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Someone's Pimping Britney's Ride

3/19/2008 8:37 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has obtained documents in the Britney Spears conservatorship case, and what's clear is that Brit has too many wheels spinning.

The commissioner signed an order giving the co-conservators the power to sell some of Brit's cars. And get this, the Britster owns seven -- count them -- seven cars.

According to the documents, the cost of maintaining the vehicles is steep, what with insurance, maintenance and storage costs. The conservators say selling some of the rides "will save substantial expenses to the conservatorship estate."

The company that will sell the cars is going to make a sweet 5% commission.

111 COMMENTS

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91.

Helen    

These fans will never be satisfied because they selectively pull information to support their flawed theories and ignore the reality. The papers she filed with the court clearly showed that she was spending every bit of the money that came in each month - about 700,000 as I remember it. That is money that never was invested. Her investment account is completely separate and is managed by professionals and we don't know exactly how much that account is earning but a lot of the investment is in properties that aren't increasing in value as projected. Therefore, she never actually had the $100 M that analysts estimated. All we know is that she was spending all of her current income. Now, her contracts for various product endorsements, etc. are coming up for renewal and it is apparently thought that a lot or most of them will not be renewed. If they are not renewed she has a drastically reduced monthly income and can't meet her monthly bills unless she starts taking money from her investment account and that is not good. If her contracts are renewed annually the majority of her monthly income could disappear within a single year. They are trying to reduce her expenses to match her reduced income. Everyone is trying to keep her from eating up her investments that she will need to live on later in life. How long do you think she can keep spending $8.4 M a year before she goes broke?

Having said that, I find it hard to believe that she was ever as ill as we were led to believe because you just can't "cure" severe mental illness that easily. If she is that ill, how is she able to work again already and why does a supposedly reputable dance studio let her near children when she has to be supervised when with her own? My own opinion is that this conservatorship is probably just part of a plan to restore her reputation by blaming her bad behaviors on a mental illness that can be "cured". I'm also surprised that her daddy would be so eager to promote her so soon in the same way that her mother did, when he openly despised the mother for doing that. But we don't know what is really going on behind closed doors. Maybe she can't think for herself at all and they are just hiding her bad behaviors and manipulating her in an attempt to salvage as many of her contracts as they can.

By the way, Britney owned, financed, and promoted that restaurant that failed, not her father. It was her idea to serve down home meals to the LA crowd. If you're going to give her credit for all her successes then you have to hold her responsible for her failures too.

2222 days ago
92.

Bella    

Hi lawdawg / britaculous: The financial statement filed re the divorce stated $49K per month for two "mortgages", I assumed she "owned" the homes. Later, I read she "rents" at least one of them for $35K per month. We both know income from royalties are key since she hasn't generated much income lately, and the future is "iffy" at best. While the conservatorship / trustees are trying to merge their efforts together to secure a better financial future for Britney, I am hopeful something might be done regarding the $35K per /month - $420K a year in rent paid. This is a huge burden and liability - certainly not a financial asset. Depending on the terms, and date the lease expires, the conservatorship / trustees might approach the owner of the rented home, and negotiate a reduced amount and buy the lease out to be done with it. Or, perhaps the owner would agree to someone else subleasing the property, which Brit would still be responsible for if the new people defaults, but if she got lucky, and there was no default, it would free up $35K per month multiplied for "x" number of months remaining on the lease. Those funds could also be merged as well with other assets being liquidated by the conservatorship / trustees.
While the conservatorship / trustees are currently making positive strides in getting Britney and her life back on track, I still question her ability to make sound decisions in the future long after the conservatorship ends. Unless "she" changes her way of thinking (and only she can do this), begins to "trust", ends the defiant, stubborn attitude, associates with good people, "accepts" the professionals put in place now, and retains them to permanently assist her in the future, she will relapse into past behaviors (spending and otherwise), and all current efforts will be lost. These obstacles are life long battles for her, and I hope she can find the strength within to change her thought processes, and maintain the same. If she does not, all phases of her life style, professionally and personally, will dissipate along with the funds. Your thoughts? Bella

2221 days ago
93.

devils_advocate    

Lawdawg.
Nice explanation. Its seems though that there's still some to whom it doesn't make sense... as if just because your rich there's no reason to tighten the purse strings! If this didn't happen and it was reported in August that the conservators failed to recognise areas where they could have improved her finances, there would be exactly the same uproar - for the opposite reason.
I read that article in OK you referred to - I remember reading wy back in Feb that they had begun looking at everything with a microscope to see just how badly her "business advisors" and others had been able to take advantage of the situation, and of course Ms Spears herself was not exactly engaged in her own affairs lately. Thus teh added leagl team (for music affairs and such). I'm guessing there are going to be more news releases about ways in which the conservators trying to better her finances. No doubt the same debates will follow!

