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Britney Spears’ attorney said in a new court filing that her 13-year-long conservatorship was co-created by Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group, which profited by $18 million from the pop star’s estate.
The management company — which now boasts clients from the Kardashians to rapper Travis Scott — has long denied involvement in the conservatorship, which was terminated by a judge last November.
The new filing, made by Spears’ attorney Mathew Rosengart, says Tri Star and its founder and CEO Louise Taylor were hired upon the conservatorship’s commencement. At the time, the company was unknown and its owner was friends with Spears’ father Jamie, who was indebted to Taylor for at least $40,000, which the suit states was “a substantial amount of money in 2008, especially for a man with a history of financial mismanagement including a bankruptcy, mortgage defaults, state and federal tax liens, and failed business ventures.”
Shortly afterward, Spears’ father believed his daughter to be “incapacitated” and in need of medical attention; despite this, the singer was sent on a world tour, which the docs allege Jamie and Tri Star profited off of handsomely, with $6 million and $18 million, respectively.
The legal documents cite a September 2021 New York Times story, which details an “intense surveillance apparatus” perpetrated by Tri Star and Spears’ former business manager Robin Greenhill, as well as internal emails and media interviews that contradict claims of Tri Star’s lack of involvement in maintaining and instating the conservatorship. The company was “built…on the back of Britney Spears,” it alleges.
“Tri Star, Lou Taylor, and Robin Greenhill have all denied that Tri Star was involved in the creation of the Conservatorship, no doubt aware that such involvement — shortly after it extended the generous loan to Mr. Spears — would call into question not just the exorbitant fees paid to Tri Star over the years but also the motives for placing Ms. Spears into a 13-year conservatorship in the first place,” the filing reads.
Rosengart’s filing is in response to Tri Star’s motion to quash subpoenas for records, calling the action “baseless” and “legally frivolous.” The opposition also calls for the company to produce all relevant correspondence within 7 days of the next hearing.
Spears’ attorney also details findings from the investigative firm Kroll, which showcase Taylor “in very active discussions” concerning the conservatorship with Jamie and conservatorship lawyer Geraldine Wyle. The emails include mentions of Tri Star’s involvement, with Taylor adding that she looks “forward to working with [Wyle].” Other alleged correspondence shows Wyle and Taylor discussing judge selection and running “into a problem” where the only judge who will be able to hear the case “will not give Jamie the power to administer psychotropic drugs” to Spears. Later on, Taylor expressed a desire to help run the conservatorship, allegedly saying “I am the right person for this.”
In another section, the filing alleges financial mismanagement of Spears’ funds in favor of Tri Star, including her father’s overpayments to Tri Star for commission and disbursing funds to cover Taylor’s legal fees, despite his own counsel advising the expenditure as “inappropriate.” As a result, Rosengart suggests, it becomes clear why Tri Star decided to “stonewall” and fail to provide depositions since late 2021.
“This is materially misleading,” Scott Edelman, an attorney for Tri Star along with Charles Harder, said in a statement to TheWrap. “As all the evidence makes abundantly clear, the conservatorship was set up on the recommendation of legal counsel, not Tri Star, and approved by the Court for more than 12 years. In fact, Tri Star was not even the business manager for the conservatorship when it was established. Cherry-picked excerpts from emails cannot change the facts, which is why this nonsense will all end once and for all when records are unsealed.”
TheWrap has also reached out for comment to Alex Weingarten, Jamie’s attorney.
In Spears’ revelatory June 2021 testimony, which reignited passion for the #FreeBritney movement, the musician stated that her managers “should be in jail.” More recently, in February, Spears threatened to sue the company in a since-deleted Instagram post; she singled out Taylor and Greenhill, saying that they “killed” her: “I will sue the s— out of Tri Star!!!! Psss they got away with all of it and I’m here to warn them every day of my precious life!!!!” she wrote.
Despite being free from her conservatorship, Spears’ legal battle with Tri Star and her father continues. The next hearing for these matters is set to take place July 13 at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.