Britney's Manager, Attorney On The Way Out?
First Published: February 9, 2008 1:34 AM EST Credit: AP, Flynet, Disney, Disney, JFX, Capitol Records, BuzzFoto
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- A Superior Court commissioner gave Britney Spears' father the power to fire the singer's business manager, according to documents released Friday.
Commissioner Reva Goetz also ordered Howard Grossman to turn over "all documents, records and assets relating to Britney Spears" to James Spears, who is the court-appointed conservator of his daughter and her estate.
Goetz issued her decision after an emergency closed-door hearing requested Thursday by James Spears. Grossman showed up at the hearing, but he and others were ordered to leave the courtroom.
Grossman would not say if had been fired or how long he had worked for Spears.
"My reputation speaks for itself," he said, declining to comment further on the order because it would be speculative.
Meanwhile, attorneys who have represented Spears in her child custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline filed papers to withdraw from that case.
Attorney Sorrell Trope filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court asking to quit the case, said court spokeswoman Mary Hearn. Trope previously withdrew a similar request.
Spears' parents have moved aggressively to take control of their daughter's life since she was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward Jan. 31.
On the same day James Spears won conservator status last week, his wife, Lynne, successfully applied for a restraining order against Sam Lutfi, his daughter's frequent companion and sometimes manager.
Lynne Spears told the court that Lutfi had treated her daughter like a hostage in her own home, drugged her and took over her finances.
"Sam told me, 'You'd better learn that I control everything,"' Lynne Spears wrote in a declaration filed with the court. "'I control Howard Grossman, Britney's business manager. I control her attorneys and the security guards at the gate. They don't listen to Britney, they listen to me."'
Grossman said Friday that he had no association with Lutfi.
Spears' parents went to court Thursday after saying they feared their daughter's life was at risk after she was released from a hospital psychiatric ward on Wednesday.
Spears' affairs were placed under a temporary conservatorship after she was taken to UCLA Medical Center on Jan. 31 under heavy police escort. It was the second time in a month she had been taken from her home by ambulance.
Conservatorships are granted for people deemed unable to care for themselves or their affairs. The conservatorship lasts until Feb. 14.
Spears was discharged from the hospital against the recommendation of her psychiatrist and her parents' wishes.
Her parents said they were extremely disappointed she was released and they were deeply concerned about her "safety and vulnerability and we believe her life is presently at risk."
Spears slipped out of the hospital unnoticed by the pack of paparazzi that follow her every move in public, but they gave chase later in the day when she left her home behind the wheel of her Mercedes-Benz. She eventually showed up at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Spears' public life has been in a tailspin since she filed for divorce from Federline in late 2006. The swarm of photographers that tail her have captured incidents of bizarre behavior, erratic driving and public meltdowns.
She has lost custody and visitation rights with her sons, Jayden James, 1, and Sean Preston, 2.
Early last month, Spears was hospitalized after police were called to her home during a custody dispute.
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