Anyways. You may find this of interest. Eardly news (there's a link to his filings on the page):
http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=1509d1ef-6fd1-457d-b93d-d45ff96a5928

2221 days ago
94.

devils_advocate    

Bella,
Hi. Who knows! Right? Her future rests on what the court hears in May. But it's easy to imagine what you are saying. She has always liked doing things bigger and better than anyone, spending included, and I guess that can even be said of her "breakdown" (or whatever it is). Many people say that Sam came into her life in October and so there's no excuse for things before, but he was served the subpoena by Kaplan as early as August, so who is to say how long before he was in her life. I think that all factors (divorce, kids, sam, no family close...) have some bearing on her current state, and yes it's up to her to keep it going.

But at the same time, and being optimisitc, it's quite possible that this is exactly what she needed to get her life back on track, and wanted (i.e. the answer to her cries for help). If we remember "classic" Britney, she was a girl who liked putting her name to various ventures, and I guess the money from it, and it's quite possible that by pursuing projects at this time will remind her of how good life used to be.

In the end I think it depends on how SHE views the conservatorship. If she feels trapped and is against it, it's more likely that she would just want to break free and do whatever she wants to do... But if she appreciates the love/care of her parents, and sees that the stability it has brought gives her a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again, then maybe we will see the old Britney redefined!

2221 days ago
95.

Dee    

Heck, Lawdawg - I was talking about the cars/Britney's personal stuff, which is what this post was about. I agree with you and am hopeful that the financial experts, through the conservatorship, can come up with ways to restructure her music business interests and investments, as you talked about. Yes, that is a great way for her to benefit from the help of a team of financial experts and the conservators, forced upon her. But not selling off her cars and personal stuff now, when she has nothing to say about it. She still has rights (which should not be ignored if at all possible). Commissioner Goetz should be prioritizing WHEN each action should be taken - and why.

I see Britney having lost custody of her two beautiful little boys, and after filing for divorce from K-Fed (when she HAD custody when she filed - and has been paying out all that money to fight a losing custody battle, so far.) Whether or not she is really mentally ill, she must be feeling the misery of being on monitored visitation with the boys - where she couldn't see or hold her babies for two months or more, or even now - except if Kevin says it's "ok" and when people are around watching every move (& criticising to keep their new jobs). After each visit, she's got to "look sane" when her boys are pulled out of her arms and taken back to their dad - not sure when she'll ever have them home with her again. OK, lets not argue on what she did for this to happen. Right now, it's gotta hurt & hurt badly. It's like being in prison- and she has to take it, or risk never getting back custody. I know, because I just won back sole custody of my son, where the dad's false accusations put me on monitored visitation for a time. That time was the worst you could ever imagine, although I now have full custody. It took a long time and lots of tears - and Britney's battle has just started. That would make anyone "crazy". I agree with #61 Just Me, that K-Fed had something to do with her financial problems. Britney's bad behavior started with her separation from K-Fed (which is when she started losing popularity for her music)- and after his spending a WHOLE LOT of her money. There is no way he could have been married to her, without participating in her lifestyle - which led up to her breakdown. Now, she's suffering being separated from her kids, K-Fed comes out "smelling like a rose" and she's got to take it (and pay for it - by check and in every other way). So, this is not the time to add insult to ongoing injury. Why is Britney's dad selling off her cars/toys/personal stuff - now? So what to do?

