Jamie Spears, who was suspended by a judge from his famous daughter’s conservatorship, is asking that Britney Spears’ estate continue to pay his legal fees. The pop star’s attorney is calling the request an “abomination.”
In documents filed last week, Spears’ father petitioned to seek the court’s “confirmation, authorization and direction” for his daughter’s estate to pay the lawyers who are “participating in proceedings concerning Jamie’s ongoing fiduciary duties relating to winding up” the conservatorship.
Throughout the course of her 13-year conservatorship, the pop star was required to pay all of her father’s legal bills, while he was serving as her conservator, along with all of her own legal fees to defend herself in the legal arrangement she says she was trying to get out of for years. (Spears’ father’s attorney charges around $1,200 per hour.)
“Prompt payment on account of Jamie’s attorneys’ fees 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,” states the 27-page petition, obtained by Variety.
Spears’ father, who oversaw his famous daughter’s conservatorship since 2008, was suspended by a judge in September. He has been accused of “conservatorship abuse” in his daughter’s testimony, and has been subject of damning allegations in The New York Times, including eavesdropping claims and a recent exposé on alleged financial mismanagement that was published this weekend. (Jamie Spears and the singer’s former business manager denied any impropriety.)
“Jamie stepped up to protect his daughter in 2008 and stepped into the role of Co-Conservator when Britney was unquestionably incapacitated and victimized by persons seeking to take advantage of her incapacity,” the filing reads, continuing to state that he “dedicated himself to protecting his daughter’s health and her estate as he has done her whole life while keeping opportunistic and wholly self-interested parties at bay.” The petition says his role was “certified and approved” by the court at every step.
“It would be contrary to public policy if Jamie’s years of dedication to protect his daughter…could subject him to personal bankruptcy and ruin defending baseless claims,” the filing reads. “No person would ever want to step into the role as conservator if a conservatee could force a conservator to personally pay substantial legal fees defending unfounded allegations.”
The star’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, has raised questions about the financial management of his famous client’s estate.
In response to the filing on Monday, Rosengart called the elder Spears’ request to have his daughter pay his legal fees an “abomination.”
“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 said 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.”
Spears’ conservatorship was terminated in November, after more than 13 years. Her father was formerly the conservator of her estate, meaning he controlled all financial and business decisions — which have now come into question — but with his suspension, he no longer has any say over her $60 million estate. According to reporting in the NYT, he received an estimated $6 million in his role as conservator, throughout the 13+ years. Currently, an accountant of the singer’s choosing is assisting with administrative duties relating to the estate.
Alex Weingarten, an attorney for Spears’ father who filed the petition, did not respond to Variety with any further additional comment.