“Controlling Britney Spears’ New Charges: Bugged Phone


The sequel to last year Coaching Britney Spears.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Friday night, September 24, less than a week away from Britney Spears’ next hearing as part of her 13-year tutelage, Hulu and FX have dropped the sequel to last year’s bustling New York City. Times documentary Coaching Britney Spears. The latest, also directed by Samantha Stark and produced by Liz Day and the NYT, promised to reveal “explosive new allegations from whistleblowers who were part of the inner circle” of the pop star’s life. In a sense, he delivers. Below, expert lawyers share their thoughts with Vulture on some of the most controversial allegations made in Controlling Britney Spears.

According to Alex Vlasov, a Black Box security employee who was hired by the Guardianship, Britney was monitored 24/7. Vlasov said he worked for Black Box security for almost 10 years as an executive assistant to company chairman Edan Yemini, who was head of Britney’s security. He said every request made by Britney, even in her own home, was monitored and recorded. He said that “Britney’s intimate relationship was being closely managed” and that there was nothing she could do without the knowledge of her father Jamie, Edan and Robin Greenhill, her commercial director of Tri Star Sports and Entertainment. “It really reminded me of someone who was in prison,” Vlasov said in the documentary. He also said Britney’s conversations were used to control her. Vlasov said he asked Ednan if it was legal and was told, “Yes, the court knows, Britney’s lawyer knows, it’s for her safety and protection.”

Vlasov said Greenhill came up with the idea of ​​setting up an iPad to mirror all of Britney’s mobile devices, including her text messages, all FaceTime calls, browser history, and photographs.

Charles Holder, lawyer for Greenhill and Tri Star, told Vulture that the allegations against his client are false: “Neither Ms. Greenhill, nor anyone else at Tri Star, has ever set up an iPad, phone or anything. another device to monitor Ms. Spears’ communications.

Conservation expert Tamar Arminak, who represented Amanda Bynes’ parents in their guardianship case, said a court can grant a curator the power to review communications and monitor social interactions and the media .

“We would need to see if Jaime got court approval before we do so,” Arminak said. “Regarding the legal aspects, the first question is what the court approved. What special powers has the court given to Britney’s Tories? And that’s hard to fathom because everything that has been done in the guardianship from the start has been done in cloak and dagger style, not on the actual record. It is the problem with the tribunal which does everything in the chamber; While the private details of Britney’s life are kept private this way, everything the Curator does also remains under wraps and immune to scrutiny.

Criminal defense attorney Richard Kaplan adds that California is a two-party state when it comes to recording phone calls and private conversations, and state law requires both parties to know that their conversation has been recorded.

“The other party should know about it as well,” said Kaplan, who works for Los Angeles-based Kaplan Marino.

Attorney Sarah Wentz, a tax and wealth planning partner at Fox Rothschild who has been dealing with trusteeship since 2006, including for musicians with reduced ability, says that while it might have been legal to record if they had court authorization, to her it still seemed very unethical.

“I can imagine how traumatic it can be to know that every moment of your life is watched,” says Wentz. “It’s a bit awful. It is simply not necessary.

Wentz calls this an “incredibly abnormal” practice of recording private calls, which she has been involved in numerous guardianship over the years and couldn’t think of in a situation where it would be justified unless someone threatened. to get hurt. Wentz says it “overwhelmed” her to think of a situation where it would have been necessary, especially since the Guardianship was already controlling Britney’s bank account.

Vlasov said Black Box chairman Edan Yemeni also had a recording device in Britney’s bedroom that recorded all of her interactions with her children and boyfriend. He said he received a USB stick of the recordings and the Yemenis told him to delete it. He said he refused and kept a copy.

“Any communication between her and her lawyer would be prohibited and there is certainly no excuse for placing recording devices of any kind in her room,” Arminak said. “Frankly, this is horrible to read as a lawyer and as a woman.”

Kaplan adds that there could be a potential civil action if the recordings go public and reveal sensitive personal information, and that Spears could seek significant damages if a civil action is brought.

