Firm says Britney Spears' perfume dealings stink

LOS ANGELES Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:08pm EDT

Singer Britney Spears performs on ABC's ''Good Morning America'' at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California March 27, 2011. . REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Singer Britney Spears performs on ABC's ''Good Morning America'' at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California March 27, 2011. .

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Lam

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britney Spears is being sued for more than $10 million by a licensing firm that helped the pop singer launch a fragrance line marketed by Elizabeth Arden Inc.

Brand Sense Partners filed its breach of contract lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, also naming her father, Jamie Spears, who is the conservator of her estate.

A spokesman for Spears could not immediately be reached.

According to the complaint, Brand Sense brokered Spears' deal with Elizabeth Arden in 2004, and stood to receive a 35 percent commission on any resulting Spears-branded fragrances.

The cosmetics manufacturer duly rolled out a line of Spears-related products under such brand names as "Radiance," "Midnight Fantasy" and "Curious."

Alluding to Spears' much-publicized personal battles in recent years, Brand Sense said its efforts "generated millions of dollars in revenue for Ms. Spears when she otherwise would have had little or none."

But Spears last year asked Elizabeth Arden to send all royalties to her, the suit alleged. After the firm confronted Spears, her father said the 35 percent commission was too high and that his daughter did not want to pay it.

Moreover, the suit claims Spears then "secretly made a separate deal with Elizabeth Arden in a sneaky, under-handed effort to circumvent and evade its obligations to Brand Sense."

In addition to claiming "consequential and incidental" damages of more than $10 million, Brand Sense is seeking punitive damages "based on the wanton, willful and oppressive nature" of the Spears' conduct.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman, editing by Sandra Maler)

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