A judge ruled that Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, must sit for testimony and produce any documents requested by the pop star’s team. The judge ordered the impeachment of Spears’ father in Los Angeles within the next 30 days.
Judge Brenda Penny ordered Spears’ father to produce all documents related to the electronic surveillance. The move favors the singer and shows the court believes it has reason to further investigate shocking claims that Jamie Spears had hired a security firm to monitor his daughter throughout her conservatorship, with allegations of locking her phone monitor and bug their bedroom and record their private conversations.
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Prior to the judge’s decision on those motions, Jamie Spears’ attorney, Alex Weingarten, asked the judge to allow his team access to documents belonging to the singer’s team to help prepare his client’s testimony.
“It’s a statement. No ambush,” Weingarten said in the courtroom before Judge Penny ruled against his motion.
The hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse was heated and heated between Weingarten and the pop star’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart.
Wednesday’s hearing was a major victory for the singer, who has been fighting her father in an ongoing legal battle since she quit conservatory last year.
Spears was placed under a court-ordered conservatorship in 2008 by her father, who served as her only conservator for most of the 13 years. After more than a decade of fighting the arrangement, Spears’ father was suspended by the court in September 2021, and the guardianship was eventually ended in November 2021. Despite the singer’s newfound freedom, her legal team’s battle remained chaotic with no resolution from either side.
After the hearing on Wednesday, it is still unclear whether the singer will be removed from her father’s team.
The judge came close to making a decision on the matter, first issuing a preliminary order denying Jamie Spears’ motion to have his daughter’s impeachment, but then opting to proceed with the motion and prompting attorneys on both sides to present theirs to the court Arguing as to why Singer should or should not sit for testimony ahead of the July 27 hearing.
“You don’t compose a victim into a statement to be taken by the perpetrator,” Rosengart argued in the courtroom, telling the judge that it would be “re-traumatizing” for the singer to testify.
Last month, Weingarten filed documents on behalf of Jamie Spears, demanding his daughter’s removal over her social media posts. Rosengart blasted the request, calling it “revenge” and “sham.”
In court Wednesday, Weingarten said it was natural for Spears to sit for testimony as she was a party to the case. Rosengart strongly disagreed, arguing that Spear’s father should have all the information he needed since he was the one running her conservatory and making decisions about her life.
“MS. Spears was in a conservatory run by her father for 13 years,” Rosengart told the judge. “Mr. Spears is the person who has documentation and first-hand knowledge…Mr. Spears and the documentation serves as evidence…Ms. Spears has no knowledge or documents,” Rosengart continued, telling the judge that she was the victim in this situation be. “She’s not the accuser. She is not the accuser,” he said. “MS. Spears is not a plaintiff here. Ms. Spears is not a defendant here.”
Rosengart told the judge his client’s father was only making requests to “raise fees” rather than let his daughter “get on with her life.”
“She’s free, and Mr. Spears wants her reinstated on the Conservatory for ‘unreasonable, immoral reasons,'” Rosengart said.
Weingarten once asked the judge to allow his team to depose the pop star, saying there were “unfortunately” sealed documents and “court orders” on electronic surveillance. “Based on what I know,” he said, “I suspect Ms. Spears will be a mine of information.”
Weingarten said if the judge decides the singer doesn’t have to sit for testimony, her father won’t have his “fair day in court.” The attorney said he was being held to a “different standard” than other parties in the case because of “unsubstantiated allegations”.
“I guess it’s en vogue to trash Jamie Spears,” Weingarten told the judge. “But he has rights… In this country, one is innocent until proven guilty.”
“You don’t put a victim back in front of the perpetrator. That’s wrong,” Rosengart shot back. “That would be wrong whether my client was Britney Spears or Jane Doe.”
“The mere testimony itself is harassment,” Rosengart told the judge.
Rosengart has been battling Jamie Spears and the singer’s former chief executive, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment, since he was hired by Spears in the summer of 2021. He has accused the company of “blocking” his attempts to get information for his client and refusing to cooperate and avoiding removals. Spears’ legal team said they had petitioned for nine months to have the elder Spears deposed and allege he dodged those petitions. At Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Penny ruled in favor of the star, agreeing that her father did not appear for his testimony.
Earlier this month, Rosengart alleged in bombastic court documents that his client’s father and Tri Star were in cahoots to found the conservatory and reap the benefits by taking millions of the superstar’s hard-earned money rather than acting in her best interest watch what they deny. (Tri Star and its founder, Lou Taylor, served as Superstar’s CEOs from 2008 to 2020, and the company was shut down by Spears’ father around the time he placed her under a conservatory.) Rosengart claimed that Tri Star was directly involved Creation of the Conservatory and received at least $18 million throughout the period.
Tri Star’s attorneys dismissed those claims, stating, “As all the evidence makes abundantly clear, the conservatory was established on the recommendation of counsel, not Tri Star, and approved by the court for more than 12 years.”
Spears’ father and Tri Star have denied any allegations of improper conduct, although they have been the subject of scathing allegations. While surveillance allegations have largely focused on Spears’ father and Black Box, the security team he allegedly hired, Tri Star has been the focus of extensive allegations of financial mismanagement.
According to a New York Times report, the star was being monitored by a security team hired by her father and that Tri Star was involved in tapping the singer’s phone. At the time, a Tri Star lawyer told the Times, “These allegations are not true.” Earlier this month, Weingarten filed an affidavit from Jamie Spears, in which he denied having knowledge of his adult daughter’s private bedroom being bugged , or Authorized Supervision of Pop Star. “I am aware of Britney’s attorney’s allegation that a listening device or ‘bug’ was placed in her bedroom for surveillance during the Conservatory period,” the statement said. “This claim is false.”
Weingarten did not speak to members of the media after Wednesday’s hearing, but outside the courthouse, Rosengart told reporters his client simply wanted to “move on.”
“Mr. Spears, if he loves his daughter, as he professes, he should leave her alone,” Rosengart told reporters, including diversity. “He should get on with his life instead of continuing to sue his daughter.”
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