Zoe Saldana Applauds Britney Spears for “Stepping Up for Herself”
Britney’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, filed a declaration from Sherine Ebadi in court on Jan. 18, ahead of a hearing scheduled for Jan. 19. In the documents, obtained by E! News, the former FBI special agent said she “corroborated” the claim that Jamie instructed Black Box Security “to place a secret recording device in Ms. Spears’s bedroom.”
Ebadi (who is now associate managing director in the Forensic Investigations and Intelligence practice of Kroll Associates, which was retained by Britney’s law firm) said she made the conclusion based on a debriefing with Alex Vlasov, a former employee of Black Box Security who first made the allegation when speaking with The New York Times last year.
At the time, Jamie’s lawyer responded to detailed questions from 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.”
In the latest filing, Ebadi explained that she personally debriefed Vlasov at the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles, “following publication of these troubling allegations” and “at the direction of counsel for Ms. Spears.”
“I corroborated the Times‘s reporting on Mr. Spears’s extensive, surveillance efforts, including of Ms. Spears’s attorney-client communications and private conversations in her bedroom,” she stated, also writing that Vlasov was “highly-credible.”
Black Box was already monitoring Britney’s phone when Vlasov started working at the company in 2012, according to the investigator, who said she “personally reviewed” communications from Vlasov’s personal devices that allegedly showed Black Box’s monitoring.
Based on conversations with Vlasov, Ebadi allegedly found that “Black Box was initially responsible for suggesting that a secret listening device be planted in Ms. Spears bedroom, but Mr. Spears ‘loved’ the idea and approved and instructed that the installation move forward.”
She said the Black Box employee that placed the secret device in the pop star’s bedroom “did so by duct-taping it behind furniture so it could not be seen, and that he added a separate battery pack to the recording device to permit continuous recording for a longer period of time.”
“Communications between Ms. Spears and her personal court-appointed attorney, Sam Ingham, were among the private communications that Black Box and Mr. Spears monitored,” the investigator wrote. “Mr. Vlasov told me that Mr. Spears was particularly interested in his daughter’s attorney-client communications and wanted regular updates from Black Box on the substance of those privileged messages. Surveillance of Ms. Spears’s communications with her lawyer continued until at least 2020, when [Black Box owner Edan Yemini] instructed Mr. Vlasov to cease reviewing attorney-client privileged communications.”
Vlasov allegedly told Ebadi that the monitoring of Britney’s phone did not end until early 2021.
According to the declaration, Kroll Associates reviewed QuickBooks data and concluded Black Box was paid about $6 million from Britney’s estate.
Ebadi noted in the filing that The California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) “requires that all parties consent to a recording of their confidential conversations” and provides for “criminal penalties” for those that do not obtain consent.
E! News reached out to lawyers for Jamie and Britney for comment, but hasn’t heard back.
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