Things got heated Wednesday afternoon inside court before Judge Brenda Penny, attorneys for Britney and Jamie Spears, and others sparred over allegations of attorney misconduct, media leaks, and who should control the star’s money.
The hearing was primarily over Jamie’s ongoing legal fees and whether or not they should be billed to Britney’s estate because of his prior role as conservator. His legal costs were sky high in the fall of 2020 when Britney’s court-appointed attorney Samuel Ingham told the court Britney did not want her father to not continue as sole conservator of her estate, which set off a series of contentious hearings and Jamie’s suspension. Millions of dollars in fees are currently before the court waiting to be paid.
Justin Gold, an attorney for the temporary conservator of the estate, John Zabel, argued that the conservatorship assets should be transferred to Britney, which was met with sharp criticism from Jamie’s lawyer Alex Weingarten. “Let’s remember why this conservatorship existed,” Weingarten said. “Ms. Spears was irresponsible with her money.”
Britney’s attorney Mathew Rosengart quickly interjected that “the conservatorship is over.”
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“Lies!” exclaimed Spears attorney, Mathew Rosengart, pointing his finger at Alex Weingarten, the elder Spears’ lawyer, accusing him of making “nonsensical” and “preposterous” claims. “He should be admonished,” Rosengart told Judge Brenda Penny. “He has attacked me. He has attacked this court. And it is intolerable.”
Rosengart’s impassioned comments came after Weingarten accused Rosengart of making up false stories — such as the surveillance claims — and planting those stories with the press.
“Virtually everything that is alleged is demonstratively false or taken out of context,” Weingarten told the judge after Rosengart said his firm has “strong evidence” that Spears’ father was involved in “very intense and potentially illegal” surveillance over the star, which was first alleged by the New York Times in their bombshell reporting last fall.
“It didn’t happen!” Weingarten shouted, standing up in front of the judge, speaking about the eavesdropping claims. Weingarten did not provide any evidence on disagreeing with the surveillance allegations, other than theorizing that Rosengart planted the story with the media.
Judge Penny in the end refused to set aside funds and explained that there are statutory protections in place to make sure lawyers get paid in the event an order is issued granting their fee requests.
The next hearing is currently set for March 16, and another is set for July 27.