Despite denying any involvement with Britney Spears’ conservatorship, the pop star’s former business manager Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group was directly involved in creating the legal arrangement, according to new court documents, filed by Spears’ attorney. The filing claims that Tri Star received at least $18 million from the conservatorship.
Tri Star and its founder, Lou Taylor, served as the superstar’s business managers from 2008 through 2020. The company was hired by the singer’s father, Jamie Spears, around the time he placed his daughter under a conservatorship. The elder Spears was the singer’s conservator for most of the 13-year legal arrangement, before he was suspended by the court last September, ahead of the conservatorship being terminated fully in November.
Previously, Tri Star has said that it had no involvement in Spears’ conservatorship. But now, a new court filing from Spears’ lawyer Matthew Rosengart says that Tri Star and its employees, Taylor and Robin Greenhill, were intimately involved in facilitating the conservatorship. The legal documents reference emails, allegedly sent by Taylor, regarding the conservatorship.
“Tri Star, Lou Taylor, and Robin Greenhill have all denied that Tri Star was involved in the creation of the Conservatorship,” Rosengart’s filing states, referencing a sworn declaration from Greenhill that said, “At the time the conservatorship.. .was established by this Court in early 2008, Tri Star had no role in Ms. Spears’ affairs.” The filing also references media interviews where Tri Star denied their involvement in the conservatorship.
“These denials by Tri Star and its representatives are false,” Rosengart writes. He also states that Tri Star received “$18-plus million from the conservatorship it helped create.”
Scott Edelman, attorney for Tri Star, offered a response to the claims Saturday morning.
“This is materially misleading. As all the evidence makes abundantly clear, the conservatorship was set up on the recommendation of legal counsel, not Tri Star, and approved by the Court for more than 12 years,” Edelman wrote. “In fact, Tri Star was not even the business manager for the conservatorship when it was established. Cherry-picked excerpts from emails cannot change the facts, which is why this nonsense will all end once and for all when records are unsealed.”
Rosengart has publicly pledged to fully investigate Tri Star. His firm brought on P.I. firm Kroll to conduct an investigation of the company’s conduct, in addition to her father’s. In the new filing, emails obtained by Kroll show communications that were allegedly sent between Taylor, Spears’ father and his former lawyer, Geraldine Wyle. The emails indicate that Wyle was in communication with Taylor, prior to the conservatorship being put in place in February 2008.
“[Andrew Wallet] and Tri Star will serve as co’s [with] you,” Taylor allegedly wrote in an email to Spears’ father on Jan. 17, 2008, stating that she had spoken to Wyle and her co-counsel. “I look forward to working with you,” Taylor wrote to Wyle.
On Jan. 30, 2008, Wyle allegedly wrote an email to Taylor, which stated: “We have run into a problem with [the] judge selection… the only judge who will be able to hear our case on Friday is the one drug [sic] who will not give Jamie the power to administer psychotropic drugs” to Britney Spears.
Emails referenced in the filing appear to indicate that Taylor wanted to be a co-conservator. In an alleged email from Feb. 2008, Taylor wrote, “I am the right person for this.”
“I have fought for Jamie for 3 years, prayed and fasted with him every week and life has changed drastically because of this determination,” Taylor allegedly wrote in an email from 2008.
Variety has reached out to Charles Harder, an attorney for Tri Star, for comment on Rosengart’s filing, and to verify the authenticity of the emails referenced that were allegedly sent by his client, Taylor.
Rosengart has been fighting against Tri Star ever since he was retained by Spears as her attorney in summer 2021. He has accused the company of “stonewalling” his attempts to obtain information for his client. In this new filing, Rosengart states that the reason Tri Star is failing to cooperate is because they were directly involved in the creation of the conservatorship, despite saying otherwise.
Spears’ father and Tri Star have been the subject of damning accusations from the singer, who has said that they were abusive towards her and financially benefitted off of her during her conservatorship. A report in the New York Times alleged the star was under surveillance from a security team hired by her father and that Tri Star was involved in monitoring the singer’s phone. At the time, a lawyer for Tri Star told the Times, “These allegations are not true.”
Just this past week, an attorney for Spears’ father, Alex Weingarten, filed a sworn declaration denying having any awareness of his adult daughter’s private bedroom being bugged or authorizing surveillance of the pop star.
“I am informed of the allegation by Britney’s counsel that a listening device or ‘bug’ was placed her bedroom as surveillance during the Conservatorship. This allegation is false,” the declaration from Spears’ father states. “I never conducted or authorized any surveillance of Britney’s bedroom at any time, including during the Conservatorship. I am not aware of any such surveillance having occurred.”
Variety has reached out to Weingarten for additional comment on the July 1 filing, regarding Tri Star’s involvement in the conservatorship.
While the surveillance allegations have largely focused on Spears’ father and the security team he was alleged to have hired, Tri Star has been at the center of extensive claims of financial mismanagement.
In Dec. 2021, Tri Star was later subject of an exposé in the New York Times, titled “Britney Spears Felt Trapped. Her Business Manager Benefited,” which raised financial questions about Tri Star’s founder Lou Taylor and whether she improperly enriched herself with the singer’s earnings while she was her manager. In the Times piece, both Taylor and Jamie Spears denied any impropriety through attorneys. (Taylor’s lawyer, Harder, said Tri Star “faithfully served the estate” and helped Ms. Spears build an estimated $60 million fortune, which he said “is a success by any standard.”)
Now, in this new filing, Rosengart states that, through its role in Spears’ conservatorship, Tri Star not only benefited at least $18 million from Spears’ estate, but also “built its company on the back of Britney Spears,” now representing stars ranging from the Kardashian family to Travis Scott.
“Despite its integral role at the time the conservatorship was established, despite reaping at least $18 million from Britney Spears while she was a conservatee, and despite building its brand on Ms. Spears’s name and incredible talent and hard work… when Tri Star’s counsel was informally asked by the undersigned counsel in late 2021 for basic of information concerning the conservatorship… Tri Star, like Mr. Spears, chose to stonewall and obfuscate,” Rosengart writes.
More than seven months after the pop star’s conservatorship was terminated, her legal battle persists. Aside from this new filing pertaining to Tri Star, Rosengart also continues to fight against her father.
The elder Spears recently requested his daughter be deposed to address her social media posts in which she has made claims about his behavior towards her throughout the conservatorship. Rosengart slammed that request, stating in a filing this week that his client’s father is seeking “revenge” through a “sham deposition,” while avoiding his own deposition.
The next hearing, which is expected to touch on all these matters, is set for July 13 at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse.