Britney Spears’ conservatorship is being thoroughly investigated by the court

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As we’ve been discussing, Britney Spears and her conservatorship are struggling these days. Britney has seemingly been in a difficult state for months now, as doctors have been trying out new medications. Adding to those difficulties was the fact that Jamie Spears has had significant health issues the past six months, and he wasn’t capable of maintaining his iron grip on Britney’s money, career and personal life with the same consistency as before. Britney apparently told the court that Jamie put her into the mental health facility without her consent, and that she’d like much more freedom in her life. The judge ordered a series of evaluations – Lynne Spears seems to want a say in Brit’s conservatorship, and Britney asked for specific things to change in her conservatorship too. All of which means that the past decade of Britney’s conservatorship is under a microscope:

The people responsible for controlling Britney Spears‘ life are now in the crosshairs of court investigators as the judge in her conservatorship case has ordered a thorough investigation of all the players who take part in planning her personal life, financial affairs and medical treatment. According to documents obtained by The Blast, the judge in Britney’s conservatorship has ordered a probate court investigator to take a hard look at the singer’s case, and wants a court investigator’s report filed before Britney’s next hearing in September.

The move was quietly made days after Britney was ordered to undergo an expert evaluation to determine whether the restraints in her conservatorship should be loosened or modified. The job of a probate court investigator is to conduct extensive interviews with all the people involved in a conservatorship case, including guardians, conservators, doctors and even law enforcement officials who have had contact with the subject of the conservatorship. The investigator will also be reviewing medical and financial records, including custody agreements and even contractual obligations … such as her Las Vegas residency.

It has long been debated whether Britney’s team, including her father Jamie Spears, were pushing Britney beyond her limits while signing her up for another round of performances in Sin City. Her manager has maintained that Britney was the one who wanted to keep working, but questions have been raised about her team’s handling of Britney’s fragile mental state while negotiating lucrative business deals.

[From The Blast]

Mike Redmond at Pajiba (formerly at The Superficial) pointed out something I had forgotten, which is that Jamie got a percentage of Britney’s Las Vegas deal(s) and he was making seven-figures from throwing Britney on stage on a regular basis. Personally, I don’t believe that the Las Vegas residency contributed to Britney’s “fragile mental state” – I agreed with Britney fans at the time that the schedule, the workouts, the dancing, it all helped her or, at the very least, she enjoyed it. The issue for me isn’t “should Britney work,” it’s “is she competent enough to make basic decisions about her life?” Why debate whether or not she wants to work when the real debate is whether she’s capable of driving a car, or capable of figuring out if she wants to go to Starbucks, or capable of deciding who to date without her father arranging it? And if the questions of bare-bones competency go the way I think they will, I still have to wonder WTF Jamie Spears was thinking with the entire Jason Trawick debacle. Britney and Jason were “engaged” and Jamie was putting Jason on Britney’s co-conservator at the same time. That always disturbed the f–k out of me.

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51 Responses to “Britney Spears’ conservatorship is being thoroughly investigated by the court”

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  1. ByTheSea says:

    No doubt Jamie made money off the conservatorship, but why shouldn’t he? it’s a job, like any other and even smaller estates pay a percentage to the executor (for instance, in a death) or a guardianship (for kids with means). I don’t see the issue. However, it does seem like his illness exposed a lot of cracks in the foundation of the conservatorship. She needs more than one person. Also, the court should not, under any circumstances, allow her to make her own decisions about who has access to her. When she did, she had a lot of vultures swoop in (like Sam Lufti). She needs someone to watch over her. Poor Britney.

    • bridget says:

      A conservator should be paid a stipend, even a high one, but not in percentage – otherwise it’s a conflict of interest.

  2. He he says:

    I feel for her. I truly hope she is okay.

  3. Gaby says:

    At this point, all I hope/want for Brit is that she moves back to Lousiana or some place quieter, has someone close supervising her medications and making sure she is ok, someone else like a lawyer or financial conservator to look out for the money, making sure nobody tries to scam or take advantage of her, and that she has enough freedom to just walk around, making daily trips to a local Starbucks, and painting and dancing classes and being zen, spending time with her sons, enjoying her life and retire from this industry. Just let her be and do what she wants, as long as her health is ok.

