Judge Denies Request To Remove Father from Britney Spears’ Conservatorship

The denial was not a direct response to Spears’ headline-making June 23 testimony against her father and the conservatorship.

Published Jul 2, 2021

 (Rhys Adams/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Rhys Adams/Wikimedia Commons

On June 30, 2021, a judge denied a request filed by pop star Britney Spears’ attorney to have her father removed as the conservator of her estate. 

According to documents filed by the Los Angeles Superior Court and seen by Variety, the request was filed by Spears’ court-appointed attorney Samuel Ingham III in November 2020. The rejection is considered to be routine, and not in response to the explosive testimony Spears gave earlier in which she alleged that the conservatorship was “abusive” and said she wanted to sue her family. 

The judge’s denial was actually part of ongoing proceedings that approved Bessemer Trust as the co-conservator of Spears’ estate, and the papers reiterated the judge’s decision to not remove Spears’ father as co-conservator. 

“The conservator’s request to suspend James P. Spears immediately upon the appointment of Bessemer Trust Company of California as sole conservator of estate is denied without prejudice,” the documents stated

In her June 23, 2021, testimony Spears said: “I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested.” 

Spears had repeatedly asked about terminating the conservatorship and her father’s role in it for years, according to The New York Times. She added that she had no idea she could petition to end the arrangement. “I’m sorry for my ignorance,” she told the courtroom, “but I didn’t know that.”

Since 2008, Spears has been under the co-conservatorship of her father after she had a very public breakdown. This put him in charge of managing all her finances, and allowed him to make money off her earnings as she continued to create music and perform. He was briefly her sole conservator in 2019 after his co-conservator resigned, and in September 2019 temporarily relinquished some powers to Jodi Montgomery, who took charge of Spears’ medical and personal care. 

Now Spears’ father is pointing the finger at Montgomery, calling for an investigation into Spears’ claims of abuse, and saying that since September 2019, Montgomery was “fully in charge of Ms. Spears’s day-to-day personal care and medical treatment.” Some of Spears’ allegations predated that time period, however. 

Montgomery responded through a lawyer, saying she “had been a tireless advocate for Britney,” and looked forward to “setting forth a path for termination of the conservatorship.”

Months ago, the judge allowed the appointment of Bessemer Trust as co-conservator for the financial arm of Spears’ arrangement, leaving her father mostly in charge of other aspects of the conservatorship. The wealth management firm filed papers on July 1 requesting to be removed from the position, citing Spears’ testimony and opposition to the conservatorship.

“As a result of the conservatee’s testimony at the June 23 hearing, however, Petitioner has become aware that the Conservatee objects to the continuance of her Conservatorship and desires to terminate the conservatorship,” the firm said. “Petitioner has heard the Conservatee and respects her wishes.”

Ingham has not yet filed a request to terminate the conservatorship, though some claim that the filing is imminent. The next hearing for Spears’ case is scheduled for July 14, 2021. 

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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