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Britney Spears’ father and his lawyers should be sanctioned and found in contempt of court for disclosing confidential medical information on his daughter that was under seal, the pop star’s attorney said Wednesday at a hearing that ended with no decision on the issue.
“They’re trying to embarrass Britney Spears and bully Britney Spears, while trying to vindicate Jamie Spears,” said attorney Mathew Rosengart, who added that no document could do so.
The sealed exhibits were included in a motion from Jamie Spears filed in July to compel the deposition of his daughter, which was denied. After the filing was submitted, Rosengart was forced to move to seal the motion to compel. Alex Weingarten, representing Jamie Spears, challenged the sealing.
“Why did he oppose the sealing motion?” Rosengart asked. He urged L.A. Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny to find Weingarten in contempt of court and to issue sanctions against him and Jamie Spears.
“None of this has anything to do with the matters before the court,” responded Weingarten. He said he’ll “refrain from commenting” on Rosengart’s “unnecessary speech.”
Penny agreed to seal the motion. She found that some of the exhibits in the filing were “already ordered sealed and are confidential,” explaining that it was “highly inappropriate for Jamie Spears to proffer these documents.”
In September, Jamie Spears moved for a state appeals court to overturn Penny’s ruling barring him from deposing his daughter over claims that he abused and surveilled her. Weingarten didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
During the hearing, the judge also denied a motion from Lynne Spears for her daughter to cover her $663,203 legal bill. In her motion for fees, she stressed that her daughter was subjected to treatment she “did not believe was warranted.” Spears opposed covering the bill because her mother was never a fiduciary.
The order denying fees was issued as Rosengart continues to probe management firm Tri Star’s involvement in establishing the conservatorship and the firm’s alleged surveillance of Spears. In a discovery order issued Oct. 10, Penny granted parts of Tri Star’s motion to quash Britney Spears’ subpoena while refusing its effort to get out of providing records and communications relating to allegations made by a former Spears security staffer in the New York Times documentary Controlling Britney Spears of electronic surveillance, cloning or monitoring of the pop star’s phone. She found that requests to depose Tri Star executives and produce documents on the issue are “relevant and discoverable.”
Tri Star executive Robin Greenhill, accused of helping Spears’ father spy on her private messages, denied any knowledge of surveillance in a declaration to the court and maintained that no one at the firm “ever suggested monitoring Ms. Spears’ electronic communications.” Lawyers for the firm called requests for information dating back 14 years “grossly overbroad,” stressing that Tri Star was not involved at the outset of the conservatorship.
In the same order, Penny limited the scope of discovery and depositions to the accounting period in 2019, which details money in and out of the estate that year. She also found that requests for information about the establishment of the conservatorship are off-limits.
“Evidence of extrinsic fraud is not currently present,” reads the order from Penny, who concluded that “the scope of discovery in the present proceeding must necessarily relate to the pending petitions and filed objections to the petitions.”
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Tri Star attorney Scott Edelman called the ruling a “complete victory” for his client.
“As we have said all along, and the Court correctly held in its ruling, there is no fraud in connection with any of the prior accountings filed as part of Ms. Spears’ conservatorship,” he said. “The Court also correctly held that there was no evidence of any fiduciary relationship between Tri Star, as business manager, and Ms. Spears, as conservatee.”
According to court documents, Jamie Spears owed at least $40,000 to Tri Star for a loan it gave him. Rosengart has stressed the conflict of interest in relation to Jamie Spears’ hiring of the firm to manage the conservatorship. Tri Star has been paid more than $18 million from Britney Spears’ estate.
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