    I do think she likes to work out, to dance and sing, but that doesn’t mean she still likes performing. She can do all these things without having to be on stage or award shows, where she looks extremely uncomfortable.

  4. Alissa says:

    I’m very curious about her current boyfriend. I’m assuming he is Jamie-approved because they’ve been together for a bit, right?

    I also am a little confused as to how she’s not able to have a phone, buy anything on her own, or drive herself, but she’s capable of consenting to an adult relationship and sex.

    I hope everything works out and she is happy – whether it’s retiring and being a mom, continuing to perform, or whatever that means. I just feel really sorry for her. And I have no idea whether continuing the conservatorship or not is beneficial, so I just hope that whatever IS beneficial to her is what happens.

    • Jadedone says:

      I think her current boyfriend was Jamie approved bc he is a trainer, he helps keep britney in shape for her performances. He also drives a really nice car, I wonder where he got that from.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      The BF gets a lot of side eye from me as he was also stoking the conspiracy theory flames by liking posts on SM.

    • Megan says:

      Brittany could be trusted to perform for $500,000 a pop night after night, but she can’t have a cell phone?

      • holly hobby says:

        I think maybe it’s because she attracts the vultures like Lufti when she had a cellphone and that’s why she was denied one? Everything gets funneled through someone first?

      • Megan says:

        Brittany has been in mental health treatment since 2008. If she has not developed the skills to prevent someone like Lufti from entering her life, she has been done a great disservice by her medical providers.

      • Amaria says:

        This sort of thinking is sooo simplistic. Some people with mental health issues never improve. Whatever she has, it’s very serious and it might not be possible for her to get better than what she achieved in this past decade. Also, it’s BRITNEY. Her name is all over the page, so maybe at least read what others wrote if you don’t know who she is and what her name is.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “If she has not developed the skills to prevent someone like Lufti from entering her life, she has been done a great disservice by her medical providers.”

        That’s not how mental health issues work. It’s not something that will get cured, and medications that work at one point might not work later.

      • Megan says:

        No one is cured of mental illness. That is why developing skills to cope and function appropriately is such a huge part of mental health treatment. Therapy for people with serious mental illness isn’t just about analyzing their daily lives, it is about learning how to respond in situations and practicing that response. It seems unlikely to me that Brittney could get up on stage and perform night after night if she had not developed a number of coping skills.

    • Arpeggi says:

      The relationship part is always tricky; people that aren’t competent to make decisions for themselves still want to feel loved and are sexual beings whether they have Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome or BPD or whatever else that severely affect their capacities. Do I think it’s uncomfortable that the conservatorship has a say about who Britney gets to sleep with? Yes, but I’m also not privy to how these decisions are made or to her medical records. Ultimately, it still seems like those decisions were taken with her best interest in mind, though that doesn’t mean that mistakes and bad decisions can’t be made

  5. Digital Unicorn says:

    This is all so sad. The thing with the driving is that she’s been caught driving whilst texting (apparently her security gave her the option of either driving or texting, she wanted to drive so they took the phone off her) and lets not forget the times she was papped driving with her baby son unsecured on her lap but then again her excuse was that she was from the south (indicating thats how they do things where she is from – maybe they do, I don’t know).

    At the time of the Trawick story I thought that this was a move by Jamie to lessen the load on himself of looking after her, I still do. Jamie maybe many things but he did save her life and rebuilt her fortune up after she and her enablers blew through most of it.

    I think the conservatorship will continue but it might be that they take the family out of it and that might be for the best. It seems Lynne and Jamie are set to fight it out in court over access to her and her fortune.

    • Himmiefan says:

      I’m in the South, and I’ve never seen anyone drive like that!

      • runcmc says:

        I’ve seen it, but it’s still trashy. It’s not like it’s acceptable in the south.

