A security company employed by Britney Spears’ father oversaw the pop singer’s phone calls and text messages during the court-sanctioned conservatorship she has lived under since 2008, according to a New York Times documentary published on Friday.
In monitoring Britney Spears, Alex Vlasov, a retired Black Box Security employee who said he worked with the singer’s team for almost nine years, said the company “mirrored” the pop singer’s phone on an iPad by logging in to her iCloud account. Listening equipment also set in her bedroom, Vlasov said.
He notified the filmmakers that he was asked to encrypt some of Spears’ text dialogues so they could be sent to her father, Jamie Spears, and an employee of a business management company he had hired.
When Vlasov interviewed the monitoring, he said he was told that Britney Spears’ communications were examined “for her own security and protection” and that the court supervising the conservatorship was “aware of it”, as was her attorney at the time. The monitoring comprised discussions between Britney Spears and her attorney, Sam Ingham, according to Vlasov.
Vivian Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears, did not talk over the specific allegations, but said that his efforts “were well within the parameters of the authority conferred upon him by the court,” and “were done with knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney and/or the court.”
“Jamie’s record as conservator – and the court’s approval of his actions – speak for themselves,” Thoreen added, explaining that Jamie Spears had helped his daughter improve her career and improve her financial situation.
A lawyer for Black Box Security President Edan Yemini, in a message shown in the documentary, said, “Mr Yemini and Black Box have always conducted themselves within professional, ethical and legal bounds, and they are particularly proud of their work keeping Ms Spears safe for many years.”
Britney Spears is struggling to end the conservatorship, which Jamie Spears set up in 2008 to supervise his daughter’s liaisons and roughly $60 million estate after she had a mental health breakdown. The “Stronger” singer confided in June that the agreement was abusive and humiliating.
In a shocking move earlier in September, Jamie Spears said that he favoured ending the conservatorship here because circumstances had altered. A hearing on the case is planned for Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Spears’ new attorney, Mathew Rosengart, said in a statement that he would investigate the new allegations.
“Intercepting or monitoring Britney’s communications, especially sacrosanct attorney-client communications, represents a shameful and shocking violation of her privacy and civil liberties,” the statement said. “Placing a listening device in Britney’s bedroom would be particularly disgraceful.”
Governing Britney Spears was discharged Friday night on the FX cable network and Hulu. It shows a documentary by the same filmmakers, called Framing Britney Spears, which debuted in February and assisted spark new interest in the case.