According to Wentz, the guardianship is supposed to be exercised in the least restrictive way but to always protect the conservatory; he does not think that this type of recording was used for that purpose.

The lawyer for Greenhill and Tri Star told Vulture: “Neither Ms. Greenhill, nor anyone else at Tri Star, has ever recorded Ms. Spears’ communications with anyone, nor monitored her communications with anyone. either, including Mrs. Spears’ boyfriends and / or her mother. – either in his room or elsewhere.

Britney asked a lawyer to sneak into her rehab and pretend to be a plumber because she didn’t think anyone would let him in, according to the documentary. The lawyer refused. Britney allegedly texted a friend saying she didn’t want to be at the facility and that her lawyer (then duty counsel Samuel Ingham) didn’t even work for her, according to Liz Day, a producer of the documentary.

Day also explained how, in a court transcript obtained by the NYT and read during the documentary, Ingham allegedly told the court that Britney expressed to him a desire to marry, have children, retire and change. lifestyle, and that she believed guardianship prevented her from doing so. Judge Reva Goetz, who previously oversaw the guardianship, said: “I don’t think we’ve made any orders regarding the right to marry, but you may not want to tell her,” according to the transcript of the NYT procedure.

In that transcript, Judge Goetz said she would consider ending the guardianship if Britney establishes a healthy relationship with a therapist and returns a year of drug testing, but she would not guarantee it, according to the documentary. Ingham went on to bring up the idea of ​​removing Jamie from guardianship and that Jamie could still drink. Jamie’s lawyer said he was tested regularly for alcohol. But when Ingham said Britney wanted Jamie to take random tests, Judge Goetz said, “Who should she demand from anyone?” according to the transcript of the proceedings obtained by the NYT.

Tish Yates, Britney’s 2008-2010 and 2013-2018 head of the wardrobe, said Britney previously had a blackout on her way to the stage for a show when there was pot smoke in the public. Yates said she was so scared and pointed out that it would cause her to fail a drug test. Yates said she calmed Britney down but needed approval before speaking to Britney.

“If she was pushing back a bit, they would push harder,” Yates said. “Then the screams got louder. And then Jamie would come in and say, “No, you don’t have that,” and then it degenerated into not having the boys. “

“This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Britney has been threatened not to see her children if she doesn’t comply with what others demanded of her,” says Arminak. “If this is true, it is an absolute abuse of the powers of guardianship, and it is an abuse of the rights of a mother. I wonder about the effect it had on her children, to have their mother away from them as a control mechanism over her. All of these new details are starting to shed light on why Jaime may have had a problem with his grandson, resulting in a restraining order and tensions within the family.

Wentz says it doesn’t bode well that Britney doesn’t feel comfortable having a simple, rational conversation with her Guardianship – and that the Guardians’ alleged behavior was not only against her best interests but, in fact. , seemed that would be the cause of harm. “It sounds absolutely horrible that it puts her in a situation where she was so scared,” says Wentz. “Everything has been taken too far and the judgment of those people who did it should really be called into question. “

Although Britney was making millions a year from her residency in Las Vegas at the time, Yates said that when Britney wanted sushi one day for dinner, Greenhill told her it was too expensive. She recalled another day when Britney wanted a pair of Sketchers sneakers, but was told Britney didn’t have enough money for them. Yates said she secretly bought them for herself and simply told him that she would cover them by spending them on the wardrobe department.

The lawyer for Greenhill and Tri Star told Vulture: “Neither Ms. Greenhill, nor anyone else at Tri Star, has ever banned Ms. Spears from buying sushi or a pair of Sketchers for any reason. that is.”

According to Wentz, “At one point they forgot who it was. It is completely unnecessary. The amount of money she earned, she could have sushi for every meal. I mean, who cares? “

He continues, “It’s just a crazy thing that they thought these were appropriate decisions and somehow in his best interest.”

Jamie, Ingham, Yemini and Fmr. Judge Reva Goetz did not respond to a request for comment.

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