    • Megan says:

      Brittany believes Jamie involuntarily committed her which suggests to me the relationship has devolved to a point where they can no longer work together productively. I think a change is inevitable, but it would be so sad if that change was Lynne.

      Off topic: Just before sister Jamie announced she was pregnant, Lynne signed a deal to write a book on parenting. My mom (who barely knows who Brittany is) asked me if was going to be a guide to making your child the family breadwinner.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        It would be considering she hasn’t had a good relationship with her mother for a long time. The reason Britney cut her off was that she found out Lynne was conspiring, behind her back, with KFed for him full custody of the children (granted Lynne was concerned about her party lifestyle). At the time of her 2nd hospitalisation Lynne arranged for Dr Phil to stage an intervention at the hospital, you know the kind of thing any normal caring mother would do – call a TV Dr asking them to visit their very sick daughter. Britney herself described Lynne as poisonous and not to be trusted. Britney is using her mother to get some of the conditions her father placed on her loosened like who she can invite into her home.

        This is a great article that talks about what happened around her breakdown:

      • Rina says:

        @digitalunicorn Thank you for sharing the link to the backstory.

        My heart goes out to Britney. I really hope that she will be okay.

    • dogmom says:

      @DigitalUnicorn ITA about the Trawick situation — that’s always what I thought too. I get Kaiser’s point but this is a such extraordinary circumstance. And superficially, I really wish Britney would not have gotten the last nose job she got!

  6. Michael says:

    WTF happened to her? Did she just fly off the rails or was this a slow build-up? I remember her breakdown but I assumed it was a temporary thing not a lifelong problem.

  7. Wow says:

    Long term conservatorships are extremely rare. There are only a handful in our court systems that aren’t for the elderly or severely developmentally disabled. Clearly, its necessary even if to the outside it seems unfair because she appears well.

    I’m surprised there has been a lack of check ins and court oversight through the years. Very very severe mental illness that is so debilitating you are no longer competent or lucid and need constant care is extremely rare. It can be difficult for the public to understand since mental illness is common and there are plenty of functional adults with bipolar or schizophrenia which are generally what people assume she has one or the other.

    There needed to have always been consistent oversight and if there wasn’t the court failed. Do I think they should cut her loose? No, I don’t think she would survive long without oversight.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what I was thinking too, why hasn’t this been re-evaluated on the regular? It seems like every 6-12 months or something, the courts should look at her doctors’ reports, financial reports, etc, and determine if anything needs to change.

      I really feel for her, and for her children, and I hope that people involved have her best interests at heart.

      • Megan says:

        This is why Brittany should have had a court appointed advocate. I find it crazy that the judge did not insist that she have an advocate to ensure Jamie did not abuse his power.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @Megan: She does have an advocate, its mentioned in the Rolling Stones article I posted above. He’s been there since the beginning. Britney has always know her rights and she’s know that she could challenge the conservatorship whenever she wanted and she is doing that now.

    • LadyT says:

      There absolutely, positively HAVE been evaluations and consistent court oversight. Separate issue—- her mother and others? and Britney (under influence and in an unstable condition) are asking for a review of those evaluations and prior court orders. This is stirring the pot, questioning what was WORKING. This is not in Britney’s best interest. Who is trying to benefit??? Unfortunately Courts can’t just say no, we refuse to address your concern if you bring in enough lawyers and “experts.” They HAVE to evaluate THEN say all is well, concerns are unfounded. Lost time, money and unnecessary turmoil for Britney. This FREE Britney business is an abomination. The opposite of what is best for her. IMO.

  8. HelloDolly says:

    This whole thing has always given me the chills. Those that argue that Jamie was doing what was best for her out of love, don’t understand the concept of least restrictive practices. We cannot just slap a court order controlling our loved ones life because we do not agree with the decisions they make and they are mentally ill. They should have the freedom to make their choices, however bad they are. The fact that she had a job and was working almost everyday, told me that she was a capable human being. She couldn’t have done that if she was that sick. The whole Jason thing was gross. I’m glad they are being investigated. By all accounts her father was abusive to her growing up, and to give him control? That’s odd and sick.

