Britney Spears ‘strongly opposed’ to father Jamie having sole conservatorship as pop star prepares for legal battle
Pop superstar Britney Spears is set for a legal battle with her father as she tries to end his strict control over her personal and professional life.
The 38-year-old singer’s estate and finances have been managed by Jamie Spears for more than a decade, after she suffered a very public mental breakdown in 2008.
He has been able to negotiate contracts for his daughter, take decisions on her performing career, as well as selling her property and controlling who she can see.
Spears has now asked a California court to end her father’s role as conservator, passing control to a “qualified corporate fiduciary” with the possibility of taking full control of her life back in the future.
Mr Spears stepped aside from his role last year due to health difficulties, and after claims of a physical altercation between him and his grandson Sean Preston, then 13.
In court papers, the popstar’s lawyer Samuel D Ingham III said Spears is “strongly opposed” to her father resuming control of her affairs, seeking to switch permanent control of her conservatorship to Jodi Montgomery.
“We are now at a point where the conservatorship must be changed substantially in order to reflect the major changes in her current lifestyle and her stated wishes”, wrote Mr Ingham.
“Britney is strongly opposed to James continuing as sole conservator of her estate.
“Rather, without in any way waiving her right to seek termination of this conservatorship in the future, she strongly prefers to have a qualified corporate fiduciary appointed to serve in this role.”
Acknowledging that a legal battle could be on the cards, he added that the singer expects her father to “aggressively” contest the application.
Spears’ public breakdown in 2008, which led to her twice being admitted to a psychiatric ward, led to her being under the legal guardianship of her father, lawyers, and a care manager.
Some of the Toxic singer’s fans – under the banner of the “Free Britney” movement – have claimed she is being held “hostage”, and have raised petitions demanding an end to the conservatorship.
Claims circulated online recently that Spears’ Instagram posts were being “faked” to conceal health difficulties. But her father called the movement a “joke”, adding: “All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything. The world don’t have a clue. It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.”
Spears, who ended her successful Las Vegas residency in 2017, has not performed live since October 2018 following the culmination of her Piece of Me tour, and court documents indicate she is not planning a swift return to the stage.
She is currently living in a Los Angeles mansion with her boyfriend Sam Asghari, and has regular access to her children Sean Preston and Jayden James, who live with her ex-partner Kevin Federline.
Spears has rarely spoken publicly about the unusual legal arrangements of her life, but told a court last year the set-up “rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin”.
She added that it had help her to “regain her position as a world-class entertainer”.
The future of the conservatorship is currently under review by a judge, and Spears’ application for the change in control is due to be considered today at a private court hearing.
She has directed her legal team to have a lawyer on hand who can deal with complex financial court rights.
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