While Britney Spears has been a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ community, Mercy has not.
In her 2013 book, Mercy founder Nancy Alcorn said Mercy had helped people who previously identified as lesbians embrace what she called “healthy, Bible-based sexuality.” She said being gay was the product of “gender confusion”. (Mercy’s CEO said the group’s thinking has shifted.)
Nina Biggar, the former director of the Spears Foundation, said she was surprised to learn of her contribution to Mercy. She said Britney Spears wanted the foundation to stay away from religious causes.
“I would not have advised that they receive funding,” she said.
Weingarten, Jamie Spears’ lawyer, said Britney Spears “would support making this donation.”
“Business manager icon”
Since the start of the Guardianship, Britney Spears had toured twice internationally, released four albums and was a judge on the reality show “The X Factor”.
In 2016, in the midst of a successful four-year residency at a Las Vegas casino, Britney Spears told a court-appointed investigator that she wanted the guardianship ended. “She is fed up with being exploited and she said she was the one who worked and made her money, but everyone around her is on her payroll,” the investigator wrote.
The following year, Variety introduced Louise Taylor, whose clients included Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez. The article was accompanied by an advertisement quoting Britney Spears: “SO PROUD TO WORK WITH THE BEST OF THE BEST”. Another ad appeared in a 2019 issue of The Hollywood Reporter that featured Louise Taylor on the cover as an “icon of the business manager.”
Harder said buying ads is a common way for artists to thank their reps, and Tri Star felt like Britney Spears signed on.
Tri Star’s work for the estate had extended beyond the traditional role of a business owner. For example, a Tri Star executive, Robin Greenhill, checked Britney Spears’ credit card and administered her medication, according to a forensic investigator’s report.
In 2019, the supervision entered into crisis. In January, Britney Spears canceled a planned second residency in Las Vegas and announced an “indefinite work disruption”. She then entered a mental health care facility in what she said was involuntary isolation.
The cancellation cost Tri Star dearly, which was to receive 5% of the revenue.
Court documents show that Louise Taylor then asked Jamie Spears to change Tri Star’s compensation structure so that the company automatically receives at least $ 500,000 per year. He approved, drawing protests from Britney Spears’ attorney at the time.
The confinement of Britney Spears has supercharged the “Free Britney” movement. The fan vocal group asked if she was under guardianship against her will. They accused Louise Taylor of exploiting the singer.
In June 2019, law firm Sidley Austin sent a cease and desist letter on behalf of Louise Taylor to a “Free Britney” supporter whose website it said was libelous. The law firm billed Britney Spears’ estate $ 350,000, which included costs related to Louise Taylor’s lawsuit.
Ingham, who was Britney Spears’ attorney at the time, said in court filing the payments were likely “an ineligible gift of Tory funds to Ms Taylor” and called for an independent review of all legal fees billed to the estate.
Britney Spears’ estate also paid for Black Box Security, which monitored her phone and secretly registered it in her bedroom, according to Alex Vlasov, a former Black Box employee. Screenshots of his text communications have been shared with Greenhill.
Black Box also kept an eye out for “Free Britney” fans who criticized Louise Taylor and the Guardianship, according to internal Black Box documents. The surveillance was billed to Britney Spears’ estate, Vlasov said.
Harder said it was appropriate to charge for legal and security services because Louise Taylor hired them solely because of her work for the estate.
‘LOVE’ in diamonds
In November 2020, Tri Star stepped down from his role as sales manager for the field amid increasing calls to investigate the company. Harder said Tri Star resigned after his staff received death threats.
The Times contacted around 200 people who have worked at Tri Star over the past decade.
Harder sent eight cease and desist letters to The Times, demanding that reporters stop contacting employees and customers. Lan P. Vu, one of Harder’s colleagues, emailed former Tri Star employees, warning them of the legal repercussions if they spoke with The Times. Many employees told The Times they would not speak out because they were afraid of being sued.
On a recent Sunday morning, Louise Taylor arrived at the newly renovated Calvary Chapel Brentwood. About sixty people came to the service.
A Christian rock band predated Rob Taylor’s sermon. Casually dressed in sunglasses, slacks and an oversized plaid shirt, Louise Taylor swayed to the beat of the music. She held her left hand up in the air, displaying a ring with “LOVE” spelled out with tiny diamonds.
About three weeks later, the California judge ended the guardianship. Rosengart is still trying to figure out how much money Tri Star has made from Britney Spears.
“I am embarrassed for the State of California for allowing my dad to make me work as hard as he has worked me all these years and never see a dime,” Britney Spears wrote in a recent post. Instagram which was later deleted. “I am embarrassed for them all and I am sad for them because I know my worth and my worth now.”