A New York Times article published on Sunday raises the question whether Lou Taylor, the long-time business manager associated with the recently concluded Britney Spears tutelage, has unduly enriched herself using the singer’s income. In the report, titled “Britney Spears Felt Trapped. His business manager took advantage, ”Taylor, his companies and Britney’s father and former Conservative Jamie Spears deny any impropriety through attorneys.
The report notes that Taylor’s company, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group, was a small business until she met Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, in 2008, making a deal that would bring in two million. He says the trusteeship, which lasted for an unusually long period of 13 years and earned Jamie Spears some $ 6 million, gave him “vast power over [Britney’s] life and finances. He also notes that Tri Star declined to reveal how much money he made from the arrangement, but estimates the figure at “millions” of dollars.
In recent years, Britney has attacked the Guardianship, which began in 2008, claiming she was forced into work and much of the money she made went to a constellation of lawyers, managers , agents and others due to a number of unusual financial issues. provisions.
Near the center of it all was Ms Taylor, according to a New York Times investigation based on court documents, financial records, company documents and interviews with more than 70 people familiar with the Guardianship Ms Taylor. or its companies, ”report states. Taylor stepped down as Britney’s commercial director in November of last year; the guardianship ended last month.
The report notes:
* That Jamie Spears received a loan of “at least” $ 40,000 from Tri Star at the start of his relationship with the company. While a lawyer for Jamie Spears, Alex Weingarten, lawyer for Jamie Spears, first told The Times that Jamie Spears “never” received a loan from Tri Star, but confirmed it later. “Tri Star regularly lends money to its customers,” he said.
* The singer’s accounts were opened with Stonebridge Wealth Management, a company co-founded and co-owned by Taylor, shortly after the trusteeship began. “While the company said it did not receive a fee for many of the services provided, several other maneuvers appeared to benefit Ms. Taylor,” the report said. These include Britney’s estate paying for a security firm her father hired to monitor “Free Britney” protesters who criticized Ms. Taylor and, according to a former employee, monitor Britney herself; paying a portion of Taylor’s personal legal fees, which led to Britney’s attorney complaining to a California court;
* That in 2010 the Trusteeship donated tens of thousands of dollars from Britney’s Charitable Foundation to a Christian counseling group linked to Taylor and her husband, which the founder bragged about once the group helped people to give up lesbianism. Jamie Spears “also sometimes donated 10 percent of [income derived from Britney] to a Taylor-run church, according to a financial document reviewed by The Times. “
* The Spears estate paid for commercials in trade publications praising Taylor and Tri Star, including in Variety.
Weingarten, an attorney for Jamie Spears, said that “Jamie’s administration of Britney’s estate was always in the best interests of Britney.” He said the court, a co-curator and Britney’s duty counsel approved Mr Spears’ rulings. He added: “Jamie has nothing to hide and therefore will not hide anything.”
Charles Harder, an attorney for Taylor, said Tri Star “has served the estate faithfully” and helped Ms Spears build a fortune estimated at $ 60 million. “It’s a success at all levels. “
Matthew G. White, a Stonebridge lawyer, wrote in a recent letter to Britney’s legal team that she “worked diligently and tirelessly to provide valuable services for the benefit of the estate”, often at no cost.
The relationship began with Britney’s younger sister, also named Jamie, who starred in Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101” and signed as a Tri Star client in 2005; her father, who had battled alcoholism and filed for bankruptcy, became a Tri Star client soon after, and the following year became Britney’s curator. The report notes that Tri Star loaned Jamie Spears “at least” $ 40,000 less than a month before Britney was placed in guardianship.
Speaking to The Times, Anthony Palmieri, the new president of the National Guardianship Association, which represents the Tories, said the loan “makes me wonder where the allegiance lies. Is the Conservative making decisions in the best interests of the Conservative or the business owner to whom he owes a debt? It stinks of conflict of interest. Harder replied, “A small loan, later repaid, has had no effect on Tri Star’s work for the estate in recent years. “
In 2008, just a few months after arguing that Britney was incapacitated and therefore had to be under her control via the Trusteeship, Jamie Spears booked her for an eight-month concert tour called “Circus”. Tri Star was hired to serve as the tour’s business manager, taking care of its finances and accounting. The tour grossed around $ 130 million. The following year, the company finalized a contract to become the manager of Britney’s estate, which includes many of her assets, and gave her broad control over the management of her finances. Tri Star would receive 5% of Ms Spears’ “adjusted gross entertainment income”, according to Harder, who declined to explain further.
The report says it’s not clear if Britney knew how her money was spent. His lawyers are investigating whether Jamie Spears, Taylor and others have unfairly taken advantage of the guardianship.
Read the full report here.
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