Bella makes a great point about the real estate, more detailed that what I said in my first post. Even if she is in a lease, the conservators could easily save the estimated $35K + a month on the Malibu rental by subletting. She can't afford this house anymore, with the decline in her singing career. She could later buy a nice house inland - K-Fed lives in the valley, doesn't he? If she moved into the same school district as her kids, do really well with therapy and the monitored visits, prove her devotion to her boys and make a motion for return of custody - for at least half the week or alternating weeks with Kevin - she might get it. It would cost a fraction of what she pays on her beach rental, to own something near her kids - and it would be an asset to support her later. They could make a lot of income if they rented the properties she does own (which other people are living in & not paying rent) -- much more than they could get selling off her cars. You know, it bothers me that Jamie Spears asked to sell the only assets that are only for Britney's enjoyment (that no one else benefits from) - meaning the cars (after he gets an allowance to get himself a new car?) It's a bigger priority to save on the bigger expenses that her family and others are using. If her properties were rented, or sublet, until the conservatorship, or her cash flow problems, are over - she would still have them -- and use of the rental income, when she regains control of her assets! She'd get income, and still have them after. They should not be having a "fire sale" of her cars, furniture, clothes or anything else, in a temporary conservatorship - unless and until its a last resort. I think Commissioner Goetz should not only prioritize and approve which assets get sold off, but when -- and only what is absolutely necessary right now.

You know, if I were in Britney's situation, and my dear dad were alive, -- he would NEVER take that much money from me as a "salary". I feel sorry for Britney. And what if Bella is right, and Britney was advised to blame her bad behavior a "curable" mental illness - she sure is getting a bad deal now because of it.

Lawdawg, I don't disagree with you about many of the points you made. I want to know when the court is going to do something about restructuring

2221 days ago
96.

Bella    

Hi britaculous: Good to hear from you! I am waiting to hear from lawdawg! Yes, and all of the efforts made now will hinge on Britney changing her attitude. She has got to realize her way did not work, or all of this will be for not, and her life style as she knows it, will cease. Bella

2221 days ago
97.

Bella    

Hi Dee: Just a short comment on your note: And what if Bella is right, and Britney was advised to blame her bad behavior a "curable" mental illness - I did not say this. Someone else must have, but it wasn't me!! Thanks Bella.

2221 days ago
98.

Bella    

Hi britaculous: I don't normally read many other websites. I did read the website you referenced above re Eardley just now. I have made my thoughts quite clear before, so won't repeat to any degree in length. It's a wonder he passed the bar exam, has any kind of practice at all, is a loose cannon, his tactics are NOT forthright, and worse, has no self respect. It is a travesty funds will have to be spent responding to the idiot when the conservators / trustees, and others involved, are trying to slow down the spending on all fronts to aid in Brit's finances. Sanctions need to filed against him, and the judge needs to enter the Order. I wish he would slither back under the rock where he came from. He is disgusting. Lawdawg may have more to say, but Eardley isn't worth any lengthy response. He is a greedy SOB, and a disgrace to the practice of law. Bella.

2221 days ago
99.

Bella    

Hi Dee: To add to your note above, since cars depreciate so much when driven off the lot, your idea of adding her name to the cars auctioned may bring in extra dollars over and above the normal auction price, and offset the 5%. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I thought the $6k allowance per month was too much. Perhaps the conservators / trustees will re-evaluate this amount and reduce it some since they are trying to tighten the belt!
I felt her attitude changed drastically when she and Justin broke up. Even though we find others to share our life with, and we love them, pursue careers, have children, that first love always remains "special". Her heart was broken, and coupled with the bumps along the way, it will take a long time to mend. She is young, and hopefully she will find someone who will love her for her. To do this, and be able to contribute towards making life the best she can for herself first, and secondly for her children, she "must" change her way of thinking (only she can do this), be more amenable, cooperative, and respectful towards authority figures so in time she can take over where the conservators / trustees leave off. If she does not work towards these goals, the efforts others are currently making to sustain Brit's life style now, and financial future, will be lost. She will relapse out of defiance. My wish is she will resolve to accept these authority figures, realize actions taken the past two months are in her own best interests, and appreciate their efforts. Through this change of thought, she will regain the most precious gift of all - her two children, be an integral part of their lives, and build a positive future with them, and through this change of thought find someone who loves her for her. Bella

2221 days ago
100.

Stop Blaming the Paps For Everything Brit Does    

Hi Bella, hi britaculous, hi to y'all who have offered postive comments to my posts (that's you, Rocco di Spirito, Lily, Criss Angel, Baseball Junkie and others). Bella, I share your concern that Britney doesn't have the fiscal management skills or impulse control necessary to maintain a budget. The best we can hope is that she comes to recognize this and retains a team of skilled advisors (and her brother) to hold the purse strings and make decisions regarding investment of what she left. With her history of firing managers and employees who don't kow tow, though ... . And let me join the chorus of those who believe her career is probably finished. The cameo on HIMYM was something she needed to regain her confidence as a performer, but let's face it, Britney doesn't have much promise as an actress, she's no Reese Witherspoon or Jennifer Anniston. There are plenty of pretty blonde actresses who are trained and very talented and well received by the public for their roles in comedies, and yet their careers are tanking -- think Meg Ryan.

