A judge ruled that pop-singer Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, must sit for a deposition and produce all documents that are being requested by the pop star’s team.
According to Variety, the judge ordered Spears’ father to be deposed within the next 30 days in Los Angeles.
Judge Brenda Penny ordered Spears’ father to produce all documents related to electronic surveillance.
This move favours the singer, and indicates that the court believes it has reason to further inquire into shocking allegations that Jamie Spears had hired a security firm that put his daughter under surveillance throughout her conservatorship, with allegations of monitoring her phone and bugging her bedroom to record her private conversations.
Prior to the judge’s ruling on these motions, Jamie Spears’ attorney, Alex Weingarten, asked the judge to give his team access to documents from the singer’s team to help prepare for his client’s deposition, reports Variety.
“It’s a deposition. Not an ambush,” Weingarten said in the courtroom, before Judge Penny ruled against his request.
The hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse was heated with fiery debate among Weingarten and the pop star’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart.
Wednesday’s hearing marked a big victory for the singer, who has been fighting against her father in a continuous legal battle ever since her conservatorship was terminated last year.
Spears was put under a court-ordered conservatorship in 2008 by her father, who acted as her sole conservator for most of the 13 years.
After more than a decade of fighting against the arrangement, Spears’ father was suspended by the court in September 2021, and the conservatorship was ultimately terminated in November 2021. Despite the singer’s newfound freedom, her legal team’s battle has remained messy with no resolution from either side.
Still on the table after Wednesday’s hearing is whether the singer will be deposed by her father’s team.
The judge nearly reached a decision on that matter, first giving a tentative order to deny Jamie Spears’ motion to depose his daughter, but then decided to continue the motion, asking the attorneys on both sides to present their arguments to the court on why the singer should or should not sit for a deposition, ahead of the July 27 hearing.
“You don’t sit down a victim for a deposition to be deposed by the victimiser,” Rosengart argued in the courtroom, telling the judge that sitting for a deposition would be “re-traumatising” to the singer.
Last month, Weingarten filed documents on behalf of Jamie Spears, requesting to depose his daughter, in light of her social media posts. Rosengart blasted the request, calling it a “revenge” and “sham”.
In court on Wednesday, Weingarten said that having Spears sit for a deposition is par for the course, since she is a party in the case.
Rosengart firmly disagreed, arguing that Spears’ father should have all the information he needs, given that he was the one who was running her conservatorship and making decisions about her life.
“Ms. Spears was in a conservatorship for 13 years that was run by her father,” Rosengart told the judge.
“Mr. Spears is the individual who has documentation and first hand knowledge. Mr. Spears and the documentation serve as the evidence. Ms. Spears has no knowledge or documents,” Rosengart continued, telling the judge that she is the victim in this situation.
“She’s not the accuser. She’s not the alleger,” he said. “Ms. Spears is not a plaintiff here. Ms. Spears is not a defendant here.”
Rosengart told the judge that his client’s father is only filing motions to “drive up fees,” instead of letting his daughter “move on with her life.”
“She is free, and Mr. Spears wants to suck her back into the conservatorship” for “improper, immoral reasons,” Rosengart said.
At one point, pleading with the judge to allow his team to depose the pop star, Weingarten said that “unfortunately” there are documents under seal and “court orders regarding” the electronic surveillance.
“Based on what I know,” he said, “I suspect that Ms. Spears will be a treasure trove of information.”
Weingarten said that if the judge decides the singer does not have to sit for a deposition, her father will not have his “fair day in court.
The attorney said he is being held to a “different standard” than other parties in the case, based on “unproven allegations.”
“I appreciate that it’s en vogue to trash Jamie Spears,” Weingarten told the judge “But he has rights in this country, you’re innocent until proven guilty.”
“You do not put a victim back in front of the victimiser. It’s the wrong thing to do,” Rosengart shot back.
“That would be wrong, whether my client was Britney Spears or Jane Doe.”
“The mere deposition itself is harassment,” Rosengart told the judge.
Rosengart has been fighting against Jamie Spears and the singer’s former business manager, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment, ever since he was retained by Spears in summer 2021.
He has accused the company of “stonewalling” his attempts to obtain information for his client, refusing to cooperate and avoiding deposition. Spears’ legal team said they have been requesting to depose the elder Spears for nine months, and claimed he has evaded those requests. At Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Penny moved in favour of the star, agreeing that her father has failed to appear for his deposition.
