Judge denies Britney Spears’ request to remove father from conservatorship

1 July 2021, 09:00 | Updated: 1 July 2021, 20:06

It comes a week after Ms Spears delivered a dramatic testimony about the "abusive" conservatorship
It comes a week after Ms Spears delivered a dramatic testimony about the "abusive" conservatorship. Picture: PA

By Daisy Stephens

A judge has denied a legal bid by Britney Spears to remove her father from his role overseeing her conservatorship, a court filing reveals.

The singer's lawyer, Samuel Ingham, asked a court in Los Angeles to oust Jamie Spears from his position managing Ms Spears’ multimillion dollar estate, which he has controlled since 2008.

When calling for Mr Spears to be removed in November last year, Mr Ingham said Ms Spears, 39, was scared of her father and wanted him gone from the conservatorship that has controlled her life for the last 13 years.

In court filings, Ms Spears said she wanted private wealth management firm the Bessemer Trust appointed as "sole conservator".

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However, documents filed in Los Angeles show Judge Brenda Penny refused the request while rubber-stamping Bessemer Trust's role as co-conservator of the estate.

The legal document states: "The conservatee's request to suspend James P Spears immediately upon the appointment of Bessemer Trust Company Of California, N.A. as sole conservator of estate is denied without prejudice."

'My heart breaks for her': Britney's friend on her conservatorship

The filing was dated June 30 - a week after the pop superstar delivered a dramatic testimony calling for the end of the conservatorship.

She was placed under the complex legal arrangement - usually reserved for the very old and infirm - after suffering a series of mental breakdowns.

Ms Spears told a court on June 23 the conservatorship was "abusive" and she wanted it to end without the need for a medical assessment.

The mother-of-two said she was required to use a contraceptive device and was barred from marrying boyfriend Sam Asghari.

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Campaigners from all over the world have spoken out in support of Britney Spears
Campaigners from all over the world have spoken out in support of Britney Spears. Picture: PA

Earlier, Mr Spears, 68, filed court documents of his own, denying he was responsible for the restrictions apparently placed on his daughter's private life.

He has overseen her estate for 13 years but has not been in charge of her personal affairs since September 2019, when he stepped down from that role due to ill health.

Mr Spears was replaced as conservator of Ms Spears's person on a temporary basis by Jodi Montgomery, the singer's care-giver.

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In a court filing, lawyers for Mr Spears said he was "concerned" by Mr Ingham's request to make Ms Montgomery's position permanent.

It said: "Based on her statements to the court, Mr Spears is concerned that the petition to appoint Jodi Montgomery filed by Ms Spears' court-appointed counsel Samuel D Ingham III does not reflect her wishes.

"Ms Spears told the court on June 23 that she is opposed to being under a conservatorship and revealed her ongoing disputes with Ms Montgomery about her medical treatment and other personal care issues."

Can conservatorships happen in the UK?

Lauriann Wright, Ms Montgomery's lawyer, released a statement in response and said: "I can state unequivocally that Jodi Montgomery has been a tireless advocate for Britney and for her well-being.

"While she does not control Britney's financial assets, she is responsible for her personal care, and if Britney wants any issue brought up to the Court, Ms Montgomery is and has always been ready, willing, and able to do so."

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