UPDATE (July 11, 2011): A judge denied the plaintiff's request to order Britney to sit for a deposition, basing her ruling on L.A. Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz's previous sealed order that the pop star is not fit to testify on her own behalf.
Someone thinks Britney Spears' perfume reeks of wrongdoing.
The resurgent Femme Fatale singer and her conservator-father Jamie Spears have been sued for $10 million by a brand-marketing company that claims the Spears camp went behind the Brand Sense Partners' back in a "sneaky, under-handed effort" to screw them out of a cut of the profits from Britney's Elizabeth Arden fragrance deal.
And the alleged treachery came after Brand Sense did Britney a huge solid, according to the plaintiff.
The lawsuit, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, states that Spears hooked up with Brand Sense in 2003 to look for possible licensing opportunities. The following year, the company brought Elizabeth Arden to the table to get Britney into the celeb-fragrance market.
In 2005, the suit continues, their deal was modified to ensure that Brand Sense get a 35 percent commission from "any and all products" Britney worked on with the cosmetics company, including her Radiance fragrance.
The suit further alleges that Britney secretly contacted Elizabeth Arden in 2010, instructing them to send all fragrance royalties straight to her. Later, when "caught red-handed," Jamie Spears acknowledged the 35 percent deal, but then proceeded to "[complain] that the commission was too high and said that Britney did not want to pay it."
Yeah, they're still holding it against her.
Brand Sense says it has received its proper share up until February 2011, when Britney cut a direct licensing deal with Elizabeth Arden. But, the plaintiff insists, its deal with the Spears is still in effect, the new Arden deal is a "fraud" and Brand Sense has suffered at least $10 million in damages and wants its 35-percent cut as long as Elizabeth Arden is making scents with Britney.
Spear's rep has not yet responded to a request for comment.
—Additional reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum