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Britney Spears' Lawyer Files To Have Her Father Removed From Controlling Her Finances

#FreeBritney activists outside of a Los Angeles court hearing regarding the Britney Spears conservatorship on July 14.
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#FreeBritney activists outside of a Los Angeles court hearing regarding the Britney Spears conservatorship on July 14.

Britney Spears' recently installed lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, submitted a blistering 120-page petition to Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, arguing that the singer's father, Jamie Spears, needs to be removed from overseeing her financial affairs immediately.

According to Rosengart, the elder Spears appears to have "profited handsomely" from being his daughter's conservator since 2008 — an arrangement that he originally requested. Rosengart also says "serious questions abound concerning Mr. Spears's potential misconduct, including conflicts of interest, conservatorship abuse and the evident dissipation of Ms. Spears's fortune."

In the filing, Rosengart lays out some of the elements that he argues have contributed to the "dissipation" of Britney Spears' fortune. According to the petition, her father took a percentage cut on her popular four-year Las Vegas residency as if he were his daughter's agent or manager, although he doesn't perform any such role.

According to Rosengart, Jamie Spears took a 1.5% cut of the gross revenues and merchandise earnings on the Las Vegas residency — amounting to at least $2.1 million. Spears also allegedly took a 2.95% commission on his daughter's Femme Fatale tour in 2011, which totaled approximately $500,000.

Rosengart also notes that Jamie Spears has been paying himself $16,000 a month — which is $2,000 more per month than his daughter receives — plus another $2,000 for office expenses. Additionally, Rosengart argues, Jamie Spears has brought in multiple expensive teams for his own legal representation — which Britney Spears has ultimately paid for. One such firm, Holland & Knight, has charged the estate over $1.3 million just from October 2020 to June 2021 to represent Jamie Spears in litigation matters. Until earlier this month, Britney Spears was only represented by one court-appointed attorney.

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Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.
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