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It feels like every time a new detail about Britney Spears' conservatorship comes to light, our jaws drop to the floor so hard, our chins should actually be bruised. On Friday, FX and Hulu released Controlling Britney Spears, the followup to the New York Times' explosive Framing Britney Spears documentary, and the new doc introduced new (and, yeah, still shocking) allegations about Britney's treatment under her conservatorship.
One of the biggest bombshells came from Alex Vlasov, a former employee of security firm Black Box, who worked with Britney for almost a decade. In interviews for the documentary, Vlasov alleged that Britney's conservators bugged her phone and her home and described the way the conservators (including her father, Jamie Spears) picked his brain about how to use iPhone parental controls and how to sync the singer's iCloud account to a separate iPad.
"Britney wanted to get an iPhone … and that was a big deal. Everybody was worried," Vlasov, who who backed up his claims with emails, texts, and audio recordings allegedly collected during his employment with Britney's conservators, said (per Page Six). "[My boss] Edan [Yemini] approached me and asked me, ‘Is there any monitoring services for an iPhone that you are aware of?’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, parental controls. Is there any way you can put parental controls on an iPhone?' And that’s when Edan explained to me that Britney’s communication is monitored for her own security and protection."
At this point, Vlasov says he asked outright about legality of monitoring the singer's personal phone and was assured that both the court and Britney's lawyer were aware of the plan, which Vlasov's bosses insisted was "for her safety" and "for her protection."
Eventually, Vlasov said it was Robin Greenhill (who worked with Britney’s management team at Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group) who had the idea to create a mirror of Britney's phone that her conservators could use to monitor, well, pretty much all of her activity on her phone, from her calls and text messages to the apps she used and her browsing history.
"Robin came up with the idea of, ‘Why don’t we just take an iPad, sign in with an iCloud [account] on there, the same iCloud that Britney would use on her phone, and that would mirror all activity?’ You would be able to see all messages, all FaceTime calls, notes, browser history, photographs," he explained.
According to Vlasov, the mirrored iPad was kept in a safe, but both Jamie Spears and Robin Greenhill had access to it.
"Their reason for monitoring was looking for bad influence, looking for potential illegal activity that might happen, but they would also monitor conversations with her friends, with her mom, with her lawyer Sam Ingham," Vlasov said. "If there’s anybody that should be off limits, it should be Britney’s lawyer."
In response to the allegations, Britney's current lawyer, Mathew S. Rosengart, released a statement to the New York Times condemning the behavior described by Vlasov and calling for a "full and aggressive" investigation of the claims.
"Any unauthorized intercepting or monitoring of Britney’s communications — especially attorney-client communications, which are a sacrosanct part of the legal system — would represent a shameful violation of her privacy rights and a striking example of the deprivation of her civil liberties," Rosengart said in his statement. "Placing a listening device in Britney’s bedroom would be particularly inexcusable and disgraceful, and corroborates so much of her compelling, poignant testimony. These actions must be fully and aggressively investigated."
A lawyer for Jamie Spears also responded to the allegations with a statement to the times, saying, "All of his actions were well within the parameters of the authority conferred upon him by the court. His actions were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney, and/or the court. Jamie’s record as conservator—and the court’s approval of his actions—speak for themselves."
While Britney hasn't personally responded publicly to the new documentary, her fiancé, Sam Asghari, wrote in an Instagram Story post that past docs had left a "bad aftertaste" and that he was hopeful that the new slate of documentaries about Britney and her legal battles would be "respectful."
For his part, Vlasov seemed to find Britney's environment to be pretty bleak and potentially oppressive during his time working for her (and, by extension of course, her conservators).
"It really reminded me of somebody that was in prison," he said of his impression of the singer's situation (per ET Online). "And security was put in a position to be the prison guards essentially."
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