New York (AP) – The US pop singer Britney Spears is said to have been heavily monitored for years under the tutelage of her father James, according to a new documentary in the New York Times. A listening device was installed in the bedroom of the 39-year-old, and data was copied onto her cell phone.
The US newspaper reported on Friday evening (local time), citing material that was provided by a former employee of the security company Black Box.
The documentary is entitled “Controlling Britney Spears” and was released on Friday on the Hulu streaming platform. According to the newspaper, the material includes more than 180 hours of audio recordings as well as e-mails and SMS messages. James Spears hired the security company to protect the singer, it said. It is unclear whether the court overseeing the singer’s guardianship knew about the surveillance or had approved it, the newspaper wrote.
However, a lawyer for James Spears stressed that all measures were within the powers conferred by the court. They “were made with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney, and / or the court.” Black Box also stated that they had always “acted within technical, ethical and legal requirements”.
Britney Spears has been under her father’s tutelage since 2008 after breaking down due to personal and professional problems. Initially, James Spears managed his daughter’s wealth and private affairs. In 2019 he stepped down, but remained responsible for finances. As co-guardian, Jodi Montgomery is responsible for the singer’s personal needs.
At a hearing in July, Britney Spears had said that she was going to charge her father for “abuse of guardianship”. In September, James Spears filed a motion to end guardianship. The next hearing in the proceedings is scheduled for next Tuesday (September 29th).
The Spears case had received a lot of attention, among other things through the first documentary in the “New York Times” on the subject in the spring. “Framing Britney Spears” sparked heated discussions, especially on social networks. Many celebrities and fans then expressed their support for the singer under the hashtag «#FreeBritney».
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210925-99-355347 / 2