Britney Spears’s legal team has accused her father, Jamie Spears, of crossing “unfathomable lines” after a new documentary alleged the pop star has been secretly surveilled during her conservatorship.
Controlling Britney Spears, which first aired on Friday, revealed stunning claims including that the singer was recorded in her bedroom, that conversations with her two sons and boyfriend were taped, and that text messages and other material from her phone were passed to her father.
The legal team for Spears, 39, said if true the reports showed Jamie, 69, had “engaged in horrifying and unconscionable invasions of his adult daughter’s privacy”.
In a new legal filing on Monday, lawyers for Spears said the reports require “serious investigation” and suggested state law over the recording of private conversations may have been breached.
The filing states: “Mr Spears has crossed unfathomable lines. While they are not evidence, the allegations warrant serious investigation, certainly by Ms Spears as, among other things, California is a ‘two-party’ consent state.”
The new film – which is based on New York Times investigations and is a follow-up to the earlier documentary Framing Britney Spears – also alleges that undercover operatives were sent to monitor activities of the Free Britney movement, a group of activists who have long argued for an end to the controversial arrangement.
Spears was placed under the conservatorship – a complex legal arrangement usually reserved for the very old or infirm – in 2008 after suffering a series of mental breakdowns. She has not performed since 2018 and told the court she would not return to the stage while her father was conservator.
Jamie Spears’s representatives have previously defended the conservatorship and his role in it. Her father had control over her finances and healthcare for many years, but stepped down as a personal conservator in 2019. A licensed conservator now oversees her medical treatment, and her father has maintained authority over her money.
Another hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday, during which a Los Angeles judge will consider Britney Spears’s request to have her father entirely removed from the conservatorship, an arrangement the singer has described as “abusive”.
In a surprise move earlier this month, lawyers for Jamie Spears filed for a complete termination of the conservatorship, saying: “As Mr Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter. If Ms Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr Spears believes that she should get that chance.”
Mathew S Rosengart, the singer’s newly appointed lawyer, said on Monday that Jamie will be required to help with the transition to a temporary successor, if he leaves the conservatorship.
He added: “The only thing Mr Spears will ‘lose’ is something he should not have ever had – the ability to further harm his daughter.”
The singer recently announced her engagement to Sam Asghari, an actor and fitness expert.