Two months after being suspended from his daughter’s conservatorship, Jamie Spears is requesting that Britney Spears’ estate continue paying his legal fees — a request that the star’s attorney quickly called an “abomination.”
Jamie was suspended in September and the entire conservatorship was terminated in November, but in court documents filed Dec. 15 and obtained by Billboard, the elder Spears said those events did not end his ongoing “fiduciary obligations” that require expensive legal bills.
“Prompt payment … is necessary to ensure the conservatorship can be wound up quickly and efficiently to allow Britney to take control of her life as she and Jamie desire,” attorneys for the elder Spears wrote, warning that depriving him of the fees “could subject him to personal bankruptcy and ruin.”
The request drew a sharp rebuke from Britney’s attorney Mathew Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor who has harshly criticized Jamie’s conduct as conservator and vowed to investigate.
“Mr. Spears reaped many millions of dollars from Britney as a conservator, while paying his lawyers millions more, all from Britney’s work and hard earned money,” Rosengart told Billboard in a statement. “The conservatorship has been terminated and Mr. Spears was suspended ignominiously. Under the circumstances, his petition is not only legally meritless, it is an abomination. Britney poignantly testified about the pain her father caused her and this only adds to it. This is not what a father who loves his daughter does.”
A dollar total was not included in the request. Jamie recently hired Alex M. Weingarten, an attorney at the top national law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher after years of being represented by attorneys at Holland & Knight, a similar white-shoe law firm. Individual attorneys at such law firms routinely charge more than $1,000 per hour for their services.
The pop star was placed in the conservatorship, under control of her father, in 2008 following a string of erratic behavior and public incidents. But the arrangement began to be scrutinized in 2019, leading to high-profile investigative documentaries and a #FreeBritney movement among fans. The process culminated in November in a ruling by Judge Brenda Penny that legally ended the arrangement.
But Rosengart has pledged to investigate accusations of wrongdoing by her father, including that she was drugged, that she was not allowed to remove a birth control device, and that she was secretly recorded. Rosengart has filed subpoenas seeking documents and a sworn deposition, and Jamie has urged that “every aspect of the conservatorship should be made available for public examination.”
According to Jamie’s new filing, complying with those requests will require him and his attorneys to “invest significantly more time and resources” in closing out the conservatorship. And he said the fact that he has been accused of wrongdoing do not do not negate his right to have his legal bills repaid.
“Jamie’s entitlement to payment … is not affected by the Conservatorship’s termination, his prior suspension, or any of the unsupported attacks alleged by Britney’s counsel through the media,” his attorneys wrote.
The request for attorney’s fees will be formally opposed by filings attorneys for Britney. Judge Penny will eventually decide whether it should be granted.