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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💋💋💋

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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

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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Preach @jamielynnspears. #CommentsByCelebs

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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

Should We #FreeBritney Or Leave Her Alone?

So I guess I’m officially on the Britney beat now. The #FreeBritney movement hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down over the past few days, and even gained traction over the weekend when Britney was given a day pass out of her mental facility for Easter, which she spent with her boyfriend Sam Asghari. (And please, please don’t ask me to tell you my theory that he is not not a semi-hired babysitter-boyfriend being manipulated by her team via sponsorships and attention.)

Before I go any further on a topic that’s actually taken a more serious turn than I expected, I have to start by saying that I’m both a huge fan of Britney’s and someone who takes mental health very seriously. I have mental illness in my family and have seen the gray areas involved and how deeply sad it is when a loved one is unable to care for themselves. I’m not writing this for “clicks”—I’m not a staff writer and have no assignments or quota to hit. (I bet you’re wondering who I am now, right? RIGHT? It’s Sami, cofounder of Betches, hi.) I’m writing it because this subject has really struck a cord with me as a Britney fan, and after seeing a literal #FreeBritney protest on social media yesterday, it’s clear that it has for others as well. Also, good to see protests are still hot.

If you’re a Betch Slapped listener, you’ll hear in Tuesday’s episode we revisited the Britney conversation, and Jordana brought up the point that it’s impossible for us to know the state of Britney’s mental health, and whether or not she is actually a danger to herself and needs to be on medications controlled by a conservator. Basically, maybe Britney shouldn’t be #free if she’s a danger to herself, and we are doing damage by running our mouths on sh*t we don’t know. And she’s honestly right about that. The article I wrote last week when this scandal came out had many, many comments to the same effect, which I took seriously. But this issue is less about whether Britney needs to be under conservatorship and receiving mental health treatment, and more about whether or not her conservatorship, necessary or not, is functioning in her best interests.

TMZ reported today (in what, in my opinion, seemed generally like a puff piece fed directly from Jamie Spears’ PR team but I’m no primary source), that the conservatorship doesn’t give Jamie the ability to control what medications Britney is taking or the ability to send her to a mental facility against her will. Sure, but regardless, doesn’t the fact that Jamie Spears is her conservator in the first place provide him with enough power to manipulate her to act in his preferred ways, even if those specific terms are not laid out in the conservatorship?

While it’s impossible to see into the Spears family and know whether or not everything is legit, I don’t think it’s illogical to question the simple idea that a conservator shouldn’t have financial incentives that are tied to the control of their conservatee. Britney Spears’ financial success is directly beneficial to her family, meaning they have less of an incentive to objectively judge whether or not she should be performing at all. It’s really hard for people to be aware of a reality when their financial gain is dependent on them not being aware of it, whether you’re a trillionaire earth-ruining corporation or you’re Jamie Spears from Bumblefuck whose daughter got mind-blowingly famous. His own finances hinge on him not accepting that keeping Britney famous, performing, and forced to meet and greet thousands of strangers is potentially contributing to her mental health issues. It happened in 2007, and it’s not crazy to think it’s happening again.

And here we have the crux of the issue. As Britney fans, all of us are a teeny tiny bit a part of where she’s ended up. …Baby One More Time was the first CD I ever owned and loved, and the girl has been famous since she was 11 f*cking years old. She had no time to personally develop before she started being consumed by other people, so she’s forever stuck there. Not quite the makings of a mentally healthy adult. And it’s not just Britney—it’s hard to name many celebrities who got famous very young (aside from Hilary Duff) who you would categorize as “doing well.”

Since writing this article last night, Britney appeared on her own instagram with a message for her fans. She said: “I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that’s happening is just making it harder for me…Your love and dedication is amazing, but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way. If you could do that, I would be forever grateful.” Then she made some weird allusion to some Sam Lutfi emails that I have no idea the relevance of, but as with any Britney moment, gave us just a big enough whiff of ascandal to take us deeper down the rabbit hole and drag her further down with us. So I’m just not even going to google what those emails are and try to take a new approach to Britney fandom.

