Surprise new documentary details further revelations about the singer’s life under conservatorship
Britney Spears was under constant surveillance during her conservatorship, with her private conversations monitored and an audio recorder placed in her bedroom, a former member of her security team has alleged.
Controlling Britney Spears, a surprise follow-up to the New York Times Presents documentary Framing Britney Spears, was released on Friday 24 September and speaks to several subjects close to the embattled pop star.
Alex Vlasov, a former assistant and operations cybersecurity manager at Black Box Security Inc, said in the documentary that he worked closely with Edan Yemin, president of Spears’ longtime security company from 2012 to 2021.
He claimed to have access to emails, texts, phone calls and meetings that confirm the surveillance took place, and said that Yemin was “relieved” when the first documentary made no mention of the security measures.
Vlasov claimed that when he questioned why Spears had security 24 hours a day, he was told it was part of the conservatorship arrangement and that their client was Jamie Spears, not Britney.
He alleges that her devices were monitored so the security team could access her messages, FaceTime calls, browser history and photographs. When he asked if this was legal, he was allegedly told by Yemini that the court and her lawyer at the time, Sam Ingham, was aware of the surveillance.
However, Vlasov said in the documentary that he felt uncomfortable knowing that conversations between Spears and her lawyer were being watched.
“If there’s anybody that should be off liits, it should be Britney’s lawyer,” he said. “Her own phone and her own private conversations were used so often to control her. I know for a fact that Jamie would confront Britney and say, ‘Hey, why didn’t you text this person?’”
He added: “Just because you’re in control doesn’t give you the right to treat people like property. It doesn’t feel like she was treated like a human being.”
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In the same interview, he alleged that Yemini placed an audio recording device in Spears’s bedroom, which captured over 180 hours of audio, including her interactions with her children and her boyfriend, Sam Asghari.
He claimed he was asked to delete the audio by Yemini and another agent but kept a copy because their request “raised so many red flags… and I did not want to be complicit in whatever they were involved in”.
He alleged that the request to delete the audio was made days before Spears was due to meet with a court investigator.
A lawyer for Yemini said in a statement to Good Morning America, “Black Box have always conducted themselves within professional, ethical and legal bounds, and they are particularly proud of their work in keeping Ms. Spears safe for many years.”
Jamie Spears’s lawyer said his actions “were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney and/or the court”.
“Jamie confirms that he has no access to her calls, voice-mail messages, or texts,” they told the New York Times.
Filmmakers for the new documentary told Variety that Britney Spears’s explosive court testimony in June this year had a major impact on encouraging members of her inner-circle to come forward.
“Britney speaking out in court was really the game changer, in terms of people saying they’re willing to break an NDA, or they felt it was important to speak,” producer Liz Day said.
The Independent has contacted Britney Spears’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, for comment.