Earlier this month, in bombshell court documents, Rosengart claimed that his client’s father and Tri Star were in cahoots to create the conservatorship and reap the benefits by taking millions of the superstar’s hard-earned money, rather than looking out for her best interest, which they deny.
Rosengart claimed that Tri Star was directly involved in creating the conservatorship and received at least $18 million throughout it.
Lawyers for Tri Star denied these claims, stating, “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.”
Spears’ father and Tri Star have denied all claims of improper behaviour, despite been the subject of damning accusations. While the surveillance allegations have largely focused on Spears’ father and Black Box, the security team he was alleged to have hired, Tri Star has been at the centre of extensive claims of financial mismanagement.
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 Times, “These allegations are not true.” Earlier this month, Weingarten filed a sworn declaration from Jamie Spears, denying having any awareness of his adult daughter’s private bedroom being bugged or authorising 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,” the declaration stated.
“This allegation is false.”
Weingarten did not speak to members of the media after the hearing on Wednesday, but outside of the courthouse, Rosengart told reporters that his client wants to simply “move on.”
“Mr. Spears, if he loves his daughter, as he professes he does, should leave her alone,” Rosengart told reporters, including Variety.
“He should get on with his life, instead of continuing to litigate against his daughter.”
Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal Enters Rs.500 Crore Club, Devours Vicky Kaushal’s Sam Bahadur At The Box Office
Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal was released on December 1, 2023, and clashed with Vicky Kaushal’s Sam Bahadur. Despite many users calling out the film for toxic masculinity, the film has entered the Rs 500 crore club and has earned Rs 563.3 crore worldwide in the first week of its release, while its nett collection in India stands at Rs 338 crore.
However, Vicky Kaushal starrer Sam Bahadur is seeing slow growth at the box office. With Animal, the film only managed to earn ₹3.05 crore India net on its seventh day, making its total collection to ₹38.85 crore. Directed by Meghna Gulzar, Sam Bahadur also stars Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Sheikh.
The film is based on the life of Sam Manekshaw, India’s first field marshal
Animal is currently breaking all the records at the box office. It has already become the fourth-highest grosser of the year, after Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan, Pathaan, and Sunny Deol’s Gadar 2. Directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, Animal also stars Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Triptii Dimri, and Rashmika Mandanna, among others.
The film was released in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. Meanwhile, since Sanju (2018), the Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani actor has not had a big hit in the cinemas.
‘Suhana Khan Can’t Act’: Netizens Brutally Troll The Archies Actress For ‘Bad Acting’
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan marked her acting debut with The Archies which released on Netflix on Friday. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, the film also stars Khushi Kapoor, Agastya Nanda, Mihir Ahuja, Vedang Raina, Dot, and Yuvraj Menda. However, as netizens took to social media to share their review, a section brutally trolled Suhana for her “bad acting.”
One user wrote, “It’s strictly for elite and sophisticated audiences only. All star kids including Suhana Khan can’t act, I repeat can’t act. Good to see Koel Puri, Aly Khan & others. There can’t be a bad director, only bad actors.”
“Million of gorgeous women … and TBP chose Suhana Khan to play Veronica,” added another.
“Raat ko I started watching Archies, 15 mins there and I preferred to sleep. Suhana na sundar hai na uski acting achi hai,” wrote one user.
Another user commented, “15 mins into #Archies and I can’t decide if Suhana Khan’s acting is bad, dancing is bad, or dialogue delivery is bad.”
Besides acting, Suhana announced that she has also made her singing debut with the song ‘Jab Tum Na Theen’ from the film.
The Archies, a coming-of-age musical, weaves a captivating tale around the lives of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, Ethel, and Dilton as they navigate the fictional hilly town of Riverdale. This film delves into the essence of friendship, freedom, love, heartbreak, and rebellion.
The trailer unfolds a melodic narrative, guided by the charm of seven beloved characters from the iconic Archie comics. Through the retro alleys of love, friendship, and youthful aspirations, the story resonates with a nostalgic yet timeless quality.
Concluding with a poignant message, the trailer leaves audiences with the thought: ‘You are never too young to change the world.’
The makers held a special screening for the film industry. To support Suhana, her entire family including SRK, Gauri, Aryan, and baby brother AbRam were seen at the premiere.
