The Slatest

Britney Spears’ Father Asks Court to End Pop Star’s Conservatorship

Britney Spears, wearing a red dress, smiles and waves on a red carpet
Britney Spears at a premiere in Los Angeles in July 2019. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

Britney Spears’ father, James Spears, filed a court petition Tuesday formally asking to end the 13-year conservatorship that has controlled the 39-year-old pop star’s finances and many aspects of her life. The conservatorship was put in place in 2008; it’s a legal structure used to protect people deemed unfit to make their own decisions, typically elderly or terminally ill people. Spears’ father has spent years effectively controlling not just his daughter’s finances but much of her day-to-day life, an arrangement the pop star told the court this summer was “abusive.” Under the conservatorship, Britney Spears was not allowed to drive a car or choose a doctor or her own lawyer to represent her.

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“As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” James Spears’ petition reads. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” The petition to end the guardianship represents a marked shift in thinking for James Spears, whom Britney Spears petitioned the court earlier this year to remove from the conservatorship of her estate. James Spears had agreed to eventually step down from his role overseeing his daughter’s affairs, but resisted being replaced immediately.

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A lawyer for Britney Spears told the Associated Press in an email that Tuesday’s court filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears—a massive one—as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.” The petition still must be approved by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny before going into effect. The court was scheduled to hear from Britney Spears’ counsel later this month on the pop star’s effort to remove her father from her estate’s conservatorship. Her father has not been involved as her personal conservator since September 2019, when licensed professional conservator Jodi Montgomery took over that role.

James Spears said in the court filing that he always intended to act in the best interest of his daughter, who was struggling with substance abuse and the pressures of celebrity at the time. Britney Spears and her fans, who started the #FreeBritney movement online, contest James Spears’ claim that he helped her “get through a major life crisis, rehabilitate and advance her career, and put her finances and her affairs in order.”

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