Today brings another troubling development in Britney Spears’ ongoing battle to have her father, Jamie Spears, removed as conservator. The Associated Press has the latest on the lengthy saga, which spurred a passionate #FreeBritney movement on social media and inspired countless Google searches of “what is a conservator?” Spears lost a court appeal to suspend her father’s conservatorship, which has given him ultimate control over his daughter’s career and finances for more than a decade. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny rejected the appeal, but said that she would consider future appeals to suspend or remove Jamie’s conservatorship.
Spears’ attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, says he intends to do just that. In the meantime, Judge Penny approved Bessemer Trust to serve as co-conservator alongside Jamie, per Britney Spears’ request. “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” said Ingham. “She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”
Jamie Spears successfully took conservatorship over Britney’s estate in 2008, following the singer’s highly-publicized personal struggles. Such actions are fairly common and meant to protect the interests of those whose mental capacity may hinder them from taking care of themselves. But conservatorships are also intended to be temporary, which has made this case very unusual. Fans became increasingly concerned when Jamie Spears temporarily stepped down from the conservatorship due to illness, leading Britney to ask the court to make his replacement, Jodi Montgomery, permanent. This development, along with reports that Spears had not spoken with her father in years, further validated the #FreeBritney movement.
Of particular note is the aforementioned assurance from Spears’ attorney that his client will not perform again so long as her father retains control of the estate—we’re not legal experts or anything but that kind of sounds like what you might call a warning shot.