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Britney Spears' conservatorship compared to Soviet oppression

March 13, 2009 | 10:01 am

Britney Attorneys for Britney Spears’ father are due to appear before a judge Friday afternoon to respond to court papers in which a Whittier lawyer compares the conservatorship overseeing the pop star’s affairs to the forced labor camps portrayed in the Russian masterpiece “The Gulag Archipelago.”

In the March 6 filing, lawyer Jon Eardley contended that the court-ordered arrangement giving her father complete control of her personal life and shared control of her estate is invalid, partly because Spears, who is touring to promote her new album, is working while deprived of freedoms.

He wrote that there were parallels to the suppression of dissidents in Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn’s book, adding: “It is worth noting that there has not even been a ‘show trial’ for Ms. Spears.”

Eardley has asserted previously that Spears, 27, retained him as her lawyer in a phone call last year, but a Superior Court judge rebuffed his attempts, citing a prior court ruling that the singer lacked the mental competence to hire her own counsel. A court-appointed lawyer currently represents her interests.

A temporary restraining order sought by Jamie Spears, the singer’s father, bars Eardley from contacting Spears. Eardley, who did not return a call seeking comment, asked a court to overturn both the restraining order and the conservatorship in his March 6 filing.

A lawyer who represented him at a hearing last month, Roger Jon Diamond, described Eardley as a “Good Samaritan” who was trying to help a stranger in need and told a judge then that Eardley had agreed not to involve himself in the case further.

-- Harriet Ryan

Photo: L.A. Times file