Britney Spears will take her father Jamie Spears to trial over claims he hired a security firm to bug her bedroom during her conservatorship.
The allegations first emerged last year in The New York Times and its documentary, Controlling Britney Spears, in which a former employee of security firm Black Box claimed the company installed listening devices in the pop star's bedroom.
In court on Wednesday, the singer's lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, battled with Jamie's lawyer Alex Weingarten over the allegations. Rosengart told Judge Brenda Penny that the attorney was not addressing "whether or not his client knew about electronic eavesdropping on my client," according to Rolling Stone.
"Didn't happen, your honour," Weingarten replied. Earlier in the hearing, he suggested that Rosengart "planted" the story in The New York Times.
Sherine Ebadi, a former FBI agent hired by Rosengart to investigate Jamie, submitted a declaration to the docket last week in which she wrote, "I personally debriefed and interviewed the whistleblower, Alex Vlasov, at the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles at the direction of counsel for Ms. Spears and 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."
Judge Penny granted an evidentiary hearing for the room-tapping allegations, giving Rosengart six months to complete discovery. Both parties are due back in court for a mini-trial on 27 July.
Britney and Jamie's legal teams are also fighting over his request to have Britney pay his legal fees. At the hearing, Judge Penny didn't decide who should pay the fees but ruled that funds shouldn't be kept in the now-terminated conservatorship and the singer should have control over her money.