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I wanted to say hi, because things that are being said have just gotten out of control!!! Wow!!! There’s rumors, death threats to my family and my team, and just so many things crazy things being said. I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that’s happening is just making it harder for me. Don’t believe everything you read and hear. These fake emails everywhere were crafted by Sam Lutfi years ago… I did not write them. He was pretending to be me and communicating with my team with a fake email address. My situation is unique, but I promise I’m doing what’s best at this moment ??? You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want! Your love and dedication is amazing, but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way. If you could do that, I would be forever grateful. Love you ❤️❤️❤️

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On some level, it feels like Britney fans (and fans in general, sorry we’re not special) have a codependent relationship with the figures we love. We love them so much that we can’t let them be, even if it hurts them. We demand more music, more performances, more smiles and selfies at the meet and greet we spent our hard-earned money to attend. And it’s not even our fault! Celebrities are marketed towards us for their own profit, what else is there? Which is why Britney is different. She doesn’t control her finances or personal decisions, and it’s clear that the fame drives her deeper into a very painful hole that she may never really be able to fully get out of. The sad part is that there’s no real solution, and as someone DM’ed me (this is obviously a well-sourced article): “please don’t fan the flames on this…because if she truly is an unstable person, this is not helping.” Maybe it’s finally time for all of us to really leave Britney alone.

Images: Shutterstock; @britneyspears / Instagram

There Are Important Updates In The Britney Spears Saga

As a lifelong Britney Spears fan, it’s been a stressful few months. It started in January, when she canceled her upcoming Las Vegas residency to focus on her father’s health issues. Then, last month, it was announced that Britney was taking an indefinite hiatus from music, and she entered a mental health rehab facility. The sh*t really hit the fan last week, when the Britney’s Gram podcast presented a detailed theory that Britney was being held against her will in the mental facility, and that her father Jamie was using his legal conservatorship to manipulate her. The #FreeBritney movement spread like wildfire across social media, and everyone was working to uncover the real truth of what’s going on with Britney.

It’s a new week, and there have been some important updates to the Britney Spears situation, so let’s take a look at the latest. Some of this information is still very much up for debate, so  we probably haven’t heard the last of this whole situation. Here’s what we know, as of now.

The most important thing is that Britney Spears was seen out in the wild over the weekend. By “in the wild,” I mean that she was photographed outside of the facility where she’s been since January. On Easter Sunday, Britney was seen leaving the Montage Beverly Hills hotel, where she apparently spent the night with her boyfriend Sam Asghari. In the photos, Britney definitely looks a little disheveled, but I’m hoping it’s just because she overslept and had to check out in a hurry.

21.04.19 Britney Spears Gets Easter Day Pass From Mental Health Facility https://t.co/vc1sF9Hqm7 pic.twitter.com/303YHeZMAD

— popqueenbritneydotcom (@popqueenbritney) April 22, 2019

Of course, the sighting of Britney Spears outside of the mental facility raises some important questions about her overall situation. We don’t know if she’s officially been released from treatment, or if they just gave her a temporary pass for the Easter holiday. Either way, her outing seems like a positive indicator that her situation hopefully isn’t as dire as it seemed last week. Maybe the whole thing was blown out of proportion in the first place, or maybe the rules are being loosened as a reaction to the reports. I’m just glad that Britney seems to be okay.

If Britney’s Easter outing was the good news, then I guess this next part is the bad news. In the wake of last week’s reports about Britney’s rehab stay, there are new sources saying some intriguing things about the initial cancelation of the Britney: Domination Vegas residency. According to a new report from The Blast, a member of Britney Spears’ team knew that Britney wasn’t in a good place even during the contract negotiations for her new residency. The source says that, even while the residency was being actively promoted, they all really knew that “Vegas was off the table unless things drastically changed.”

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I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination. I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart. However, it’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make. A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand. More information on ticket refunds is available on britneyspears.com. I appreciate your prayers and support for my family during this time. Thank you, and love you all… always.

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Allegedly, Britney’s dad Jamie was very aware of this whole situation, and he just happened to have major health problems at the same time that Britney was struggling. According to the source, it was Jamie who made the call that Britney needed to cancel the residency, and he told her to use his health issues as the reason. Another source close to the situation said that “the notion that Britney canceled or postponed a multi-million dollar Vegas show deal to help medically care for her father is ‘complete nonsense.'”

Obviously, all these reports should be taken with a grain of salt, but there’s definitely a lot going on behind the scenes here. It’s hard to know exactly who’s right and wrong here, and the situation is probably still a lot more complicated than we even know. Is #FreeBritney the right response? Is Britney even still in the mental facility? Did her dad really make the wrong decision? Hopefully we’ll learn more in the coming days and weeks, but for now, I’m just hoping Britney Spears is okay.

