Lawyers for Britney Spears and her father Jamie went toe-to-toe at a hearing on Wednesday over the end of the pop star’s conservatorship, which was officially vacated back in November.
The 40-year-old’s estate is formally back under her control however, her father is still battling with Britney’s lawyers over a declaration they recently filed by an investigator corroborating claims that a secret listening device was installed in her bedroom.
Additionally, Jamie’s attorney is requesting that Judge Brenda Penny unseal Britney’s private medical records because he says the ‘public has the right to know’ the context around his decisions while acting as conservator.
In court: Jamie Spears asked a judge to release Britney’s sealed medical records at a Wednesday hearing so he can help defend himself against accusations he spied on her without her consent, People reported
Jamie, 69, hit back at an explosive court filing from Tuesday from Britney’s lawyers detailing the findings of their investigation into accusations that he instructed a security team to spy on the star.
His attorney, Alex M. Weingarten, called the results ‘nonsense’, adding that ‘virtually everything that is alleged is … fake or taken out of context,’ reported People.
In order to appropriately defend himself against the assertions, Jamie’s lawyer wants sealed information from Britney’s longstanding conservatorship case released wide to ‘demonstrate that there is no evidence to these allegations.’
This sealed information includes Britney’s health records which Jamie’s lawyer feels the ‘public has the right to know’ for context.
Concerning: Jamie’s attorney, Alex M. Weingarten, called the results of an investigation corroborating claims he spied on Britney as ‘nonsense’, adding that ‘Virtually everything that is alleged is … fake or taken out of context’
Judge Brenda Penny on Wednesday ruled to seal the conservatorship termination plan citing Britney’s ‘right to privacy over her private medical information,’ according to the Los Angeles Times, which reviewed documents in the case.
Penny also nixed Jamie’s request to put a hold on conservatorship funds, the paper reported.
Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart said that the singer shouldn’t be responsible for the $30 million in legal fees Jamie racked up during his time as conservator, the paper reported.
Rosengart in legal docs said that Jamie had taken liberties with Britney’s money, in addition to looking at her therapy information and exchanges with her legal team, the paper reported. Rosengart in legal docs also alleged Jamie was party to ‘abuse to conflicts of interest, financial mismanagement and corruption of the conservatorship to implicating state and federal criminal law.’
Rosengart also denied allegations made by Jamie’s lawyer Alex M. Weingarten that he had planted false stories to news outlets, according to Variety.
Rosengart asked the court that Weingarten be reprimanded for ‘lies,’ saying Weingarten had intolerably attacked him and the court.
Weingarten stated that the singer had been ‘irresponsible with her finances, to which the judge said, ‘Let’s not go down that road.’
Rosengart also called for a hearing to review accounting of the pop star’s finances, which involved Spears’ managers, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group and others.
Upcoming court hearings in the ongoing case have been slated for March 16, April 1, July 27 and December 2, according to court docs, the Times reported.
His side of the story: In order to appropriately defend himself against the assertions, Jamie’s lawyer wants sealed information from Britney’s longstanding conservatorship case released wide to ‘demonstrate that there is no evidence to these allegations’
The hearing came on the heels of a declaration filed by Rosengart from former FBI agent Sherine Ebadi, who backed assertions that Jamie instructed Black Box Security ‘to place a secret recording device in Ms. Spears’s bedroom,’ E! News reported.
Attorneys for Britney Spears hired the former federal agent, who currently oversees forensic investigations for a private firm, to look into troubling allegations leveled by a former security company employee tasked with looking after the star.
At the hearing Wednesday, Jamie’s lawyer called Ebadi’s comments ‘false statements [and] lies’ and went so far as to accuse Britney’s team of planting the original story in a New York Times documentary.
Following an investigation, an investigator hired by Britney’s legal team corroborated the claims that Jamie had a listening device secretly planted in her bedroom.
Ebadi was told by Alex Vlasov, the former Black Box security employee, that under Jamie’s instructions, a recording decide was duct-taped ‘behind furniture so it could not be seen’ in Britney’s bedroom.
