After 13 years of being in charge of his daughter’s life, Britney Spears’ father has been suspended from her conservatorship. But the pop star’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, is still pledging to fully investigate Jamie Spears’ conduct.
“Jamie Spears and others are going to face even more serious ramifications for his misconduct,” Rosengart said on Wednesday during a brief press conference, following the hearing that resulted in the suspension of Spears’ father.
“I said at the outset that my firm and I were going to take a top-to-bottom look at what Jamie Spears and his representatives have done here,” Rosengart added. “That’s already in process, and it will continue for as long as it can possibly do that to get justice for Britney.”
Rosengart declined to comment on whether he believes Spears’ father is guilty of criminal conduct. But, he told reporters and fans that he suspects law enforcement will be taking a “hard look” into recent allegations that the singer’s father was behind a secret surveillance operation in his famous daughter’s home, bugging her bedroom and tracking her phone, without her knowledge.
If true, those claims could qualify as criminal activity, given that California, where Spears’ home is located, is a two-party consent state.
“I used to work for the justice department. I don’t anymore. I don’t have that kind of power,” Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor, said Wednesday afternoon, outside the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse. “But I suspect law enforcement — and it’s law enforcement’s decision, not mine — will be taking a hard look at what the Times uncovered and reported.”
Last weekend, The New York Times released its second documentary, “Controlling Britney Spears,” which unveiled explosive allegations that Spears had been subjected to electronic surveillance. Among the publication’s findings is that Spears’ father had hired a firm, Black Box Security, which planted a bug in Spears’ home, capturing private conversations between her children, boyfriend and counsel. According to the doc, Spears’ father paid the security firm with funds from his daughter’s estate, in his role as conservator of her estate. A former employee of Black Box, Alex Vlasov, provided the Times with extensive proof and materials to support the accusations.
In court on Wednesday, Rosengart told the judge that Spears’ father had “plotted and schemed to place a listening device in my client’s bedroom.” Rosengart also praised Vlasov as a “whistleblower.” (An attorney for the elder Spears, Vivian Thoreen, told Judge Brenda Penny, “We looked into this. We dispute the allegations,” but she did not elaborate any further.)
Speaking outside of the courthouse on Wednesday, Rosengart told the crowd he believes Thoreen was aggressively fighting for the conservatorship to be terminated — rather than her client being suspended — because termination would have effectively absolved Spears’ father of any potential wrongdoing.
With suspension, Spears’ father is now obligated, under the law, to turn over his files to Spears’ new, short-term conservators. (Accountant John Zabel is assuming temporarily control of the estate until next steps are determined, though Rosengart expects the conservatorship to be fully terminated at the next hearing on November 12.)
Rosengart told the crowd that the files being turned over are supposed to consist of attorney-client communication between Spears’ father and his lawyers.
“One question we’re going to be asking in regards to Mr. Spears’ representatives, not just lawyers, is what did they know and when did they know it, in regards to eavesdropping and putting a listening device under Britney Spears’ bed in her bedroom,” Rosengart said. “Something is very, very troubling. That is something that is for law enforcement, and not myself, to make the ultimate conclusion on, but my firm will be looking into it.”
He continued, “The attorney-client communications between Mr. Spears, on the one hand, and his lawyers on the other, I believe, will reveal corruption…and that’s something that we look forward to vigorously looking into.”
Rosengart was also asked by a reporter about the rest of Spears’ family, but declined to comment. In June, when the singer testified, she told Judge Penny that she wants to “sue” her entire family and believes her conservators should be in jail.
“There is definitely something to celebrate, but it’s also a solemn day,” Rosengart said on Wednesday. “Britney Spears has been faced with a decade-long nightmare, a Kafkaesque nightmare, orchestrated by her father and others.”
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