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Judge orders Britney Spears’ father to depose, produce documents

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 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.”

Entertainment

Bad Newz Box Office Collection Day 1: Vicky Kaushal Gets His Highest Opener, Film Earns ₹8.5 Crore

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In a promising start for Bollywood’s latest offering, Bad Newz, starring Vicky Kaushal, Triptii Dimri, and Ammy Virk in the lead roles, the film garnered a decent Rs 8.5 crore on its opening day at the box office in India, according to early estimates. The film hit the big screens on July 19 and received mixed reviews from the audience and critics.

According to Sacnilk, the film had an overall 22.83 per cent Hindi occupancy on Friday. Surprisingly, Chennai witnessed the highest occupancy of 54.50 per cent, followed by Jaipur with 31.25 per cent and Bengaluru, which saw 28 per cent occupancy.  The film is expected to perform well in the weekend. 

Also, it may be mentioned that Bad Newz is Vicky’s biggest opener till date. Take a look at the first day collection of some of his films:

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke – Rs 5.49 crore

Uri: The Surgical Strike – 8.20 crore 

Sam Bahadur – 6.25 crore 

Manmarziyaan – 4 crore 

Released amidst high anticipation from fans, Bad Newz showcases a unique blend of comedy and storytelling, which seems to have struck a chord with audiences. The film’s unique plot and stellar performances by the lead actors have contributed significantly to its initial success.

Directed by Anand Tiwari, Bad Newz delves into the complexities of male friendships, intertwined with unexpected twists. The comic timing of the actors as well as the songs of Bad Newz have been highlighted as major strengths in early reviews.

The story revolves around Vicky (Akhil) and Ammy (Gurbir), who have intercourse with Triptii’s character, Saloni. Later, she discovers that she’s pregnant, but doesn’t know who the father is. After doing the paternity test, she finds out that both are the fathers.

Co-produced by Karan Johar, the film also has cameos by Ananya Panday and Neha Sharma. It also stars Sheeba Chadha and Neha Dhupia in significant roles.

The box office journey of Bad Newz will be closely watched as the weekend approaches. It will be interesting to see if the film maintains its momentum in the coming days. 

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Tabu Stuns Netizens With Her First Look In Dune: Prophecy Teaser 2

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Tabu Stuns Netizens With Her First Look In Dune: Prophecy Teaser 2

The second teaser of HBO Max’s “Dune: Prophecy”, a prequel series to Denis Villeneuve’s blockbuster “Dune” movies, has offered a first look at Bollywood star Tabu, who essays the role of Sister Francesca.

The Warner Bros Discovery-owned streamer released the second teaser on Thursday evening and also revealed that the six-episode series will premiere in November this year.

Tabu, known globally for movies such as “The Namesake” and “Life of Pi” as well as BBC miniseries “A Suitable Boy”, makes a brief appearance towards the end of the teaser clip.

Her character of Sister Francesca is described as a “strong, intelligent, and alluring” character, who leaves a lasting impression in her wake.

“Once a great love of the Emperor, her return to the palace strains the balance of power in the capital,” the makers said.

The series is set 10,000 years before the events of Frank Herbert’s seminal novel “Dune”, which was recently adapted by Villeneuve in two parts.

In the two films, which were released in 2021 and 2023, Charlotte Rampling played Reverend Mother Mohiam, the Emperor’s Bene Gesserit Truthsayer, while Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) was the Bene Gesserit mother of the protagonist Paul, played by Timothee Chalamet.

“Dune: Prophecy”, based on the novel “Sisterhood of Dune” by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson, was previously titled “Dune: The Sisterhood”.

As per official logline, the show follows two Harkonnen sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect that will become known as the Bene Gesserit.

“Dune: Prophecy” also stars Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, Mark Strong, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Jessica Barden, and Shalom Brune-Franklin.

Alison Schapker is the showrunner and executive producer with Diane Ademu-John, who co-developed the series. It is co-produced by HBO and Legendary Television.

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Janhvi Kapoor Hospitalised Due To Food Poisoning, Was Bedridden & Anxious At Home

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Janhvi Kapoor Hospitalised Due To Food Poisoning, Was Bedridden & Anxious At Home

Bollywood actress Janhvi Kapoor, who is gearing up for the release of her movie Ulajh, has reportedly been hospitalised due to food poisoning. She was rushed to the hospital on Thursday (July 18) after she felt weak. Reportedly, she has also postponed her work commitments.

According to a report in Times Now, Janhvi was bedridden at home, on Wednesday, as she felt ‘frail, weak and anxious’.

A close friend of Janhvi informed the news portal, “She postponed all her appointments on Wednesday and for the rest of the week. On Thursday, she felt even worse. So, the family decided to get her proper medical attention and got her admitted into the hospital. She is on the way to recovery now, though still very weak.”

The report further stated that the actress is expected to be discharged by Friday (July 19). However, Janhvi has not reacted to the report yet.

On July 15, the actress was spotted at a promotional event of her upcoming film Ulajh. She wore a stunning black and white outfit and also interacted with the media during the event.

Janhvi made headlines last week for her stunning appearances at Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s wedding festivities. From haldi and sangeet to baraat, Janhvi did not miss a single event. She was often spotted with her boyfriend, Shikhar Pahariya, and other Bollywood friends.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Janhvi was last seen in Mr & Mrs Mahi, also featuring Rajkummar Rao. The film released in theatres on May 31 and it received mixed response from critics as well as the audience.

The actress will next be seen with Jr NTR and Saif Ali Khan in Devara. She also has projects such as Ulajh, RC16 with Ram Charan, and Karan Johar’s Sunny Sanskari Ki Tulsi Kumari opposite Varun Dhawan in the pipeline.

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