UPDATE (9/28): Britney Spears’ lawyer, Mathew S. Rosengart, fired back at Jamie Spears after the singer’s father objected to anyone replacing him as a temporary conservator as the conservatorship winds down. The comments were contained in a footnote of a legal filing that was otherwise objecting to another Jamie filing about compensating the conservator and the conservator’s attorneys (which Rosengart also objected to).
In the footnote, Rosengart rebuffed Jamie’s claim that his potential replacement, John Zabel, was unqualified. Rosengart said Zabel “is a highly-esteemed, nationally-recognized award-winning CPA with an impeccable record of serving in positions of trust — in stark contrast to Mr. Sears, 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.”
Rosengart went on to claim that Jamie “wants to escape justice and accountability (but will not) and he will evidently do or say anything to avoid it.”
Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, voiced his opposition to the possibility of someone replacing him as the pop star’s temporary conservator in new court documents filed Tuesday, September 28th.
The filing comes one day before arguably the most significant hearing in Spears’ conservatorship battle — over whether to remove Jamie from the conservatorship. And while Jamie had previously filed a petition to end his tenure as the court-appointed conservator of his daughter’s estate, the new filing objects specifically to any potential replacement.
In the filing, lawyers for Jamie argued that “there is no need for a temporary conservator because there is no vacancy in the position of conservator,” and that “Mr. Spears has not and should not be suspended, especially since the Conservatorship should soon be terminated.”
The suit continued: “Furthermore, all parties have consented to the termination of the Conservatorship. Assuming the Court agrees with the parties and terminates the Conservatorship, the Petition for Temporary Conservator should be denied without prejudice as moot. Whatever remains to be done to wind down the Conservatorship of the Estate should be done as efficiently as possible, by Mr. Spears, who is familiar with the assets of the Conservatorship Estate, and the attention each asset requires, and without an abrupt, needless and expensive transfer of custody of the assets to a complete stranger to the Conservatorship.”
To that end, the filing argued that the proposed temporary conservator, John Zabel, was not qualified to oversee Spears’ estate. It claimed that Zabel, while he is a certified public accountant, is not a licensed professional fiduciary and “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.” It also claimed that Zabel is not qualified to be Spears’ conservator because, in 2007, he allegedly invested $1 million of his own money in a real estate scam.
“While it is unfortunate that Mr. Zabel was scammed,” the filing reads, “the fact is that he failed to recognize the scam in the hopes of making a 20% return on his investment, and he failed to conduct adequate due diligence before investing over one million of his own money, which is greatly concerning. Mr. Spears does not know if Ms. Spears is aware of these troubling facts; presumably no.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Britney Spears’ lawyer, Mathew S. Rosengart, called Jamie’s filing, “A desperate effort to deflect attention from Mr. Spears’s egregious incompetence, misconduct including dissipation of funds, abuse, and The New York Times bombshell expose. Given the latter, he and his advisors are undoubtedly very concerned about having to turn over his files if he is suspended, which under California law, must include attorney-client communications.”
The “bombshell” Rosengart is referring to is a new documentary report on the alleged surveillance and security apparatus Jamie set up to monitor the pop star. Rosengart addressed the new revelations in a filing Monday, September 27th, calling the alleged surveillance “deeply disturbing” and saying Jamie had “crossed unfathomable lines.”