The Archies Review: Zoya Akhtar Brings The Perfect Christmas Movie Date That Is Contemporary And Replete With Messaging
Director: Zoya Akhtar
Cast: Agastya Nanda, Aditi Saigal aka Dot. Khushi Kapoor, Mihir Ahuja, Suhana Khan, Vedang Raina, Yuvraj Menda, Santana Roach, Rudra Mahuvarkar, Alyy Khan, Luke Kenny, Vinay Pathak, Koel Purie, Tara Sharma Saluja, Sheena Khalid, Delnaz Irani
Where: Streaming now on Netflix
Rating: 4 stars
Experiencing Zoya Akhtar’s sincere tribute to our cherished childhood comic feels deeply personal and, to some extent, cathartic. Having attended an Anglo-Indian institution and with my closest friends hailing from the community, Akhtar’s cultural portrayal resonates with remarkable accuracy.
In the initial stages of the film, a significant character recites a quote from William Faulkner: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Throughout Akhtar’s promotional campaign, she was often presented with a question that implied she had the freedom to create any film with desired actors and technicians, since she is well-positioned at the top of everyone’s wishlist. However, the filmmaker certainly understands how to enjoy the process and at times, prioritize art for its inherent purpose rather than solely for profit—an ethos that radiates throughout The Archies. As another character aptly notes, “to make art, you must go in, not out.” This clarifies her intention to establish a captivating world, with seven new faces taking centre-stage.
It is the year 1964, and Riverdale, a picturesque town nestled in the hills of North India, bears the traces of English influences in its essence. Inhabitants of this town carry the heritage of English ancestry in their veins, yet their hearts resonate with India as their true home. The beating heart of this town is the community garden known as Green Park. It is the very spot where Archibald ‘Archie’ Andrews (Agastya Nanda), Ethel Muggs (Aditi Saigal aka Dot.), Betty Cooper (Khushi Kapoor), Jughead Jones (Mihir Ahuja), Veronica Lodge (Suhana Khan), Reggie Mantle (Vedang Raina), and Dilton Doiley (Yuvraj Menda) took their initial steps as infants, following their birth in 1947. The resilience of their friendship and the future of the town are put to the test when a suggestion is put forth to construct a hotel instead of the park. Amidst the challenges, they navigate matters of the heart on the threshold of adulthood.
Co-written with her collaborators Ayesha Devitre Dhillon and Reema Kagti, Zoya incorporates multiple themes and concerns, and let me tell you, it’s a delicate path to navigate. Yet, it’s an ingenious move to employ cinema in the form of a musical to convey a message to a new generation that appears to be lost in the pursuit of validation through meaningless reels and endless scrolling on Instagram. The fear of maturing and taking on adult responsibilities, the shared social responsibility, the need for free press and critique, conflicts between humanity and nature, and the imperative need to engage in politics seamlessly align within the narrative, without any element standing out conspicuously. Incorporating all these elements, the film takes a sweeping journey down memory lane to a time when our lives were brimming with innocence and idealism. It harks back to an era where our eyes sparkled with aspirations and ambition. The melodies crafted by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Ankur Tewari and The Islanders perfectly capture the essence of The Archies. From the attire to the production design overseen by Suzanne Caplan Merwanji, to the cinematography skillfully executed by Nikos Anaritsakis, you’ll find yourself irresistibly pulled into this world as it unfolds in front of you. One aspect that the film might be criticized for is its length, an aspect where editor Nitin Baid could have exercised more consideration.
Setting that aside, there isn’t a single false note that can be pinpointed in the performances delivered by the film’s young cast. Agastya effortlessly embodies Archie, a character that occasionally flirts, infusing idealism with his charm. Dot., as Ethel, is delightfully ambitious, and her character resonated with me the most. Vedang effectively portrays the neighborhood heartthrob Reggie, while Mihir, as Archie’s bro-dude Jughead, is hilariously on point. Suhana is aptly yet unconventionally cast as Veronica, a daddy’s princess with a heart. Khushi embodies the perfect girl-next-door who loves to bake. However, my favorite performance has to be Yuvraj as Dilton, the genius whose moment of truth will leave you deeply moved.
The Archies arrives on Netflix as an early Christmas gift, one that will leave you with a heartwarming feeling. It’s a film that you’d cherish revisiting with your friends on lazy Sunday afternoons.
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