Britney Spears’ attorney has once again urged the singer’s father to “resign now” in a strongly-worded statement, claiming he is holding the star “hostage” by seeking more than $2 million before stepping down as conservator.
On Tuesday (31 August), Matthew Rosengart filed a supplemental petition to remove Jamie Spears from the 13-year-old control he has held over Britney’s finances.
Jamie agreed last month to work with the court to assure an “orderly transition to a new conservator“. While he did not provide a timeline for this, he said a roadblock for removing him is resolving a laundry list of issues, including “the pending Twelfth Account and a final account”.
According to Rosengart’s filing, the account includes a thumping payment to Jamie for legal work addressing “public, media, and social media attention” and for “continu[ing] to do my best to keep current regarding the music, advertising and entertainment business” on top of $1,356,293 in attorneys’ fees.
Demanding this money, Rosengart argued, amounts to extortion. “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,” he wrote in the paperwork.
“Mr Spears’ 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’ estate by Mr. Spears and his associates, is a non-starter.
“His idea of ‘orderly’ is to hang on until someone first brands him ‘father of the year’ and awards him a gold star for his ‘service’,” added Rosengart.
“In other words, although Mr Spears has, at last, been forced to recognise that it is best for his daughter if he departs now, he claims the right to drag his feet because it is best for him to cling to this conservatorship until he feels sufficiently-vindicated.”
‘Britney Spears will not be bullied or extorted by her father,’ says lawyer
Rosengart’s latest filing comes amid a tense standoff between Jamie and Britney’s legal teams as the musician wrangles to remove her father for good.
In an abrupt about-turn, Jamie announced that he will step down from his long-running role in overseeing his daughter’s finances – part of a complex legal arrangement first put in place in 2008.
Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears leaves the Los Angeles County Superior courthouse on March 10, 2008. (VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Britney in an incendiary and impassioned court testimony earlier this year, she said that the conservatorship is “abusive“, adding that she is afraid of her father and vowed to never perform again while he governs her multimillion-dollar estate.
“Britney Spears will not be bullied or extorted by her father,” the former federal prosecutor continued in a statement to Page Six.
“Nor does Mr Spears have the right to try to hold his daughter hostage by setting the terms of his removal. This is not about him, it is about the best interests of his daughter, which as a matter of law, mandate his removal.
“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.”
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