Britney Spears’ lawyers have filed a scathing response to her father’s recent request that his estate continue to pay his legal fees, calling him “morally abominable” and accusing him of financial wrongdoing, “bullying conduct ” and even “chronic alcohol abuse”.
Jamie Spears was suspended in September and all conservatorship was terminated in November, but in December he requested that a Los Angeles judge order the estate to continue paying his expensive legal bills. He said such a payment was necessary to ensure the case “is completed quickly and efficiently”.
In a response filed in court on Jan. 14, the pop star’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, called the claim “legally baseless” and “morally abominable.”
“Mr. Spears, an ignominiously suspended conservator — from a conservatorship that was terminated — is now seeking to siphon even more money from his daughter,” wrote Rosengart, former federal prosecutor at the law firm Greenberg Traurig. . Spears said he loved his daughter. But that’s not what a father who loves his daughter does.
Rosengart has long accused Jamie of serious wrongdoing during Jamie’s tenure as curator, but this latest filing included an exceptionally detailed list of alleged wrongdoings. The filing accuses the elder Spears of enriching himself at the expense of his daughter, ‘financial and business mismanagement’, ‘abusive conduct and intimidation’, invasions of privacy and violations of ‘liberties fundamental civilians” and “chronic alcohol abuse impairing his ability to serve faithfully,” among other allegations.
In particularly notable accusations, Rosengart claimed that Jamie’s investigators used GPS “Ping data” to monitor the location of “individuals of interest”, including the pop star’s romantic interests. He also accused Jamie of paying “excessive” legal fees to outside law firms, totaling more than $30million.
Other charges related to alleged personal gain for the elder Spears. In one, Rosengart claimed that Jamie abused his position as a curator to pressure Britney’s touring staff to help her present a reality TV show called Cooking Cruzin’ and Chaos with Jamie Spears at the cooking channel.
A lawyer for Jamie Spears did not immediately return a request for comment on the new filing. Jamie’s request for attorney fees and Britney’s objection will be considered by Judge Brenda Penny during the hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, January 19.
Friday’s filing came in response to a motion filed in December by attorneys for Jamie, who argued that terminating the conservatorship did not end his ongoing “fiduciary duties” and that he was legally entitled to have his legal fees reimbursed by the estate.
“Prompt payment…is necessary to ensure the conservatorship can be liquidated quickly and efficiently to allow Britney to take control of her life as she and Jamie desire,” wrote Alex M. Weingarten, Jamie’s attorney. .
A dollar total was not included in the December request, but individual attorneys of the type of white-shoe law firms Jamie hires routinely charge more than $1,000 an hour for their services. Weingarten is at Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Jamie’s previous attorneys were from Holland & Knight.
In his new filing, Rosengart not only accused Jamie of a litany of wrongdoing, but also argued that his fee claim was a losing legal argument.
“We respectfully submit that the system was not designed to operate this way,” he wrote. “Allowing Mr. Spears to pay his Britney Spears estate attorneys without judicial review (largely in an effort to mount a ‘defense’ to potential claims against him) would give them a license to raise fees waging a war attrition, obstructing efforts to uncover the truth about everything Mr Spears has done, and incurring costs for not helping with the ‘transition’ (which he and his new lawyer aren’t even needed for, because the records are in the possession of Mr. Spears’ former lawyer) but to defend himself and conceal the truth.
The pop star was placed in a conservatorship, under the control of her father, in 2008 following a series of erratic behaviors and public incidents. But the arrangement began to come under scrutiny in 2019, leading to high-profile investigative documentaries and a #FreeBritney movement among fans. The process culminated in a November ruling by Judge Brenda Penny that legally ended the arrangement.