A Los Angeles judge has suspended Jamie Spears from his role as Britney Spears’ conservator, with an interim taking his place whilst claims against him are investigated.
Earlier this week, Britney Spears’ legal team alleged that her father Jamie Spears used surveillance equipment installed in her home to spy on her.
Jamie Spears had been in charge of his daughter’s conservatorship since the pop stars mental health began to publicly unfurl in 2008. However, for the last decade, Britney Spears has been campaigning to have him removed as her conservator.
These latest reports come to light only days after Britney Spears’ legal team sought to accelerate the process of her father’s removal from her case, after he filed his own petition to step aside, but not until next year.
In the latest New York Times documentary on the subject, Controlling Britney Spears, journalist’s Liz Day and Samantha Stark allegedly uncovered that Spears was sickeningly recorded in her bedroom, and her phone had been bugged.
A legal filing from Britney Spears’ team called for the reports to be investigated. The court papers stated: “[If true, the surveillance is] a horrifying and unconscionable invasions of his adult daughter’s privacy.”
Later adding: “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.”
Following this filing Judge Brenda Penny stated: “I do believe that the suspension of James Spears as conservator … is in the best interest of the conservatee. This order shall be made in full force and effect.”
For the moment, Jamie Spears has merely been suspended, and John Zabel has been a fiduciary conservator on a temporary basis. A new hearing regarding an accelerated termination in light of the investigation will be held within 30 to 45 days.
Jamie Spears legal team argued against the temporary appointment of Zabel, arguing: “[he] does not appear to have the background and experience required to take over a complex, $60 million (approx.) conservatorship estate on a temporary or immediate basis.”
Britney Spears’ legal team responded that Jamie Spears was a “reported alcoholic and gambling addict, with zero financial background or experience in financial matters, who previously filed for bankruptcy and has a Domestic Violence Restraining Order currently in effect against him”.
Regarding the surveillance claims, journalist, Liz Day, added: “It was completely shocking. One of the reasons why it was so shocking is because we had heard rumours about this — people have speculated that her phone is bugged or her house is bugged, but no one really ever had proof.”
More remains to be seen regarding the investigation of the claims in the coming days and weeks.