Britney Spears targets Rush-Henrietta grad in memoir 'The Woman in Me'

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More than a few people are painted as villains in Britney Spears’ memoir, “The Woman in Me.”

Her parents — particularly her father, Jamie Spears; her ex-boyfriend and fellow celebrity Justin Timberlake; Kevin Federline, her second ex-husband and father of her two sons; and TV journalist Diane Sawyer.

But there’s someone else Spears has a beef with, and because there’s always a Rochester connection, that person grew up in Henrietta: Louise “Lou” M. Taylor, Spears’ former business manager, whom the pop star claims played a pivotal role in her controversial 13-year conservatorship.

Spears’ first reference to Taylor appears on page 166 of the book, released Oct. 24, 2023: “My father had struck up a very close friendship with Louise ‘Lou’ Taylor, who he worshipped. She was front and center during the implementation of the conservatorship that would later allow them to control and take over my career.”

It turns out that Taylor spent her formative years here as Louise M. Sawyer and in 1984 graduated from Charles H. Roth High School, Rush-Henrietta Central School District records show. (From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, to deal with overcrowding, the district had two senior high schools.)

She was a standout volleyball player and co-captain of the girls’ varsity team.

Democrat and Chronicle game coverage from the early 1980s highlighted her skill as a server, as well as her versatility, which often led the squad to victory. In 1984, she was one of just seven female high school volleyball players in Monroe County recognized by the newspaper for outstanding athletic achievement.

She enrolled at Monroe Community College but didn’t complete a degree, according to an MCC spokesperson.

By 1988, she was working as a payroll bookkeeper for Preferred Care, a former local health insurer.

Her office was at Monroe Square (the old Sears building), 259 Monroe Ave. Also on the premises was an engineering firm, where Robert Taylor worked as a draftsman.

Lou Taylor attended the Billboard Women in Music 2019 event, presented by YouTube Music, on December 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. She is pictured on the red carpet.
Lou Taylor attended the Billboard Women in Music 2019 event, presented by YouTube Music, on December 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. She is pictured on the red carpet.

On Aug. 29 of that year, they started chatting at a blood drive in the building, leading to love and marriage.

Their meet-cute was the subject of a Democrat and Chronicle feature that also described the couple’s unusual wedding, held June 17, 1989, on their 21-foot boat, Perfect, on Long Pond in Greece.

The groom was dressed in a white bathing suit, tank top and bow tie. The bride wore a white two-piece, a sarong and a veil.

After the ceremony, “We went around Long Pond, hootin’ and hollerin’ to everybody,” she told the newspaper, which stated the couple lived in Greece.

The event reflected their shared love of the water and desire to be different, but Lou Taylor was still years from making a big splash.

In 1990, she and her husband moved to Florida, and Taylor found her calling when she joined a management firm that represented entertainers, The New York Times reported in 2021. In 1992, she launched Tri Star Accounting Group to serve similar clients.

In 2000, she sold the business and the Taylors relocated to Brentwood, Tennessee, outside Nashville.

Robert became the pastor of an evangelical church, and Lou founded Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group in Nashville, handling the business dealings of country music stars Reba McEntire and Martina McBride, among others.

Taylor had been involved with the Spears family since at least 2004, according to The New York Post, and was business manager for Britney’s younger sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, who starred on the Nickelodeon teen sitcom “Zoey 101” from 2005 to 2008.

On Jan. 9, 2008, Taylor became a public figure when she appeared on NBC’s “Today” show as a Spears family spokesperson. Her interview with Meredith Vieira was in response to a public statement issued by TV talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw after he visited Spears during one of her involuntary hospitalizations.

The psychiatric holds followed episodes of erratic behavior, which Spears describes in her book as periods of hard partying and “acting wild.”

Also in January, Tri Star loaned Jamie Spears at least $40,000 after he filed for bankruptcy, Britney Spears writes.

On Feb. 1, Jamie Spears placed his daughter into the conservatorship, an arrangement typically reserved for people unable to care for themselves or work and one that gave him control over her estimated $60 million fortune.

In the book, Spears writes that Taylor “was directly involved in calling the shots right before the conservatorship.”

Later that year, Spears recorded and released her sixth studio album, “Circus,” and in 2009, she was sent on a world tour to promote it. Taylor offered input on the tour, but Tri Star wasn’t officially hired to manage Spears’ business until January 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“At the time, she had few real clients,” Spears writes of Taylor. “She basically used my name and hard work to build her company,” which opened a second office in Los Angeles with a staff of more than 150 people and a client roster including Gwen Stefani, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the wife of singer Nick Jonas.

In 2019, Taylor was named The Hollywood Reporter’s Business Manager Icon and in an accompanying profile headlined “Hollywood Business Manager Lou Taylor Is ‘Ferociously’ Breaking the Glass Ceiling,” she was praised by entertainment industry insiders for her business acumen and drive.

Or, as she told the publication, “I work my ass off 24/7.”

Multiple attempts to reach Taylor, 58, at Tri Star by phone and email were unsuccessful. However, previously, she and her attorneys insisted to various news outlets that she had no role in Britney Spears’ conservatorship, terminated by a judge in November 2021.

One year earlier, Tri Star stepped down as Spears’ business management company.

Taylor has long been known to followers of the #FreeBritney movement and was highlighted in documentaries about it, but the book — which in its first week sold 1.1 million copies in the United States alone — has widened the spotlight.

Ditto for Taylor’s employee Robin Greenhill, whom Spears describes in the memoir as “Lou’s weird-ass lacky.”

The two of them and Jamie Spears “ruled my life and monitored every move I made,” Spears writes, adding that she saw them “as bullies, and I wanted them out of my life.”

Reporter Marcia Greenwood covers general assignments. Send story tips to Follow her on Twitter @MarciaGreenwood.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Britney Spears targets Lou Taylor in memoir 'The Woman in Me'