The slow-walk exit of Britney Spears’ father from the conservatorship that has ruled the performer’s life for the past 13 years needs to pick up the pace, the one-time Princess of Pop’s lawyer says, and without a price tag.
“Regardless of the past, Mr. Spears and his counsel are now on notice: the status quo is no longer tolerable, and Britney Spears will not be extorted,” says Matthew Rosengart in a fiery response filing Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
“Mr. Spears’s blatant attempt to barter suspension and removal in exchange for approximately $2 million in payments, on top of the millions already reaped from Ms. Spears’s estate by Mr. Spears and his associates, is a non-starter,” added the former federal prosecutor, who earlier this summer was brought on by Spears as her first chosen attorney in the much criticized conservatorship.
“The only honorable, decent, and humane course of action is for Mr. Spears to resign now, provide all necessary information to evaluate his accounting, and, if matters cannot be resolve consensually, to try to defend his accounting,” says the dense 12-page supplemental petition (read it here).
Already under direct and public pressure from his superstar offspring to be removed from the co-conservator perch he has occupied in one form or anther since 2008, Jamie Spears sent a resentment-filled legal salvo on August 12 to begin a self-described “transition process.” With the next hearing in the convoluted conservatorship set for distant September 29 in Judge Brenda Penny’s downtown Los Angeles courtroom, the elder Spears knows full well his disentanglement from his daughter’s professional affairs and nearly $60 million fortune could take months
Seeking a suspension of Jamie Spears if he doesn’t pick up what she’s putting down, Britney Spears isn’t inclined to wait around as today’s filing makes clear.
“Contrary to the powers that Mr. Spears and his counsel seek to arrogate unto themselves, they do not get to choose the time and place of Mr. Spears’s departure,” says the petition put in the court docket today. “Those issues are governed by law, the best interests of Ms. Spears, and by this Court.”
“This is not about him, it is about the best interests of his daughter, which as a matter of law, mandate his removal,” Greenberg Traurig’s Rosengart told Deadline today about what he compares to a “hostage” situation. “Even putting aside the legal issues requiring his prompt removal, if he loves his daughter, Mr. Spears should resign now, today, before he is suspended. It would be the correct and decent thing to do.”
Jamie Spears’ Holland & Knight LLP lawyers did not respond to request for comment on today’s filing when contacted by Deadline.
Still, they may take solace in some court context here. So far, Penny has rejected or postponed any attempt to remove him from the conservatorship or offer a new and sooner day for a hearing on the matter.
As of now, the elder Spears still hold the reins on his daughter’s financial and career decisions, while co-conservator Jodi Montgomery remains in charge of much of Britney Spears’ personal and medical affairs. In recent weeks, Rosengart has suggested to the court that forensic CPA Jason Rubin replace Jamie Spears in the conservatorship. That matter was not mentioned in today’s filing, but it is clearly not far from mind.
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