Britney Spears’ father must file a statement to answer for “misconduct”

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Britney Spears’ father must stop dodging his pop star daughter and sit down for a deposition no later than August 12 to answer questions about his alleged ‘misconduct’ leading his now-excluded conservatorship, a judge has ruled Wednesday.

Los Angeles County Judge Brenda Penny said Jamie Spears had to travel to Los Angeles for the exam, at the request of the “Toxic” singer. She further ruled that Jamie must produce ‘all documents and communications’ sought by her daughter relating to her alleged ‘electronic surveillance’ of the superstar – and that Britney was under no obligation to meet her father’s duel demand for “more” discovery of documents on his part.

The trio of rulings marked a significant win for the world-renowned entertainer, but Judge Penny refused to follow through and issue a fourth ruling in Britney’s favor after she shared an interim decision in which she flatly denied the claim. of Jamie to drop off Britney. After listening to heated arguments from both sides, Judge Penny said she wanted to hear more about the issue before making a final decision at a follow-up hearing on July 27.

The pop star’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, has argued that Jamie’s quest to grill his daughter under oath is “immoral” and amounts to a “vengeful deposition”. Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor, said Jamie was fair game because ‘credible evidence’ shows he mishandled Britney’s 13-year conservatorship – which ended last November – and oversaw a program security guard who bugged his room.

As far as Britney is concerned, however, she is not someone who has “first-hand” knowledge of the alleged “gross misconduct”, and she would be “re-traumatized” if forced into a deposition “in retaliation,” Rosengart said.

“Britney Spears wants to move on with her life,” Rosengart said. “She is free, and Mr. Spears wants to bring her back into this conservatorship for his own improper, immoral and, in our view, unsustainable reasons.”

Rosengart said his client, who recently married her longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari, is not planning to testify as a witness at a scheduled evidentiary hearing related to her ongoing challenge to Jamie’s claim. for more money from his estate to pay his legal fees.

“I know they’re concerned about Instagram posts and a book she’s writing – but you can’t drop someone off. [for that]”, pleaded the lawyer in court. “You don’t sit a victim for a statement to be filed by the abuser. You don’t do that. You don’t do that out of morality. Rosengart added that California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.420 gives the court the power to protect Britney from “undue annoyance, embarrassment, or oppression, or burden and overspending”.

Jamie’s lawyer, Alex Weingarten, argued that his client had a “fundamental right” to deposit his daughter.

“The unequivocal fact here is that Ms. Spears is a party to this litigation. She filed verified objections to both the accounting and the costs application. She cannot avoid participating in the discovery in this case. It’s black letter law, your honor,” Weingarten explained. “Years ago, when she was under conservatorship, she resisted being removed, and the Court of Appeal came in and said she should be removed. I don’t know how we could be stopped from carrying out [this] Discovery.”

Weingarten said that while it’s “fashionable now to dump Mr. Spears,” his client has a right to defend himself. “I suspect Ms. Spears will be a wealth of information,” he said.

When Judge Penny issued the ruling that Jamie was not entitled to another written discovery from his daughter, Weingarten was visibly upset. He asked for a stay of proceedings to appeal the decision and asked that a “discovery arbitrator” be appointed to step in and “review” all requests for documents. Judge Penny shot him.

“Why not move on to the phase where we build gallows? Weingarten huffed, leading Judge Penny to comment that his statement was unwarranted.

After the hearing, Weingarten said he planned to file a writ to immediately appeal the adverse document discovery ruling.

Rosengart, meanwhile, said he appreciates the court’s rulings.

“Mr. Spears, as determined by the court, effectively went into hiding – hiding from his deposition – for no less than nine months. Judgment day for Mr. Spears came, at least at this point, in regarding the court ordering him to appear for his deposition,” Rosengart said outside the courtroom. “We saw nothing but obstruction and obstruction from him. “

At a hearing last January, Judge Penny said she hoped the parties would be largely done with the discovery by July 27 so she could settle the dispute for an evidentiary hearing in a courtroom. That schedule seemed compromised on Wednesday.

Britney was released from her nearly 14-year conservatorship on November 12 after blowing the doors of the legal settlement with back-to-back statements to Judge Penny in June and July 2021. In her live speeches heard around the world, the singer said her guardianship, largely controlled by her father, was “cruel” and “abusive” as it dictated her finances, healthcare and personal relationships for most of her adult life.

Once she hired Rosengart, she launched her aggressive campaign to investigate allegations that her father mismanaged his millions while using “bullying conduct” to keep her in line. To that end, she hired accounting and intelligence firm Kroll for a forensic examination of the controversial conservatorship and filed an affidavit from Kroll executive and former FBI agent Sherine Ebadi detailing an alleged “pattern.” of misconduct” raising possible “criminal implications”.

Most notably, Ebadi said she personally debriefed one of Britney’s former security staff, Alex Vlasov, and found it “very believable.” Vlasov is the whistleblower who has already told the New York Times that he had direct knowledge of his ex-boss Edan Yemini, CEO of Black Box Security, placing a secret listening device in Britney’s bedroom and using surveillance technology that captured the singer’s privileged communications with her lawyer .

“Mr. Vlasov regularly overheard Mr. Yemini informing Mr. Spears about the contents of the telephone devices used by his daughter,” Ebadi wrote in his statement.

Judge Penny said Wednesday she would address an ongoing discovery dispute related to Kroll at a hearing later this month.

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