What’s going on with all the legal drama surrounding Britney Spears?

Britney Spears
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

More than two months after Britney Spears was finally released from her conservatorship, she is still dealing with a series of legal dramas. In one California court hearing on Wednesday, her attorney made a number of explosive allegations against Spears’ father, Jamie, including that he planted a microphone in her bedroom and eavesdropped on her therapy sessions, potentially breaking the law in the process. spears too sent a cease and desist letter to his sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, amid a public feud between the two siblings that has grown increasingly vicious over the past week, raising the specter of a full-blown lawsuit.

There’s a lot to unpack here. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about Spears’ legal status, where things stand between her and her family, and what could happen next.

Why did Britney send a cease and desist letter to Jamie Lynn?

January 12, Jamie Lynn appeared on hello america to promote his new memoirs, Things I should have said. As her interviewer noted, she described her sister as “erratic”, “paranoid” and “spiraling” in the book – a fact Britney only discovered by watching the segment.

The next day, Britney accuses Jamie Lynn of exploiting her to sell books on Twitter. It kicked off a very public, week-long row between the two sisters, who threw Notes app screeds at each other online. Jamie Lynn claimed that she and her family were receiving death threats because of Britney’s “vague and accusatory messages”. At one point, Britney called his sister “foam.” Appearing on the podcast call her daddyJamie Lynn alleged that Britney once locked them both in a room with a knife-an event Britney said it never happened.

On Monday, Britney’s attorney, Mathew S. Rosengart, sent Jamie Lynn a cease and desist letter accusing her of making “potentially illegal and defamatory” statements about Britney, and urged her to stop “referring to Britney in a derogatory way” in the promotion of her book. “If you don’t or defame her,” he wrote, according to Variety“Britney will be obligated to consider and take all appropriate legal action.”

On Wednesday, Jamie Lynn’s attorney, Bryan J. Freedman, replied with a letter of its own. He called the cease and desist letter “not only callous but not backed by law”, and wrote that it would not stop Jamie Lynn from “telling the truth and denying the allegations against her”. That leaves the ball in Britney’s court: She can either let it lie or sue her sister for defamation.

What Happened During Britney and Her Dad’s Hearing?

Although Britney ended her conservatorship in November, after almost 14 years, she still has a few loose ends to work out, mainly whether she has to cover several months of her father’s legal fees or whether he’ll pay them. himself. Jamie’s legal fees came out of Britney’s estate when he was her curator; after being suspended from that role in September, he asked to force Britney to continue covering her legal costs as the conservatorship ended. Over the past few months, he’s racked up a multi-million dollar tab, according to Billboard.

In court on Wednesday, Rosengart argued that Britney shouldn’t end up with that bill, in part because Jamie reportedly operated her property for years. Like Variety reportsRosengart showed a Statement by Sherine Edabia former FBI special agent whom he hired to investigate how Jamie handled his daughter’s finances, and who corroborated a number of allegations previously reported by New York Times. According to Edabi’s findings, Jamie paid around $6 million from Britney’s estate to Black Box Security, a company that allegedly monitored Britney’s phone, obtained communications between her and her attorney, and planted a microphone in her bedroom. . Jamie also allegedly asked Black Box to send him Britney’s “therapy notes” from her iCloud account, according to the New York Times. Edabi’s statement includes a long list of other alleged offences, ranging from personal dealings to using her daughter’s money to pay other people’s legal fees.

Jamie’s attorney, Alex Weingarten, denied all of the allegations in court on Wednesday, describing them as “patently untrue or taken out of context.” Variety reports. Weingarten also asked to set aside some of Britney’s money to ensure that if she had to pay her father’s legal fees, she would have the money to cover them. Judge Brenda Penny denied her claim, meaning Britney is currently in control of her entire fortune estimated at 60 million dollars.

The next big hearing in Britney’s case is scheduled for July 27, when both sides are expected to set a trial date. From there, it will be months before the trial begins. Regardless of the outcome, either side can appeal, prolonging the fight even further, which means that at present there is still no end in sight to the battle over Jamie’s legal fees.

Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.