There was a lot of rejoicing in one of my group threads with the news that Britney won in court against her toxic father. However this sounds like a minor victory to me, but good continual progress for Britney. This story is complicated, and I have better understanding of it after talking to my friend, Lisa, who is co-host of the Eat, Pray, Britney podcast. My interview with Lisa is going to air in this week’s Gossip With Celebitchy podcast! Stay tuned for that on Sunday morning when episode 82 comes out.
As you know, Britney is under a dual conservatorship of her person and her finances. Some of the things I learned from Lisa and the Framing Britney NY Times documentary are that 1) conservatorships are a last resort as they’re practically forever, 2) Britney’s dad, Jamie, doesn’t have her best interests at heart and 3) Britney’s visitation with her sons has been held over her head as a strategy to get her to comply. In 2019, Jamie Spears temporarily stepped down as the conservator of Britney’s person after he allegedly abused her son, Sean, then-13. Britney got a restraining order against Jamie at the time with K-Fed’s help. Jamie is still conservator of Britney’s finances, however Britney successfully petitioned the court in November to have an investment company, Bessemer Trust, step in as co-conservator of her estate. This latest ruling makes no changes to that and continues Bessemer’s co-conservatorship of Britney’s money.
The legal battle over conservatorship of Britney Spears’ estate continued in court on Thursday.
Though the pop star was not in attendance, her father Jamie Spears attended virtually as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny heard arguments from both Spears and her father’s attorneys.
The hearing focused on the November appointment of Bessemer Trust to serve as co-conservator — along with her father — of Spears’ estate. Judge Penny ruled in favor of keeping the co-conservatorship and made no changes at Thursday’s proceedings.
Spears had previously petitioned to have her father removed as co-conservator. The latest ruling does not preclude her attorney, Samuel Ingham III, from submitting another petition for his removal.
Ingham, who also attended the hearing virtually, reiterated that his client “does not want her father as co-conservator and we recognize removal is a separate issue.”
Vivian L. Thoreen, attorney for Jamie Spears, issued a statement to CNN Thursday night.
“The Probate Court’s rulings today show the court’s confidence in our client Jamie Spears and Bessemer Trust to manage the conservatorship of Ms. Spears’ estate together. My client looks forward to working with Bessemer to continue an investment strategy in the best interests of his daughter,” Thoreen’s statement read in part.
This is good news, but it speaks to how slow and difficult it is, even for a massively wealthy famous white woman, to get out from under a conservatorship. Let’s get into the weeds for a moment. I learned in the Framing Britney documentary that Britney sought to have her own representation before the conservatorship went into effect in 2008. The lawyer she spoke to, Adam Streisand, said Britney told him at the time that she knew the conservatorship was inevitable but that she did not want her father to be in control of it. Britney was given a court-appointed lawyer instead, Samuel Ingham III, who remains her lawyer to this day. She has had a court-appointed lawyer for 13 years, but her wealth and work are literally paying for her father’s lawyers to keep her under his control. Do you see how this works? Lawyer Vivian Thoreen was also interviewed in the documentary, she’s a conservatorship expert. She said that she has never seen a case of anyone successfully getting released from a conservatorship. Vivian Thoreen is now working for Jamie Spears to keep Britney under Jamie’s conservatorship!
In the last episode of the Eat, Pray, Britney podcast they talked about the fact that it’s a catch 22 gaslighting situation for Britney and that everything she does and says is interpreted under the lens that she’s crazy and deserves to be in this conservatorship. I told Lisa during our interview that it reminds me of the Rosenhan experiment, where psychology students checked into a mental health facility in the 1970s. The other patients quickly realized that the students didn’t fit in and shouldn’t be there, but the staff thought that their note-taking and other observant behaviors were pathological. What could Britney do to convince people that she is able to manage her own healthcare, money and life? It’s been over a decade now and she’s been on X-Factor live and done Vegas residencies. Imagine how elderly people fare under conservatorships where family members want access to their money.