Britney Spears’ Lawyer Accused Her Dad Of Trying To Extort $2 Million From Her Conservatorship
"Mr. Spears’s blatant attempt to barter suspension and removal in exchange for approximately $2 million in payments ... is a non-starter," the pop star's attorney wrote.
Britney Spears' attorney accused her father of trying to extort about $2 million from the pop star as she tries to break free of the control he's had over her life and her money for more than 13 years in a new court filing.
On Monday, Spears' attorney, Mathew Rosengart, filed a supplemental petition to remove her father, Jamie Spears, from her conservatorship, saying that his response to her request to remove him amounted to "quid pro quo." Earlier this month, an attorney for the singer's father said that Jamie Spears intended to step down as conservator, but only after resolving certain issues, including "the pending Twelfth Account and a final account."
According to Rosengart's filing, that account includes payments to Jamie Spears for legal work addressing "public, media, and social media attention" and for "continu[ing] to do my best to keep current regarding the music, advertising and entertainment business," a total of $1,356,293 in attorneys' fees for his counsel, and a $500,000 payment to Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group.
"Regardless of the past, Mr. Spears and his counsel are now on notice: the status quo is no longer tolerable, and Britney Spears will not be extorted," Rosengart wrote. "Mr. Spears’s blatant attempt to barter suspension and removal in exchange for approximately $2 million in payments, on top of the millions already reaped from Ms. Spears’s estate by Mr. Spears and his associates, is a non-starter."
Attorneys for Jamie Spears did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment Tuesday.
In July, Spears formally requested the court remove her father as conservator and replace him with Jason Rubin, a professional fiduciary and forensic accountant. The move was supported by Jodi Montgomery, the current conservator of the singer's personal life as well as her medical team, and her mother, Lynne Spears, according to court documents. The court is expected to consider her request at a Sept. 29 hearing.
According to a report by Radar last week, Rubin has since withdrawn from consideration as a replacement conservator. Rosengart did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment on whether Britney Spears would be asking the court to appoint someone else to take her father's place.
Ever since the 39-year-old singer described the conservatorship as abusive in an explosive public hearing on June 23, she and her new legal team have been working to remove her father and investigate whether her estate was mismanaged under his tenure. Spears has said she wants the conservatorship to end without her having to undergo any further evaluation.
In court papers, Jamie Spears has maintained that he has appropriately managed his daughter's finances and "taken the Estate from being in debt and facing tens of millions of dollars of lawsuits to a current value of well over $60 million." At the same time, he has tried to distance himself from her personal and medical care in light of Britney Spears' statements about not being allowed to ride in her boyfriend's car or go to the doctor to get her IUD removed.
In response to her petition asking for his suspension, Vivian Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears, lamented that her client is being "the unremitting target of unjustified attacks" as she explained he didn't think prolonging the "public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests."
On Monday, Rosengart wrote in his filing that the singer's father could bring those "attacks" to an end by stepping aside "without attempting to extort conditions on his departure."
"Although his departure is a foregone conclusion, Mr. Spears should simply agree to resign immediately," he wrote. "Under the circumstances, that would be the legally correct, decent, and graceful thing to do."