Britney Spears’ legal team responds to report of surveillance by her father

Britney Spears’ lawyer has filed a new petition arguing that a recent report alleging a surveillance operation run by Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, and a security firm he hired is further proof that Jamie Spears must be removed from his role as his daughter’s conservator as soon as possible.

The New York Times on Friday reported that Jamie Spears and the security firm Black Box “ran an intense surveillance apparatus that monitored her communications and secretly captured audio recordings from her bedroom, including her interactions and conversations with her boyfriend and children.” A corresponding documentary that aired on Hulu alleged that recording devices were planted in Spears’ bedroom.

“Mr. Spears has crossed unfathomable lines,” the petition says. “While they are not evidence, the allegations warrant serious investigation, certainly by Ms. Spears as, among other things, California is a ‘two-party’ consent state.” In a two-party consent state, all members of a conversation must consent to being recorded when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. 

The New York Times noted that it is “unclear if the court overseeing Ms. Spears’s conservatorship was aware of or had approved the surveillance.” Jamie Spears did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment. 

The recent filing asks that Jamie Spears’ “efforts to confuse the issues and seek further delay must be rejected. They are, in fact, a subterfuge, designed to avoid the stigma of being suspended and its consequences, including the likelihood of disgorgement and rejection of outstanding of legal fees, sustained objections to the pending accounting, the transfer of files, and other remedies.”

Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, had recently claimed in a separate filing that Jamie Spears was attempting to get roughly $2 million before stepping down from his role. He likened the move to extortion.

Rosengart asked in Monday’s filing that Jamie Spears be removed as Spears’ conservator no later than Wednesday, when a hearing on the matter is scheduled. He is asking for a temporary conservator to be appointed while details of the full end of the conservatorship are determined. 

Jamie Spears had previously filed to end his conservatorship, which has been in place since 2008. A specific timetable for his removal has not been set and the move would need to be approved by a judge. 

In June, Spears testified at a hearing asking to be released from the conservatorship that she had been forced to take drugs after refusing to perform and was prevented from removing a birth control device.

“I think this conservatorship is abusive. I don’t think I can live a full life,” Spears told the court. “I feel ganged up on, I feel bullied and I feel alone.”