Britney Spears' legal team said her father, Jamie Spears, should be able to pay his own legal fees because he “enriched himself” by “taking more than $6 million from his daughter’s earnings” throughout her conservatorship, according to court documents filed ahead of a hearing Wednesday.
Jamie Spears, 69, made $6,314,307.99 throughout the controversial conservatorship, which was terminated in November, the legal team said in documents filed by Britney Spears’ attorney, Matthew Rosengart. The documents also accuse Jamie Spears of having used some of the earnings to pitch his own television show.
"After extracting those funds, he used them for his own purposes and aggrandizement, including among other things, to try to recreate his career as a cook by pitching a television show called ‘Cookin’ Cruzin’ & Chaos with James Spears,'" they say.
Britney Spears' legal team said that in addition to taking more than $6 million during his 13 years as his daughter's conservator, Jamie Spears also “petitioned for fees to be paid to dozens of different law firms” for “more than $30 million.”
The allegations were made in court documents filed in response to a request by Spears' father that the court force his daughter to continue to pay his legal fees, even though he had been suspended as her conservator before the arrangement was ended in November.
"Mr. Spears, an ignominiously-suspended conservator — of a conservatorship that has been terminated — now seeks to siphon even more money from his daughter," the documents allege.
Branding Jamie Spears' petition "morally abominable," the documents say that he should be made to pay his own legal fees and that “if he has already dissipated those funds, he should consider hiring other, less expensive counsel whom he can afford.”
Jamie Spears did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Previously, he has insisted that the conservatorship "helped Ms. Spears get through a major life crisis, rehabilitate and advance her career, and put her finances and her affairs in order," a claim he made in a petition to end his daughter's conservatorship in September.
Britney Spears’ legal team also filed a declaration from Sherine Ebadi, a former FBI special agent working in the forensic investigations and intelligence practice of Kroll Associates Inc., which Rosengart’s law firm hired last year to help investigate Jamie Spears’ management of his daughter’s estate. The declaration supports Britney Spears’ objection to her father’s petition that she pay his legal fees.
Ebadi testified after a review of some of the estate’s accounting that Jamie Spears used the conservatorship to "enrich himself and those loyal or useful to him." The accounting does not offer a total overview of the estate, as it does not cover business entities created under the conservatorship or offer details about individual transactions, Ebadi said.
Ebadi alleged that Jamie Spears engaged in "self-dealing," pointing to the land where the Spears family home was built in Kentwood, Louisiana.
Britney Spears had bought the lot from bank foreclosure in 2002 for $56,000 through a limited liability company named Bridgemore Timber.
According to the declaration, Jamie Spears asked the court in 2017 to buy the property from his daughter’s estate for more than $59,000, saying it was a tax burden, even though the tax on the land was less than $57 in 2016.
He then sold the lot with two other parcels of land for $275,000 last year, Ebadi testified.
Jamie Spears was also alleged to have sold land owned by Bridgemore while he was co-managing the company. The transactions are alleged to have included the sale of a 154.57-acre lot to his niece and his nephew at a loss of nearly $300,00 in 2016, the declaration said.
Ebadi also alleged that Jamie Spears used his daughter's estate to pay for personal legal fees of family friend Lou Taylor, the owner of Tri-Star Sports & Entertainment Group.
The estate paid for more than $153,000 in legal fees for a lawsuit Taylor filed against someone who bought domain names tied to her name, even though Britney Spears was not mentioned in the suit at all, Ebadi said.
Taylor did not respond to a request for comment.