    • Erinn says:

      “The fact that she had a job and was working almost everyday, told me that she was a capable human being.”

      I mean – you have child actors out there working everyday and doing fine. It doesn’t mean that they’re capable of living their life without someone taking care of them. Just because someone can go to work (while keeping leveled out by medication and while other people make their decisions for them) means very little in terms of how capable someone is.

      And you also have to consider that she is capable of working because she’s keeping up on her medication. If she goes off of the medication while unsupervised you’re going to see a VERY different story.

    • LadyT says:

      Yet the results show otherwise. Jamie’s care brought Britney back from the brink and maintained her for the last 10 years. The minute he became so sick as to take his focus off her for a time (thus leaving a gate open on his restrictive practices)—in swoop the vultures, Britney goes on tilt. The truth is in the evidence.

    • Alissa says:

      Well, one can argue that she “wasn’t that sick” because she was being made to take her medication and be in therapy and stick to routines. It is fairly common that when left to make the decision on their own, those with severe mental illness will stop taking their medication or going to therapy as soon as they feel they no longer need it.

      The truth is that we have zero idea of her diagnosis, her needs, or her symptoms. She has appeared to do well under the conservatorship – before that was in place, she had erratic behavior even BEFORE she had her full public breakdown. Let’s not forget the Vegas marriage and then marrying K-Fed 9 months after that.

      I would argue that both of her parents failed at various points as parents. Her dad seemed to get it together once he got sober. Her mom wrote a book about Britney in 2008, when she was still dealing with the public breakdown. I don’t know what is good for Britney and what isn’t, but I hope she can succeed in whatever she wants.

    • Molly says:

      A normal person getting themselves to work and then independently doing their job all day is very different than the bubble that can be created around a celebrity if needed. Staff can be hired to get Britney out of bed, put coffee in her hand, drive her to the theater, plop her in a chair while others do her hair/makeup, dress her in costume, and lead her on stage before someone hits play on the track.

      I’m not saying all that happens to Britney, but it certainly can be arranged. MANY a rock star or pop star, whether addict or diva, have relied on a team of people to get them out on stage each night without doing a single task on their own.

      • LadyT says:

        I recall an older blind item from an assistant that stated she literally showered her employer, who acted like a passive infant, only to witness her TURN ON like a switch the instant reporters/public arrived. (Not Britney, verified as someone else)

      • Aren says:

        Britney always gave me that impression, that everything was handled for her since she was a child.
        She never had any agency, I remember an interview about the time she posed half naked (don’t know if for Rolling Stone), she said she had a breakdown because she didn’t want to do it.

  9. SamC says:

    Bipolar meds are no different than meds for other illnesses in that they can lose their effectiveness over time, as body/brain chemistry changes. Figuring out how to recalibrate, while keeping the person safe, can result in hospitalization. Thought the whole “Free Britney” thing was ridiculous and she was probably exhibiting some of the symptoms of her previous breakdown if it went to the extreme of having her stay in a facility. My BFF was diagnosed 15 plus years ago, in her early 30’s, and has had several short stints; when she has had major life upheavals, ie one of her parents had a heart attack, the increased stress impacted her meds effectiveness. In addition, while she is fully independent, her parents have, or maybe share control is a better term, over her finances because one of the first signs of her entering manic phase is uncontrolled spending.

    I never had a problem with the conservatorship or how it was managed. As someone else noted, even for an average person under one it can be a lot of work for the person managing and from what I read, Jamie Spears continued to run his catering company and had a solid team helping. Also doubt if Britney didn’t want to do Vegas, etc., she wouldn’t have been forced.

  10. Jb says:

    Imagine having all that money and then not being able to trust your own family to care for you without money coming into play?! I don’t envy her even though the thought of having 7 figures in my bank account would make life so much easier. Again hopefully there’s someone close to her actually think g about what’s best for her instead of how can we keep the money rolling in…Jamie and Lynne are the perfect example of stage parents using their child as a means to a end

  11. Shell says:

    This whole situation gives me the creeps. I totally understand that this conservatorship was needed ten years ago after her very public meltdown but I don’t understand why she still needs it. If she’s truly that mentally unstable then why is she being worked like a champion racehorse? Keeping her docile and making money off of her. Maybe it wouldn’t feel so gross to me if the conservator was an outside party and not her own father.

