Jamie Spears is asking a judge to require Britney Spears to continue to pay his legal fees after the termination of her conservatorship — and the judge has yet to make a decision.
Before discussing the fees during a court hearing on Wednesday, Jamie’s lawyer, Alex M. Weingarten, tangled with Britney’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, over allegations Britney made against her father in a court filing first reported by the New York Times on Tuesday.
Weingarten accused Rosengart of planting the story with the Times, calling Britney’s accusations “nonsense.”
“Virtually everything that is alleged is … fake or taken out of context,” said Weingarten, referring to Britney’s claims that Jamie bugged her bedroom, tapped her phone and tried to obtain private therapy reports. Weingarten added that there is “sealed” information about Britney’s case that would “demonstrate that there is no evidence to these allegations.”
Rosengart hit back, telling the court that he feels “compelled to respond to these false statements [and] lies.”
“I’m not deciding what’s right and what’s wrong today,” said Penny about the allegations. No decision was made about legal fees for Jamie, Britney’s mother Lynne or the pop star’s former lawyers on Wednesday, but Penny did approve a payment for Spears’ former conservator Jodi Montgomery’s legal fees.
On Wednesday, Britney’s estate — now managed by Miller Kaplan — was also transferred over to her, with previous temporary conservator John Zabel no longer in place.
Weingarten also asked the judge to file a motion to unseal Britney’s health records next month, saying that the “public has the right to know” more context.
Rosengart, however, asked Judge Penny to hold off on the motion until April 15 so he has time to prepare a response.
The next hearing, set for July 27, is expected to further address the legal fees and Britney’s claims against Jamie.
Jamie, 69, first filed court documents demanding that the star’s estate make payments to his legal team for “ongoing fiduciary duties relating to the winding up of the Conservatorship of the Person and Estate” in December, just over a month after Penny decided to end the 13-year-long conservatorship.
“Prompt payment on account of Jamie’s attorneys’ fees is necessary to ensure the Conservatorship can be wound up quickly and efficiently to allow Britney to take control of her life as she and Jamie desire,” the documents stated.
In response, Britney, 40, alleged in her Friday court documents that Jamie’s financial misconduct during his tenure as her conservator put him in violation of California’s standards of conduct.
Rosengart claimed in the filing that at the same time that Britney’s conservatorship was established in 2008, Jamie had owed Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, a business management firm run by Lou M. Taylor, at least $40,000.
While still indebted to the company, Jamie allegedly hired Tri Star to be Britney’s manager, a role that Rosengart said awarded the firm “multi-million dollar commissions and fees” from Britney’s earnings during the conservatorship.
In regards to Jamie’s actions, Rosengart reiterated a question asked by Anthony Palmieri, the incoming president of the National Guardianship Association, in a December New York Times piece: “Is the conservator making decisions in the best interest of the conservatee or the business manager who they owe a debt to?”
“Although Mr. Spears contended that his daughter needed the Conservatorship because she was incapable of caring for herself or her affairs, Mr. Spears was intent on ensuring that she continued to generate significant earnings, a sizeable portion of which he distributed to himself and those within his inner circle,” Rosengart later added.
A lawyer for Taylor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Friday’s filing also included a declaration by Sherine Ebadi, an investigator at Kroll and former F.B.I. agent retained by Britney’s legal team to investigate Jamie’s management of the estate.
In it, Ebadi corroborated the claims made by former Black Box Security employee Alex Vlasov in The New York Times documentary Controlling Britney Spears that Jamie had the firm monitor Britney’s phone, including private communications with her lawyer, and secretly record her in her bedroom during conversations with her now-fiancé Sam Asghari and her children (she shares sons Sean Preston, 16, and Jayden James, 15, with ex-husband Kevin Federline).
Additionally, Ebadi alleged that Jamie would ask Black Box to send him “specific items from Ms. Spears’s iCloud, such as therapy notes or text message,” despite being “aware that he was expressly prohibited” from doing so without Britney’s permission.
Along with surveilling Britney, Ebadi said that Vlasov claimed that the company had obtained private phone records from Britney’s mother, Lynne, and others, including Britney’s masseuse, to determine if they were speaking to the media.
According to Ebadi, Vlasov also said that Black Box would obtain GPS “ping data” to obtain the locations of certain people, including “former romantic interests” of Britney’s, for surveillance.
Britney’s conservatorship was terminated on Nov. 12, five months after the singer made clear during a court hearing that she wanted it to end.
Rosengart, who has represented Britney since July, first filed court documents to move forward in asking Penny to end Britney’s conservatorship in September, weeks after Jamie, who was then her estate conservator, did the same.
After Jamie — who had stepped down as Britney’s personal conservator in 2019 — was officially suspended from his role as estate conservator on Sept. 29, Britney thanked Rosengart on Instagram, writing: “Thankfully I found an amazing attorney Mathew Rosengart who has helped change my life!!!!”
Weeks later, Rosengart filed additional court documents accusing Jamie of having ulterior motives after he unexpectedly reversed his stance in September on the necessity of Britney’s conservatorship.
He filed a request on Oct. 1 to have Jamie deposed, and he questioned in court documents whether Jamie was “motivated by a desire to bolster his reputation or to avoid his deposition or responding to the outstanding discovery served on him in August.”
For his part, Jamie has defended his role as the conservator of Britney’s estate and has insisted that he only ever had his daughter’s best interest at heart.
“Mr. Spears loves his daughter Britney unconditionally. For 13 years, he has tried to do what is in her best interests, whether as a conservator or her father,” read a statement released by his former lawyer Vivian Thoreen in September.
The public doesn’t need to know Britney’s personal medical history to see that her family has been taking advantage of her for years.