Want a surefire way to survive the recession? Become a lawyer for Britney Spears. According to the Los Angeles Times, since Jamie Spears’ seized control of his daughter’s affairs with a legal conservatorship last year, the family has spent roughly $2.7 million in legal fees. In the months since she was deemed unfit to run her own finances, Spears and her father have rifled through 17 lawyers and law firms while racking up a sizable tab.
While Spears is currently on the road with her Circus tour (Read Rock Daily’s review here), it seems like every other week Jamie Spears is in a courtroom, extending his conservatorship or seeking restraining orders against past characters in the Britney Show like former manager Sam Lutfi, ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghalib and lawyer Jon Eardley, who Brit reportedly hired to fight the conservatorship. The $2.7 million in fees was just from the first 11 months of the conservatorship, so that tally doesn’t even include the time spent in a courtroom banning those three men from Britney’s life. Spears also spent cash on her divorce and custody settlement, a trial for her driving-without-a-license charge and a handful of civil suits.
Jamie Spears gained control over Britney’s affairs in early 2008 following a pair of episodes that landed the pop star in the hospital. In a controversial move, a court awarded Jamie a temporary conservatorship that was eventually extended, even though those orders are usually reserved for people who are seriously ill or in a vegetative state. Rolling Stone‘s Jenny Eliscu, who interviewed Spears for a 2008 cover story, said Britney initially tried to fight the conservatorship ruling, even hiring a lawyer to prevent it. “If something doesn’t change — if somebody doesn’t contest it — it would theoretically remain in effect until her father dies,” Eliscu told Rock Daily. “So far, Britney has failed in her attempts to hire her own lawyer.”
According to the LAT, Spears’ army of lawyers has become the subject of jokes in court, and an opposing lawyer remarked, “Miss Britney Spears is being bled dry by these proceedings.” Now we know you’re thinking “Are You If You Seek Kidding Me?,” how can they spend so much to keep Britney under a conservatorship she technically shouldn’t be under? However, in retrospect, considering Circus is well past platinum and Spears is raking in the cash performing to sold-out crowds on her Circus tour, $2.7 million is probably a small investment to ensure Britney stays on the straight and narrow.
• Britney Spears’ “Circus” Spectacle Draws Madonna to New York Show: Full Report
• Britney Spears’ Life in Photos: A Timeline of the Star’s Rise, Fall and Comeback
• Behind the Britney Story: A Conversation With Writer Jenny Eliscu