A ‘separate battery pack’ as also allegedly added to the hidden device ‘to permit continuous recording for a longer period of time.’
‘Communications between Ms. Spears and her personal court-appointed attorney, Sam Ingham, were among the private communications that Black Box and Mr. Spears monitored,’ Ebadi wrote in the declaration.
‘Mr. Vlasov told me that Mr. Spears was particularly interested in his daughter’s attorney-client communications and wanted regular updates from Black Box on the substance of those privileged messages.
‘Surveillance of Ms. Spears’s communications with her lawyer continued until at least 2020, when [Black Box owner Edan Yemini] instructed Mr. Vlasov to cease reviewing attorney-client privileged communications.’
According to the declaration, Ebadi felt that the results of her inquiry into the matter ‘raise criminal implications’ for Jamie Spears.
Troubling: The hearing came on the heels of a declaration filed by Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart from a former FBI agent Sherine Ebadi who backed assertions that Jamie instructed Black Box Security ‘to place a secret recording device in Ms. Spears’s bedroom’
She added that Jamie, who oversaw Britney’s 13 year conservatorship, ‘engaged in and directed others to engage in unconscionable violations of [Britney’s] privacy and civil liberties,’ Page Six reported.
The allegations that Jamie Spears spied on his daughter were first raised by a former employee of Black Box Security in a New York Times documentary on the hitmaker, Controlling Britney Spears.
Kroll Associates, the private firm where Ebadi works, also concluded that Black Box was paid $6million for their services, according to the new court documents.
Following the explosive accusations at the end of September 2021, Britney’s legal team had her mansion reportedly swept for bugs and surveillance cameras by Kroll Associates.
Walls, furniture, decor, doors, vents, and ceilings were all allegedly scoured for listening devices or other hidden surveillance by Ebadi’s firm.
In her declaration, Ebadi said she interviewed the former security employee over his ‘troubling allegations’ in the documentary shortly after it aired on Hulu.
‘I corroborated the Times’s reporting on Mr. Spears’s extensive, surveillance efforts, including of Ms. Spears’s attorney-client communications and private conversations in her bedroom,’ she stated in this latest declaration.
Deadline previously reported that the FBI were looking into whether the law was broken, with Jamie insisting his daughter knew of the surveillance arrangements. Under California law, both parties must consent to a conversation being recorded.
The actions were taken prior to a judge officially putting an end to her conservatorship on November 12.
At the time, Britney’s lawyer said the allegations ‘magnify the need to suspend Mr. Spears immediately.’
Initial claims: The allegations that Jamie Spears spied on his daughter were first raised by a former employee of Black Box Security in a New York Times documentary on the hitmaker, Controlling Britney Spears
‘Mr. Spears has crossed unfathomable lines,’ said the singer’s lawyer in a contemporaneous court filing. ‘While they are not evidence, the allegations warrant serious investigation, certainly by Ms. Spears as, among other things, California is a ‘two-party’ consent state.’
His furious remarks were a reference to a New York Times documentary released on Hulu detailing the surveillance claims.
Alex Vlasov, a former employee of Black Box Security, told The New York Times that the Spears’s phone calls and messages were secretly recorded as part of her 13-year conservatorship, overseen by her father.
‘All of his actions were well within the parameters of the authority conferred upon him by the court,’ a lawyer for Jamie Spears told the Times when the documentary came out.
‘His actions were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney, and/or the court. Jamie’s record as conservator — and the court’s approval of his actions — speak for themselves.’
Britney, meanwhile, is locked in a public feud with her younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears over the release of Jamie’s new memoir, Things I Should Have Said. Her lawyer fired off a cease and desist letter to Jamie Lynn threatening her with legal action if she continues to disparage Britney in public while promoting the book.
Family feud: Britney, meanwhile, is locked in a public feud with her younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears over the release of Jamie’s new memoir, Things I Should Have Said (seen in 2003)