Britney Spears Says She’s Afraid Of Her Father As Judge Rules He Will Remain Her Conservator

As you probably know by now, the legal battle over Britney Spears’ conservatorship seems to be never-ending, and every few months, we get new updates on the latest developments in this arrangement that has now lasted over a decade. The back-and-forth legal drama can be exceedingly difficult to understand, but overall, it’s clear that Britney is unhappy with the current situation.

This summer, there was a slew of updates. Britney requested that her temporary conservator, Jodi Montgomery, be made permanent, rather than her father Jamie being reinstated. (Due to health reasons, Jamie stepped down as her personal conservator in 2019, but has remained the conservator of her estate.) Jamie pushed back on this, requesting that he and his former partner Andrew Wallet (who stepped down in March 2019) be returned to their former positions. While Britney said she is fine with the conservatorship being extended until 2021, she and her father disagreed on whether the conservatorship proceedings should be made public, with Britney’s team opposing a motion to seal court documents. And around the same time, we also found out for the first time that Britney’s mother and sister are involved in her financial trust. A lot going on, to say the least, but it didn’t end there.

Since that tumultuous period in August, things have been fairly quiet in regard to Britney’s case, until this week. On Tuesday, Britney’s attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, spoke on her behalf in a court hearing, telling the judge, “my client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” adding that Britney made it clear “she will not perform as long as her father is in charge of her career.” Capping off his statement in a way that really got the fans’ attention, Ingham said “we are really at a crossroads.” The good news? Now I know I’m going to rewatch Crossroads later. The bad news? Literally everything else.

Of course, it’s disappointing for Britney fans to hear that she likely won’t be getting back to music any time soon, but the revelation that she is afraid of her father is alarming. Ingham also added that Britney has not spoken to her father in “a long time.” Britney’s mother Lynne, who is divorced from Jamie, also issued a statement through her attorney, calling Britney and Jamie’s relationship “toxic” (no pun intended, I assume), and saying “it has broken Lynne’s heart that it has come to this point.”

Jamie Spears’ attorney fought back at these claims, blaming the lack of communication on Britney’s attorney, and arguing that there is not “a shred of evidence to support my client’s suspension.” For the time being, Judge Brenda Penny seemed to agree, declining the request to suspend Jamie Spears from his role in the conservatorship. She did, however, agree to “hear further arguments for his suspension or removal,” which Britney’s attorney said he would provide. Basically, this fight isn’t over yet.

But despite Jamie Spears remaining in his role in the conservatorship, there was one silver lining in the judge’s rulings this week. Previously, Britney had requested that corporate fiduciary Bessemer Trust be named a co-conservator in her finances, and that request was approved this week. For now, they’ll have to try to cooperate with Britney’s father, but that may be changing depending on the outcome of the additional upcoming hearings, the first of which has been scheduled for December 16.

Meanwhile, after a brief hiatus, Britney has been back on Instagram lately, posting more of her trademark chaotic content. She resurfaced last week with a video, in which she assured her fans that she’s “the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.” Good for Britney; that makes one of us!

 

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Since then, she’s posted several times, including a video of her dancing, some inspirational messages, and a minute-long clip of her posing with a flower. Whatever Britney is going through in court right now, at least her social media is as delightfully strange as ever.

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Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com; britneyspears / Instagram

Britney Spears Has Thoughts On The #FreeBritney Movement

Even though Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship since 2008, it wasn’t until the #FreeBritney movement gained traction in 2019 that it became publicly talked about. Since then, many fans have expressed concern about Britney’s treatment, and it appears we’re finally getting some clarity on the situation, directly from Brit. Last week, we broke down numerous new developments in her conservatorship situation, including her sister Jamie Lynn’s appointment as a trustee, and more importantly, Britney’s wish that her father not be involved in the future.

Last month, a judge extended Britney’s conservatorship for a further six months, leading the ACLU to offer her their services, but new paperwork this filed week suggests that she is actually fine with the current arrangement. On Monday, her attorney wrote that Britney’s conservatorship is “voluntary,” and that she “wishes to exercise her right to nominate a conservator of the estate.” Last month’s court filings showed that Britney was “strongly opposed” to her father returning to his previous role as her conservator, which he vacated in 2019 for health reasons. While Britney’s father controlled her finances for more than a decade, it was recently reported that she wished for a “qualified corporate fiduciary to fill that role,” and in this week’s filing, she officially requested that Bessemer Trust Company, N.A. be appointed her new conservator. Bessemer Trust is a worldwide financial management company that handles over a hundred billion dollars with thousands of clients.

Along with the question of Jamie Spears’ future involvement in the conservatorship, Britney and her father also disagree on whether or not these proceedings should be public. Jamie Spears recently filed a motion to seal court documents pertaining to the case, but Britney’s team opposed this motion. In a filing, they wrote “Britney herself is vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret.”

Last month, Britney’s father spoke to The New York Post, calling the #FreeBritney movement “a joke,” saying that “these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything.” He also hit back at accusations that he’s stolen or mismanaged his daughter’s money, claiming that he has to “report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year.” Last April, as #FreeBritney became a trending topic, Britney spoke out on her desire for privacy, telling her fans on Instagram “what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way.”