Images: @popqueenbritney / Twitter

Is Britney Spears Being Forcibly Held In A Mental Facility?

Just when you thought you might make it out of Aries without another massive scam blowing up, you thought wrong. A Britney Spears fan Instagram account and podcast called Britney’s Gram has exposed some very disturbing news about Britney’s conservatorship. Apparently, Britney has been forcibly held in a mental facility (!) since mid-January (!!) by her very own father (!!!).

As everyone knows, Britney has been held in conservatorship by her father Jamie Spears since her breakdown in 2008. I think we all remember it. Now, suddenly the #FreeBritney movement is going viral by a hot pink square on Instagram — the true mark of any modern day scam worth its 15 minutes. But behind the pink square is a story that, if true, is extremely disturbing and cruel. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!

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?? EMERGENCY EPISODE ?? Listen right away. We’ve received an anonymous tip from a credible source that confirms some of our suspicions and contains revelations we never imagined. Your mind is about to be blown. Share this image far and wide. #FreeBritney Go to britneysgram.com or click the link in our bio.

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So here’s the tea. Fans have suspected that something shady was going on with Brit amidst a very sketchy cancellation of Domination, her just-announced Las Vegas residency, citing her father’s health issues as the cause. She claimed to be taking an indefinite work hiatus to focus on her father. Ok fine, plausible. But the sketchy part of that situation is that her creative team was literally promoting the residency up until minutes before she posted her official instagram cancellation.

The last time Britney was conclusively seen in public was at an In-and-Out drive thru (not a bad last place to be seen tbh) with her boyfriend on January 6th, a few days after the announcement. She was driving, which is relevant because it’s apparently a big no-no under her conservatorship. I mean everyone knows the best way to rehabilitate a child pop star is to impose the same rules that Saudi Arabia uses to control women. Not a good look for the responsible dad role, Jamie!!

Nothing seemed particularly amiss, aside from the aforementioned abrupt cancellation, until March 6th, when the second individual in control of her conservatorship, her lawyer Andrew Wallet abruptly resigned with the following statement. “Substantial detriment, irreparable harm and immediate danger will result to the conservative and her estate if the relief requested herein is not granted on an ex parte basis.” That’s lawyer for “some fucked up shit going down and Britney is in danger!” Wallet was being paid half a million dollars a year (no pun intended) as conservator, and there was no immediately clear reason why he would suddenly quit.

That’s until a few days later, the podcast Britney’s Gram uncovered legal motions filed by BRITNEY HERSELF from two days before her lawyer had resigned. It’s unclear what the contents of those motions were (God Karen you can’t just ask the motions what their contents are), but this is definitely weird since this was the first time in her entire 11 year conservatorship that Britney had ever filed any motion ever. The story started to gain traction on multiple outlets until the next day, when something that Britney stans would describe as “out of character” was posted on her Instagram. Fans in particular focused on the fact that she used 🙂 as an emoji instead of the typical way she usually posts emojis, which is a lot of actual emojis.

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We all need to take time for a little "me time." 🙂

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Then, as we all know, TMZ reported that Britney checked herself into a mental facility because she was “distraught over her dad’s illness.” It was never reported that she left after that, but two weeks later she was allegedly spotted at a salon, and we thought all could be right with the world (aside from like a million other problems happening everywhere all the time).

JK, it’s actually just getting even crazier. Two days ago, Britney’s Gram posted another podcast episode where they played an actual voicemail from a former paralegal at Andrew Wallet’s firm who did not give his name, but said that Britney has been held against her will in a mental facility since mid-January. He claimed that she had been in rehearsals for Domination when it came to her father’s attention that she was not taking her medication as prescribed. Jamie said she had to either take the medication, or Domination would be cancelled (because as her conservator, he has the power to control almost all aspects of her life, including this). She still refused to take the medication and he pulled the show, telling her to “blame it on illness.” It’s not true that she entered the facility a few weeks ago as was reported because she has been there since January, and there is no “end in sight for her stay at this mental facility. She did not want to go.”

The story is still developing, but if true, it seems like Jamie Spears may be in the middle of a really evil scheme, forcing his daughter to take medication and controlling her through threats to take things away from her (including custody of her children), and now literally holding her in a mental facility indefinitely. We’ll keep you updated but for now, share your thoughts in the comments. #FreeBritney.

Images: Shutterstock; @britneysgram, @britneyspears / Instagram