There's a new documentary out on Britney Spears, and this one makes even more damning allegations against her father, Jamie Spears. In the New York Times' investigatory Controlling Britney Spears, released Friday on FX and Hulu, "key insiders" speak about the conservatorship she's been under since 2008, with her father at the helm, and the "intense surveillance apparatus" that was apparently in place to keep tabs on her—specifically, Jamie Spears monitoring her calls and texts via a security firm he'd hired to protect her, as well as capturing audio recordings from her bedroom, one ex-worker claims.
"It really reminded me of somebody that was in prison," Alex Vlasov, formerly of Black Box Security, says in the film, per the Times. "And security was put in a position to be the prison guards." Vlasov, who worked in various roles for the firm for nearly a decade, including as operations and cybersecurity manager, says all of Britney Spears' texts, FaceTime calls, browser history, notes, and photos were monitored by mirroring her phone's iCloud account on an iPad and an iPod. Those encrypted communications would then be sent to Jamie Spears and the singer's then-business manager, per Vlasov.
Vlasov, who left Black Box in April, adds there were also "extremely sensitive" audio recordings taken from Britney Spears' bedroom—more than 180 hours' worth that he says he was asked to delete by his boss (he didn't). The Times notes that recording such private conversations and mirroring texts without the OK from both parties may be illegal. An attorney for Jamie Spears tells the Times in a statement that his actions "were well within the parameters of the authority conferred upon him by the court" and "were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney, and/or the court." The Times notes it's not clear if the court actually knew what was going on.
Edan Yemini, Black Box's CEO—who, like Jamie Spears, didn't answer "detailed questions" from the Times—also put out a statement, noting, "Mr. Yemini and Black Box have always conducted themselves within professional, ethical, and legal bounds." Britney Spears' new attorney, Mathew Rosengart, disagrees, calling the allegations "a shameful and shocking violation of her privacy and civil liberties," per Reuters. He adds: "Placing a listening device in Britney's bedroom would be particularly disgraceful." Much more here, and here. (The Times also was behind the Framing Britney Spears documentary that came out earlier this year.)