Britney Spears will finally get to speak to the court about her conservatorship

Britney Spears attends The Premiere of "Once Upon A time ...in Hollywood" in Los Angeles

There’s been a lot of back-and-forth in the gossip and tabloid media about Britney Spears this year, especially following Framing Britney Spears, which was largely about how people have been terrible to Britney throughout her life. It’s hard to tell whether Britney actually wants her conservatorship removed. Perhaps she believes she still needs some kind of structure, especially financially, or perhaps she knows that removing the conservatorship entirely could be a fool’s errand. What she does want right now, this year, is to have her father Jamie Spears removed from the conservatorship entirely, to remove his influence from her life completely. So, here’s the update: Britney will speak to the judge in an upcoming hearing.

After years of silence, Britney Spears will speak to the probate court in June regarding her long-standing legal conservatorship. At a hearing on Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny scheduled a hearing on June 23 to allow Spears to speak on the “status of the conservatorship.”

Samuel Ingham, the probate attorney appointed to represent Spears in the case, asked the court to set the date “on an expedited basis,” but did not indicate what Spears would say. Spears has been under the court-approved conservatorship for the last 13 years. She has made it clear that she no long wants her father, Jamie Spears, to act as her conservator.

Last fall, at Ingham’s request, the judge appointed Bessemer Trust to act as co-conservator along with her father. That order has yet to take effect, as the attorneys continue to quibble over the governing language. At the hearing in probate court on Tuesday, the attorneys gave the court updates on various motions and accounting issues related to the conservatorship. A separate hearing to address those matters was set for July 14.

The conservatorship has been the focus of renewed attention since “Framing Britney Spears,” a documentary about the case, was released in February. The doc gave voice to Spears’ fans who have raised questions about whether the court’s orders have been in her best interests. Spears responded to the documentary last month, saying on Instagram that she was “embarrassed” by it.

[From Variety]

It’s a big deal that Britney will be able to speak on her own behalf and address the judge and express her wishes. But, again, I don’t think this about removing the conservatorship completely. I think this is entirely about her toxic father and having HIM removed from any and all decision-making.

Britney’s parents are beefing in court as well – it’s complicated, but from what I can tell, Lynne Spears is questioning how much Jamie has been paying himself from Britney’s estate. Lynne also seems to be accusing Jamie of using Britney’s money to hire a PR/law firm to launch a public campaign to keep the status quo with the conservatorship, basically. I mean, I think both of Britney’s parents are trash, but Lynne has come upon something kind of interesting. I believe Kevin Federline chanced upon the same issue, which is that no one knows the extent to which Jamie has helped himself to Britney’s money. Britney’s estate needs a massive audit.

britney jamie spears

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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29 Responses to “Britney Spears will finally get to speak to the court about her conservatorship”

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  1. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    About time. The fact that her father has been able to pay for the very lawyers arguing to maintain the status quo from HER money is seriously unhinged.
    Also, shouldn’t there be some limitations on conservatorships? She’s been subject to one for fifteen years.

  2. Lauren says:

    Conservatorships are a mess. They have been gaining attention in the last decades because too many legal guardians are exploiting and mistreating their conservatee. The USA should review the whole thing and make drastic changes because if world star Britney Spears is having these violations of her rights, imagine all the private citizens we know nothing about. I’m so happy that Britney is going to get her day in court, but I’m hoping that it sparks a bigger talk about conservatorships and that they have to go.

    • LaraK says:

      Conservators should OnLY be independent outsiders – bank trustees, lawyers, etc. Where there is recourse and where you can change conservators on demand.

      • Lauren says:

        I’ve seen cases of independent outsiders lawyers and bank trustees being named legal guardians for elderly body-abled, people living on their own and it’s a mess. For every one person doing right by their conservatee, there are 10 spending all of their conservatee’s money, selling their assets, and making sure that the conservatee can do nothing about it. No, it needs to go.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      The criteria for establishing a conservatorship should be far more strict and there should be yearly auditing of the estate by a court appointed firm and that firm should be rotated so they don’t do two years in a row (so fresh eyes are on the money every year). There needs to be far more checks and balances than there are. But sometimes, conservators are a necessary evil. I believe that the conservatorship saved Britney’s life, but there were no checks and balances on it and the goal should have always been to fade the conservatorship over time.