  12. Purplehazeforever says:

    I doubt Britney would have survived without her father past her very public breakdown so the conservatorship saved her life. Many of you commenting clearly don’t know what it’s like to deal with someone who has a serious mental illness & I’m not talking about depression. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc are not managed without medication. Borderline personality disorder combined with those diagnosis makes it even more challenging because I’m not aware of medication that can treat borderline personality disorder. None of us know what Britney was diagnosed with but for a conservator to be granted & for it to last this long, it has to be significant. So the comments about how it gives people the creeps Jamie was in charge is bizarre, he saved her life. Her mother almost destroyed her…who do you think normally runs one? Family members or lawyers. Up until last year, a lawyer was running it with him.

  13. DirtyBird says:

    I’ve always been suspicious that the conservatorship has been to wait out a statute of limitations for something from the Sam Lutfi days. Who knows what she got into back then! I think that with enough money you can get a doctor to sign off on a conservator. With enough money you can get someone to sign off on anything, even bone spurs…

    • Amaria says:

      Conservatorships are not easy to get. It’s not a paper signed off by one doctor, it’s a whole process and it’s the judge who decides. Britney is very obviously ill and might need structured, sheltered environment for the rest of her life. It happens.

  14. jen says:

    I dunno, it’s starting to feel really unethical and shady just reporting on this, and all the speculative comments on top. This is private and personal, and should remain so. I would think that all these reports and speculation are actually making it harder for Britney, I think we should all lay off.

  15. Liz says:

    Pointing to a woman and repeating “CRAZY!” sounds like the plot of a dark 50’s melodrama about gaslighting. As a viewer you cringe when you watch everyone in the story go along with an obvious set-up. …This is how I see Britney’s life and the bizarre narratives spun around her sanity. Some interests close to her are very invested in keeping her credibility in constant question.

  16. Cheche says:

    This sounds more like her father is unable to continue as conservator and a thorough review is being done before the next one is assigned. I’ve had some experience (unfortunately) with this kind of thing and there are regular reviews of the financial & medical stuff. But when one the conservators has to be replaced that triggers a whole new level of review.

  17. Amaria says:

    I’m so disgusted by the Free Britney movement thing. It seems ignorant and disrespectful at best. The situation is extremely sad all around whatever the case and it all needs to handled in private. She’s a vulnerable person who might be easily swayed by opinions, leading her to think she’s fine when she obviously isn’t is just evil.

    • Yes Doubtful says:

      I agree, and those same “fans” who are so concerned about her are the first ones to run out and buy her new product or see her LV show. I feel sad for Britney because I don’t think she really has anyone that she can trust and rely on that doesn’t want something from her or isn’t on payroll. I hope her manager is right and she will retire. Move out of LA and find some peace!

  18. Yes Doubtful says:

    I think her father saved her life and it’s easy to make sweeping statements that she’s being used or can’t control anything in her life when no one has any idea what her diagnosis is. Maybe she shouldn’t drive! Maybe she can’t be trusted with her kids? Who knows? She has looked awful rough this year so something is going on. Hopefully the courts will do right by her.

  19. Other Renee says:

    What scares me the most is that the slime ball Sam Lutfi is poking his nose into the situation. You just know he’s hoping to find a crack in the wall surrounding Britney and ooze his way back into her life. And money.

  20. Lex says:

    I was looking forward to going to see her show when i go to Vegas next year but absolutely nothing is worth someone’s life descending into chaos. I hope things work out for her and she feels safe and secure, away from those who would take advantage of her. If she never performs or releases music again but it saves her life and ensures she can see her kids, it is absolutely worth it. Celebrities do not owe us a chunk of flesh. Get well soon Brit