, but [Jamie] ‘loved’ the idea and approved and instructed that the installation move forward,” she claimed.
“The Black Box employee who placed the secret device in [Britney’s] bedroom explained to Mr. Vlasov that he did so by duct-taping it behind furniture so it could not be seen and that he added a separate battery pack to the recording device to permit continuous recording for a longer period of time.”
Vlasov alleged to Ebadi that there were “hundreds of hours of audio recording” between 2016 and 2018, including conversations between Britney and her then-boyfriend as well as her teenage sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James.
Jamie’s attorney, Alex Weingarten, did not immediately respond to Page Six’s request for comment on Ebadi’s declaration, but his former lawyer, Vivian Lee Thoreen, said in a statement in September that his “actions were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney [Samuel D. Ingham III] and/or the court.”
A lawyer for Yemini, meanwhile, said at the time, “Black Box have always conducted themselves within professional, ethical and legal bounds, and they are particularly proud of their work in keeping Ms. Spears safe for many years.”
Britney testified last summer that she wanted her estranged dad to be charged with “conservatorship abuse.”
Various conservatorship-related requests and legal fees are set to be discussed at a court hearing Wednesday afternoon.