A California judge denied celebrity icon Britney Spears’ attorney’s request to remove her father, Jaime, as co-conservator of her estate on Wednesday.
According to TMZ, Britney’s lawyer, Sam Ingham, filed for the court to relieve Jaime of his role in the conservatorship stretching 13 years and be replaced by Bessemer Trust as the sole conservator. The same request was made and denied in November. The financial institution did, however, become a co-conservator in February, with equal power over Britney’s finances, according to Entertainment Tonight Online.
The latest request by Britney’s lawyer was made on the 25th, after testimony, according to TMZ, in which Britney addressed her conservatorship for the first time publicly since its temporary-turned-permanent inception in 2008.
In court last week, Britney pleaded to be released from the chains of her conservatorship immediately. Conservatorship is a legal arrangement routinely reserved for those who suffer debilitating conditions, which include severe mental issues or old age. Britney was placed under the conservatorship after a public mental breakdown in 2008. Ever since, her family has dictated how her money is spent, where she lives, who she sees, and the medical professionals who treat her.
“After I’ve lied and told the whole world ‘I’m okay, and I’m happy,’ it’s a lie,” Spears told the L.A. judge. “I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in hock. I am traumatized… I’m not happy, I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane, and I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
Britney also charged her family with placing her on forced birth control in the form of an IUD.
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” she said. “But [my team doesn’t] want me to have any more children.”
Instead, Britney said she had been forced to work a grueling schedule to grow her estate to a Forbes-estimated net-worth of $60 million, money she has no control over.
“I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking,” Britney said. “They’ve done a pretty good job exploiting my life.”
Britney’s productivity since her conservatorship began has raised questions about its necessity, offering no picture of a person who is severely incapacitated. Within the past decade, Britney has released four albums, gone on three world tours, and completed a four-year residency in Las Vegas.
Jaime Spears has vehemently denied the allegations made in court and filed paperwork to investigate his daughter’s claims, raising concerns over Jodi Montgomery, who has been Britney’s court-appointed conservator of the person since September 2019. A “conservator of the person” under California law, is one who is tasked with securing “arrangements for the conservatee’s health care, meals, clothing, personal care, housekeeping, transportation, and recreation.”
Thursday’s decision to retain Jaime as a co-conservator against Britney’s protest is an ominous sign for the singer’s request for independence. The next hearing is scheduled for July 14.
The controversial saga has sparked discussion of reform for conservatorships and their infringement on individual liberties. In Congress, two top Republican lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Matt Gaetz of Florida, have demanded hearings on conservatorship reform. According to the Department of Justice, 1.3 million adults are under conservatorships that manage an estimated $50 billion in assets.
Nearly four months after their March letter, Democrat Chairman Jerry Nadler has shown no interest in the issue. At the state level, however, Democrat lawmakers in California have been moving forward with legislation on the issue.