Britney Spears files for father to be replaced as court-appointed guardian

Pop singer seeks to have father Jamie removed from conservator role set up in 2008 following breakdown in mental health

Britney Spears is seeking to make major changes to the court-appointed conservatorship that has controlled various aspects of her life since a public breakdown in 2008.

As reported in the New York Times, the Blast and elsewhere, the pop singer is looking to permanently remove her father James Spears (also known as Jamie) as her conservator, a role that oversees her personal and financial decision-making as well as her healthcare. He was assigned the role in 2008 after Spears behaved erratically amid substance misuse and mental health issues, but the role was taken over in 2019 by an independent professional conservator, Jodi Montgomery, after Jamie suffered a bout of ill health.

In a US court filing, Spears’s lawyer, Samuel D Ingham III, said the conservatorship terms “must be changed substantially in order to reflect the major changes in her current lifestyle and her stated wishes”, and proposed that Montgomery assume permanent control. The filing also states that Spears “strongly prefers to have a qualified corporate fiduciary appointed” to manage her financial affairs, rather than her father. Ingham said he expected the changes to be “aggressively contested” by Jamie.

Spears is currently on an indefinite work hiatus, though remains in the public eye via frequent Instagram posts. A Las Vegas concert residency, Britney: Domination, was scheduled for February 2019 but Spears cancelled it to spend time with her family as her father recovered from colon surgery. In April that year she checked into a mental health facility, but assured fans: “All is well. My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately, so I just needed time to deal.”

The conservatorship arrangement has been opposed by some of Spears’s fans, who have formed the #FreeBritney movement, and accuse Jamie and others of overly controlling Spears’s life, even stealing from her.

Jamie rejected the accusations in an interview earlier this month. “All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything,” he said. “I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year. How the hell would I steal something? … I love my daughter.” He said he and his family had received death threats from fans, which Spears herself acknowledged in April 2019.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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