Britney Spears’ dad says proposed conservator not qualified enough

Britney Spears’ father Jamie is arguing that the man she’s picked to be his replacement as her conservator lacks the experience to manage her $60 million fortune, according to court papers filed Tuesday.

John Zabel is the accountant who Spears and her lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, want to temporarily manage her finances – but Jamie, 69, claims in the Los Angeles Superior Court documents that he has been “provided little to no information about” him.

Britney’s legal team has described Zabel as a certified public accountant with “executive experience in finance and in the entertainment industry.”  

But Jamie argues in the filing that Zabel isn’t “highly qualified” to be a conservator of his 39-year-old daughter’s fortune just because he’s an accountant.  

Britney Spears
Britney Spears wants John Zabel, an accountant, to temporarily manage her finances.
Mario Anzuoni/REUTERS

In the court papers, the elder Spears pointed to how Zabel had previously lost $1 million in a fraudulent real-estate investment in 2007 as an example of his lack of experience.

“Based on publicly available information, it appears that Mr Zabel is not well suited to manage the Conservatee’s $60 million (approx.) estate as he was scammed out of over one million of his own money in a fraudulent real estate investment project, despite being referred to as a ‘highly qualified’ certified public accountant with ‘substantial’ experience in finance,” the dad’s filing said.

Meanwhile, Jamie has argued that he doesn’t even understand why his daughter needs a conservator, saying the judge should end the restrictive legal set-up altogether.

The judge is set to hear arguments during a highly anticipated session in the case Wednesday.

Britney Spears' new layer Mathew S. Rosengart
Britney Spears’ lawyer Mathew Rosengart is advocating for Zabel to manage Spears’ finances.
AFP via Getty Images

Britney argued in court papers filed last week that she, too, wants to end the conservatorship but is OK with Zabel in the meantime.

In her filing, Spears said it was urgent that her father be removed, calling it “a necessary first — and substantial — step” towards her freedom and “ending the Kafkaesque nightmare imposed upon her by her father” since 2008.

The latest developments came amid a report that the FBI is looking into Jamie following allegations he hired a security firm to secretly record his daughter’s communications.

Britney’s lawyer called for the probe into her father’s reputed spying in court documents filed Monday, saying the allegations “crossed unfathomable lines.”  

“The allegations warrant serious investigation,” the filing said. “Among other things, California is a ‘two-party’ consent state” in terms of recording.