Pop princess Britney Spears’ court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham III, is stepping down from the celebrity conservatorship, Variety Magazine said on Wednesday.
Ingham filed the paperwork in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, Variety reported, after representing the singer since the conservatorship’s inception 13 years ago. In 2008, Britney’s father, Jaime, was appointed sole conservator of her estate, which is now worth $60 million, according to a Forbes estimate.
Ingham’s decision comes two weeks after Britney railed the entire arrangement as “abusive” and charged her captors with barring her from any more children with forced birth control in the form of an IUD.
“After I’ve lied and told the whole world ‘I’m okay, and I’m happy,’ it’s a lie,” Spears told an L.A. judge, addressing the conservatorship in public for the first time. “I’ve been in denial, I’ve been in shock. 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.”
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” she added, “but [my team doesn’t] want me to have any more children.”
While Britney directed most of her ire in her 24-minute court remarks at her father, the pop star also charged Ingham with encouraging her to remain compliant with the conservatorship and not petition for its termination. Britney said she was unaware she even could make a formal request for its expiration, a common misconception held among conservatees in Britney’s position across the country, provoking calls for reform.
According to the Department of Justice, 1.3 million adults are under conservatorships that dictate an estimated $50 billion in assets.
While the legal arrangements are supposed to be held for individuals who suffer debilitating conditions, which include severe mental issues or old age, Britney’s past productivity throughout her conservatorship has raised questions about its necessity. Since 2008, Britney has rejuvenated her career, released four albums, gone on three world tours, and completed a grueling four-year residency in Las Vegas. Last week, however, the presiding judge in the case denied Britney’s request to remove her father as a co-conservator with Bessemer Trust. The financial firm also filed court paperwork to resign from the case last week following Britney’s explosive testimony.
The judge’s ruling to keep her father onboard, however, is an ominous sign for the star’s request that the arrangement be terminated altogether so she can assume her independence. Another hearing is scheduled for July 14 next week.