Since 2008, the pop star’s financial, medical and personal decisions have been governed by a legal agreement that gives her father complete control over her life. But in recent years, Spears has fought back against the arrangement, as has the high-profile #FreeBritney movement, which claims the singer is being held against her will.
In September 2019, Spears’ care manager, Jodi Montgomery, replaced Jamie Spears as temporary conservator due his “personal health reasons.” Since then, the singer has spoken out through her lawyers about being “afraid” of her father and “strongly opposed” to having him return.
Now, Spears’ legal team is taking their fight against Jamie Spears one step further. On Tuesday evening, the singer’s lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court to remove her father as conservator and permanently replace him with Montgomery, according to court filings obtained by People.
“Petitioner has requested the resignation of the current conservator of her person, James P. Spears, who temporarily relinquished his powers effective as of September 9, 2019,” the filing reads, according to Variety. “The within petition requests his replacement by Jodi Pais Montgomery, who has acted as temporary conservator of her person since that date.”
The filing details the various powers Spears’ permanent conservator holds, including the ability to “restrict and limit” visitors, access medical records, retain “caretakers and security guards” and prosecute restraining orders on her behalf, The Guardian reported.
The superstar is also requesting that she reserve “the right to petition for the termination of this conservatorship,” according to People.
The next hearing in Spears’ case is set for April 27.
For the moment, the elder Spears still maintains some control over his daughter’s finances. In November, a judge ruled that Jamie Spears would continue to oversee her estate, despite objections from her legal team. But in a small victory for the singer, a corporate fiduciary, Bessemer Trust Company, was also named as a co-conservator at Britney Spears’ request.
Her ongoing legal case has received heightened attention in the wake of the FX documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” which raised questions about her family’s handling of her estate and person, particularly focusing on how her father has seemingly benefitted from acting as sole conservator.
After the documentary aired, his lawyer, Vivian Thoreen, addressed the backlash, insisting that her client has always had the best interests of his daughter in mind.
“I understand that every story wants to have a villain, but people have it so wrong here,” Thoreen told “Good Morning America” last month. “This is a story about a fiercely loyal, loving and dedicated father who rescued his daughter from a life-threatening situation. People were harming her and they were exploiting her. Jamie saved Britney’s life.”
Throughout it all, Britney Spears has stayed relatively silent — though interpreters of her cryptic Instagram activity might beg to differ ― while her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, has called Jamie Spears a “total dick.”
“Now it’s important for people to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way,” he wrote on Instagram after the documentary’s release, later telling People that the couple is “looking forward to a normal, amazing future together.”
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