      • Kosher says:

        She actually had an independent investigator and auditor, Sam Ingham, from nearly the very start (believe it was 2009), appointed by the court. Later he became her court appointed lawyer and remains so to this day.

        The court deemed she couldn’t appoint her own lawyer (the guy she wanted to rep her was interviewed for that recent documentary), probably because it was afraid she’d end up with a shifty lawyer. Ingham is an expert in conservatorships. Britney is lucky she’s rich and high profile; no one could get away with skimming off her for too long without drawing attention.

    • josephine says:

      They are necessary in a lot of cases. We just need more oversight, and no one wants to pay for that because it is very labor intensive. It’s the same situation as fostering kids, child abuse investigations, etc. There is no money for it, and the people who need protecting can’t speak for themselves. But simply abandoning conservatorships is not the answer, either. In her particular case, I’m afraid of what would happen without the conservatorship – some other predator might just slip into place, without the court to at least theoretically oversee the situation.

  3. Jais says:

    Please audit this and get rid of her father as conservator. Then move into the whole conservatorship. This situation is enraging and sad.

  4. Cecilia says:

    I feel for britney so much. I hope she can get her father removed. I still haven’t wayches the doc. I hope it becomes available outside of the US

  5. LaraK says:

    Conservatorship should NeVeR be to family. Independent law firm or trustee only!
    Of course he is embezzling through loopholes!
    And of course he wants to keep her down!
    Independent trustee and move on!

    • Tinnie says:

      Her father has always been dodgy; how did he get approved to begin with? (I didn’t realize that often it isn’t a family member tho’ outsiders can take advantage also …) He was the one who orchestrated the whole thing – I guess that’s how? He also got the judge to remove giving her five days notice of the – at the time pending – conservatorship which is customary… and she couldn’t hire her own lawyer at the beginning despite two lawyers who met with her saying she knew what was going on. The doctor who was supposed to “evaluate” her was replaced with another at the last minute. Now it’s been said no “capacity declaration” was ever filed. She’s had to deal with a court appointed attorney all these years (13) and her dad, who she has a terrible relationship with; he couldn’t wait to have power over her and has wielded it abusively. Her sons have a restraining order against Jamie Spears (imagine that? And he’s still involved in this conservatorship… in any other situation would this be okay?). Her dad allegedly threatened to take custody away from her if she fought it early on. The idea that someone’s parents at this age are so involved in this person’s life… If she had been a young man, this would never have happened. At this point, the courts, the attorneys, everyone involved is complicit. And she’s had to put up with so much, being isolated from friends, having her freedom taken away, that I worry without the right lawyer, it’s going to be difficult for her to fight hard. She’s doing more than she has but she’s still isolated. Her fans have been amazing. Free Britney.

    • Chloe says:

      Never is strong. My mom has a conservatorship over my sister and while she’s both physically and mentally disabled, so it’s a different case, I cannot imagine non family ever being able to care for her the way she has or we could. There’s too much nuance in understanding not only her needs but her wants due to her mode of communication

      • liz says:

        Agreed. My cousin was the conservator for her father after his dementia made it impossible for him to care for himself and made it impossible for him to understand why he was no longer able to do so. An independent trustee wasn’t going to take the time to make sure that he went to the dentist on a regular basis or that the dentist was someone he was comfortable with. She was.

        When you are talking about a substantial amount of money, having an independent trustee and/or auditor looking at the finances makes sense. When you are talking about daily supervision of an adult who, for whatever reason, is truly not capable of caring for themselves, it’s very, very different.

        I wish your sister and the rest of your family well.