Regarding the Malibu house that is under lease, the good news I read on another site is that the consevators are ending the lease as of April 1. Of course, we don't know how much is still due under the terms of the lease -- she signed it last October, so even if it was for only a year (unlikely, but possible, since she also acquired an option to buy), there are a least six or seven installments of $35,000 still owing. In the long term that will result in considerable savings.

britaculous, I saw the E! article about Eardley's appeal. Incredulous that a distinguished UCLA professor would sign a declaration based soley on viewing the filings of Lynne and Jamie and the order. Without reviewing the entire record (because it's under seal) and knowing what other evidence was heard by the court, he's really setting himself up to get knocked down on rebuttal. Reminds me of an expert witness offered by opposing counsel in one of my cases, an attorney who offered his opinion about the conduct of a board of directors based entirely on just what he read in the minutes of board meetings. He admitted that he didn't know what the board members discussed outside of the meetings and the extent to which they informed themselves about the corporation's operations and finances before ever setting foot inside the boardroom. Thus, we were able to offer testimony by one of the directors that this guy was totally unaware of, stating that the board had been extensively informed by management about the terms of a large transaction several weeks before the meeting. Same here. Arguing that Britney should have been personally served with notice, this guy ignores Sam Ingham's averment to the court that he personally delivered the notice to her and described the proceedings to her, but she didn't have any meaningful understanding of what this all meant. Ingham did what the statute required him to do.

Later, folks, the late lunch break is almost over.

2221 days ago
101.

Stop Blaming the Paps For Everything Brit Does    

Dee, I fear you are reading way too much into this car-selling thing. I don't know where you got info that the conservators are selling personal stuff like furnitue and clothes, so inform us if you have a good lead on that. As for the cars, it's very possile that Britney actually agreed to the sale. The minute entry notes that Samuel Ingham had not objection. He is obligated to consult with Britney and convey her position to the court. The Audi A8 was owned during the marriage -- I remember when she first filed that it was one of the cars listed on gossip sites as among the property that would be divided in the property settlement -- so Brit may have suggested getting rid of it. And I think the sale is being handled by an exclusive broker-to-the-stars for just the reason that you suggest -- to market the cars as previously owned by Britney in effort to fetch a higher price than the Kelly Blue Book value.

There was an article last year in March -- may still be available on the Internet -- about Britney confiding her fear that she could be bankrupted in a few years. According to the source (and you know we can never determine how reliable these "sources" are), Britney had done the math and realized that she blew through $20 million during the two years she was married to K-Fed. You place the blame on K-Fed for that, I don't. That's not to say I disagree that K-Fed went more than a little happy with Britney's money, but she controlled the purse strings -- the income was her, everything was in her name, and the business manager worked for her -- so Britney has to shoulder some responsiblity for opening up the treasury and giving $$$ to her spendthrift hubby even while she complained about his spending habits. I think they both had a real good time, and when it was over someone added up the monetary damage and Britney had regrets.

If you've appeared in Family Court, then you know that California law favors joint legal and physical custody of the children of the marriage. It probably not a wise dissolution tactic, but in the petition that Laura Wasser prepared for Britney, Brit asked the court to award full custody and give K-Fed visitation. Well, you know that that simply leads to the other party asserting a counter-demand for full custody, and that is just what K-Fed did. We can speculate (as did the media) that his motive was to gain bargaining leverage over the property settlement, but from strategy standpoint, that strategy wouldn't have worked if the position that he was arguing against was 50/50 custody. Brit fired the opening salvo, and they've been litigating ever since. What everyone does agree on, the attorneys are the only ones who have anything to gain when Mom and Dad declare a custody war.

Lunch is over. Later ...

2221 days ago
102.

Bella    

Hi lawdawg: Good to hear back from you. I responded back to you about the football field and the doctors, but did not see a response back from you a few days ago. Thought I would try today with my note #92 above. That is great news the conservators have been able to end the lease on the Malibu home. Now, let's hope she doesn't "rent" another one when she is turned loose! Maybe while the professionals are still in place, they could let her choose a house to "purchase" at a reasonable price. Her standards are around $8-$12 million for a palace, but maybe she could find some peace and happiness in a $3-$4 million home, and only have one house that she actually owns, and can build up equity - one that is smaller and costs less to operate and maintain? The bank could make the monthly mortgage so she doesn't have to do anything, and will know there is a secure roof over her head. Bella

2221 days ago
103.