But a lot has happened in the last year, and in a rare public comment on the fan support for Britney, her attorney wrote on September 3rd that the #FreeBritney movement is “Far from being a conspiracy theory or a ‘joke’ as James reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of James’ aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimize the amount of meaningful information made available to the public.” 

While Jamie reiterated that the court proceedings should be “private,” Britney’s attorney wrote in the latest filing that Spears “welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans.” A final decision about Britney’s conservator going forward is expected this fall.

 

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There Are Major New Developments In Britney Spears’ Conservatorship

In case you’ve been been focused on other things lately (can’t imagine what), there’s been a lot going on this summer with Britney Spears. We’ve come a long way from last spring, when it was rumored that she was being held against her will in a mental facility, or that she escaped said facility, but things with her conservatorship are as complicated as ever.

As you may know, Britney Spears has been under a wide-ranging conservatorship since 2008, with her father Jamie overseeing nearly every facet of her life as the conservator. For the last decade, Jamie Spears has had control over his daughter’s finances and medical care, as well as career decisions like tours and residencies, and even whether or not she is allowed to drive a car. It’s an extreme situation, and over the years, the conservatorship has been the source of many court decisions and legal battles.

For many years, Britney’s father served as co-conservator with attorney Andrew Wallet, who handled Britney’s finances, but after Wallet stepped down last year, Jamie Spears assumed total control. Later in 2019, Jamie temporarily stepped down from his role as Britney’s conservator, due to some life-threatening health issues—and Britney doesn’t want him back in charge. Since Jamie stepped down, Britney’s manager, Jodi Montgomery, has served as her conservator, and Britney is now seeking to make Jodi’s position permanent. In a court filing earlier this month, Spears’ team wrote that “Britney is strongly opposed to James’ return as conservator of her person.” (James = Jamie.) Britney is requesting that Jodi Montgomery remain in her role as conservator, along with a “qualified corporate fiduciary” to handle her financial matters. Britney’s attorney also noted that he expected Jamie would “aggressively” push back against these requests. He was right—Jamie Spears has already reportedly filed a request that he and Andrew Wallet be reinstated.

There are a lot of factors at play here, and the situation is made even more complicated by the bigger picture with Jamie Spears, who was investigated last year after allegations that he abused Britney’s son Sean. It’s still not entirely clear what truly happened, but both of Britney’s sons were granted a three-year restraining order barring Jamie from seeing them. Britney’s request to have her father permanently removed came last week, as a judge extended the conservatorship for six months, until early 2021. Reportedly, Britney’s attorneys now have a few weeks to file any official motions regarding the conservatorship, which would include permanently removing Jamie. Theoretically, that would be decided sometime in the fall, so stay tuned.

But that’s not all that’s happening with Britney’s conservatorship. Turns out, Britney’s mom and sister are both getting involved in her finances. Way back in 2004, Britney established a trust to protect her assets for herself and her sons, and to “hold and manage her material financial assets during her lifetime, and provide distribution of those assets upon her death.” The trust includes traditional assets like property and investments, but also “furniture and furnishings, clothing, jewelry, vehicles and accessories to vehicles, books, paintings, and other artwork, and other tangible articles of personal, domestic household, or recreational use or nature, together with any insurance on such property.” Basically, everything.

Since 2008, the trust has been controlled by Britney’s conservators (aka mostly her dad), but this week The Blast obtained new documents that revealed Britney’s sister, Jamie Lynn, was also made a trustee in 2018. Her appointment was signed off by Jamie Spears and Andrew Wallet, who were co-conservators at the time. According to the documents, the SJB Trust (Sean, Jayden, Britney) lists Britney as the sole beneficiary while she is alive, but if she were to die, the money would basically go straight to her kids. But Jamie apparently requested approval to create “blocked accounts,” which are accounts with specific limitations on who can access them, and how much they can withdraw.

So Jamie Lynn has secretly been involved in Britney’s financial arrangements for the past two years, and now Britney’s mom is finally getting in on the family affair. Last month, Lynne Spears filed a request to be named an “interested person” in Britney’s trust, which wouldn’t give her control over anything, but would ensure that she was notified of “all matters” involving the trust.

Like many of the developments in this story, it’s extremely difficult to figure out who has good intentions here. The family has rarely spoken publicly about the situation, but last month, Jamie Lynn Spears passionately spoke out on behalf of her sister on Instagram, defending Britney’s privacy and calling her a “strong, badass, unstoppable woman.” At the time, we didn’t know that Jamie Lynn was involved in Britney’s trust, but hopefully she’s actually helping.

 

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Similarly, we have no idea why Lynne Spears is choosing to get involved now. Whatever the reasons behind these recent moves, it seems like the next few months will be an important time, with Jamie’s ultimate involvement clearly a point of contention.

While the Spears family battles for control of Britney’s affairs, Britney has a powerful force in her corner: the ACLU. Last week, as the news about Britney requesting her father’s removal broke, the ACLU tweeted an offer of support, saying that “People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights.”

People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights.

If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship, we are here to help her. https://t.co/uLRakw7c4C

— ACLU (@ACLU) August 19, 2020

What will happen in the next six months? There’s no way to know, but regardless, hopefully Britney is safe, happy, and healthy, and also, I would love some new music.

 

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Images: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com; commentsbycelebs / Instagram; ACLU / Twitter