      • molly says:

        Exactly. If left to an underfunded institution, you’re right back to the problems of foster care and state elder care. I’ve not done research, but I suspect the number of successful family conservatorships (like yours and Liz’s) far outweigh the potentially shady ones like Britney.

    • Arpeggi says:

      I wouldn’t say never. If a lot of money is involved, a 3rd party overseeing the financial portion could be useful. But we’ve named my great-aunt as my grandma’s conservator this winter because she’s the only one living nearby and my grandma’s cognitive decline is pretty steep and I much prefer her doing this than a stranger. I know she has her sister’s interests at heart and be a good advocate for her

      • Kosher says:

        I read the courts actually much prefer appointing family as they’re less likely to be self-interested and more likely to do a good job.

  6. SusanRagain says:

    I hope she gets her freedom and controls her own money and choices ASAP.
    I wish her a healthy, safe future filled with peace and happiness.

    • Amando says:

      You really think she’s able to do that? Have you looked at her Instagram? She is not well and very child like.

    • nb says:

      @Amando I agree – if her IG posts are a true look into her life (although I’m sure they’re approved by someone on her team before being uploaded) they show a very sweet person with a good heart, but more with the thought process of a teenager than an almost 40 year old woman. What strikes me as sad is that she doesn’t appear to have many friends outside of her BF. She seems very lonely and bored, hence the fashion shows, rambling, posting the same or very similar selfie pics over and over again, and dance videos.

      @Susan I wish the same, but honestly don’t know if that would be best for her based on what I’ve read about her and seen on her IG. I think she does need someone to watch out for her, keep her from being taken advantage of, and manage her money. But I do wish she had more personal freedom to do what she wants without being a carefully controlled cash cow for her family and label.

  7. Molly says:

    It’ll be real interesting to see if she comes in to “answer the questions you’ve all been asking” and rocks, baby voices, and rambles like she does on Instagram. I suspect they’ll pass on that mess and have her come in to read aloud a letter and no more.

    • detritus says:

      Are you making fun of her mental health? I can’t really tell

      • molly says:

        Not making fun of her at all.
        Maybe her instagram all an act, I have no idea. Maybe she’s like Paris Hilton who can turn off her persona of talking to her dogs in a baby voice and act like a grown woman when needed. But if rocking, rambling Britney is the only “interviews” she’s capable of doing, it’s not something I’d put in front of a judge.

      • MissMarirose says:

        It certainly sounds like it.

    • Jules says:

      I wish her the best. I’ve seen her instagram videos and I can see why people are wondering what is going on with her. If it’s an act, if it’s mania, if it’s related to medication, who knows. Hopefully the judge has all the info they need about what is going on with her, and makes the best decision for her mental health.

    • Emily_C says:

      If her mental health is that bad, how come she’s been able to do stage shows, which are incredibly stressful? She’s not asking for a removal of the conservatorship anyway, just a removal of her abusive father who has never seen her as anything but a big stack of money.

  8. lucy2 says:

    I hope this resolves in the best way possible for her.

  9. Amelie says:

    I wonder what will happen once Britney’s sons are of age. I just checked, in the US you have to be at least 18 years of age to be a legal guardian (which seems so young!). Her oldest son is 15 and the youngest 14 so 18 is not far off. I doubt they would want to take on being their mother’s conservator at such a young age but if they wanted to, they could probably challenge Jamie for it when they are of age. I wonder what’ll happen then. I can’t say the sons would have their mother’s best interests at heart either, who knows. But if Britney needs to continue in a conservatorship, it sounds like the next best option. I hope someone will advise them when they are of age because their mother’s estate is their inheritance and who knows what Jamie is doing with it.

  10. Willow says:

    It’s been pointed out many times the Britney has no control over her Instagram account or any of her social media, so we have no idea if it is her or someone else posting those videos.

    I find it suspicious that in every article about her, there is always at least one commentor posting about how worried they are for Britney and the fragile state of her mental health because of her ‘current’ Instagram posts. Someone out there doesn’t want us to forget that Britney has mental health problems and is still not stable enough to be independent.