Dee    

No, Lawdawg - I did not mean I heard anyone was selling Britney's clothes or furniture. I was using that as an example of things- like cars - that should not be sold off during a temporary conservatorship unless it's an emergency. I still think selling her cars is not justified or an emergency. I don't think they should sell off anything without a financial emergency, because she has money to keep them, and they are hers. The whole discussion is that her dad and the conservators should spend the attorneys' fees and costs, for court applications, on major financial reorganization first - and 'fire sale' her rides later. I saw some serious bad conduct in bankruptcy court when people who had assets, would file for a Chapter 11 reorganization, and all the properties got sold and the proceeds used not to pay off the debts -- but first for commissions and huge fees for the attorneys and court trustees (as "administrative" priority expenses) - and be hugely upset when the bankruptcy didn't help them, but got their assets all spent for the expenses of the reorganization. There are not even the protections allowed in bankruptcy for a conservatorship. It's free reign to do whatever, and get away with it, if the court doesn't notice. For Britney, the money from selling her cars will get used for administrative expenses, and paying Jamie Spears and the co-trustees - and doesn't sound like it's going to be done to get her the most money, even as approved by this court. It's sad.

2221 days ago
104.

Dee    

Oh, and everyone who files for divorce checks the box asking for legal and physical custody and visitation to the other parent. I don't think that the way her attorney filed her divorce petition means that she is responsible for losing custody of her kids. We've all heard lots of gossip and don't really know what happened. I just hope she keeps up the visits, does what the court wants, keeps up her therapy and moves closer to the kids, before she files for return of some percentage of custody. I actually hope she, or her advisors, help her invest in herself - and either go into acting (with quality acting coaches), her plans about opening a dance studio, or working on her music. With that, it would help with her child custody problems. I just hope she doesn't give up on her kids, because that would be giving up on herself.

2221 days ago
105.

devils_advocate    

Lawdawg, Bella and Dee. Read your posts with interest......
--
Lawdawg:
As you say: "the minute entry notes that Samuel Ingham had not objection. He is obligated to consult with Britney and convey her position to the court." - I guess this is the point that everyone seems to forget! Us outsiders are obviously not privy to the talks, so most people don't think about what is not reported....
---
Dee:
you make a fair point that there are priorities - I would imagine that some things are harder to sort out than others and going to court about cars is quicker than other issues?! I am sure that with all the hands they have they are going to make loads of cuts and we'll probably be updated via the oracle that is TMZ....! Lawdawg makes a good point that they would probably use someone linked to the industry to make the sales. Perhaps the rental home is also sorted (article lawdawg refers to).
---
Bella:
I agree about Eardley, I think we all do. If you recall, the conservatorship was extended to July 31st for exactly that reason - that Eardley is slimey. (Actually it's so his filing couldn't delay it even more!) I am guessing that if he carries on that way there will be sanctions. You'd think anyone with a degree of common sense would just give it a rest. And as lawdawg said, it's surprising that a UCLA prof would lend his name to this circus - but hey, he did get his name in the paper.... maybe there's something in the water in that area of CA - but everyone wants a piece don't they!
---
Not sure if I'd go as far as saying her career is over. Yes, she's not an actress. But there are tonnes of celebs that do worse in the world of cameos. She hasn't even been the Britney you would expect in her last two videos (not the anime). But her music is still strong. Her latest is actually quite good, if you like that kind of thing, and I think you could say one of her strongest albums. I have no doubts that sales would be affected by the things that went on. But if she gets her game back you never know. The world likes nothing more than a happy ending.
I read this thing on Kylie who's had a weird career. There was that big Kylie boom in the 80's in certain spots around the world. And when she came back with "I can't get you out of my head" the world went Kylie crazy. To the point that people now refer to her career being an amazing 20 years long....... People have forgotten that "comeback" in the early nineties when what she released was... to put it kindly, really bad! Okay, Kylie didn't have the issue Brit has, but I think that with the right people, there's no reason why she wont do better. Besides, Britney fans are... fanatical about Britney!?! In a coupe of years this whole episode in her life will be minimised just to comments like "remember when Britney had that weird episode"...
?

2221 days ago
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