Celebrity singer Britney Spears may be finally free by her 40th birthday in December after her father, Jaime Spears, petitioned to end his daughter’s conservatorship Tuesday.
In the surprise move by her father, who has fought to keep Britney under guardianship for more than a decade, the petition to the Los Angeles Superior Court argues the pop star’s circumstances have changed to the point that the arrangement may be doing more harm than good.
“Recent events related to this conservatorship have called into question whether circumstances have changed to such an extent that grounds for establishment of a conservatorship may no longer exist,” the filing reads, according to CNN, which obtained a copy.
Ms. Spears has told this Court that she wants control of her life back without the safety rails of a conservatorship. She wants to be able to make decisions regarding her own medical care, deciding when, where and how often to get therapy. She wants to control the money she has made from her career and spend it without supervision or oversight. She wants to be able to get married and have a baby, if she so chooses. In short, she wants to live her life as she chooses without the constraints of a conservator or court proceeding.
Spears has remained under the conservatorship of her father in a temporary arrangement that turned permanent in 2008, affording her family control over a Forbes-estimated $60 million estate. Since then, Spears’s handlers have maintained not only control of the singer’s finances, but also Spears’s housing, health care, and social life under a legal arrangement typically reserved for those who suffer severely debilitating conditions, which include severe mental issues or old age.
From her conservatorship’s inception, however, Britney rejuvenated her career with four new albums, three world tours, and completion of a grueling four-year residency in Las Vegas.
In June, the princess of pop railed the conservatorship in a public rebuke of her handlers as “abusive.” She also charged them with barring her from another pregnancy in the form of a forced IUD.
“After I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m okay, and I’m happy, it’s a lie,” Britney said. “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.”
Weeks later, Britney’s court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, stepped down. The financial firm Bessemer Trust, which was appointed co-conservator to manage the singer’s estate last November, also petitioned to remove itself from the arrangement.
Britney sought to remove her father as a co-conservator but the judge denied her request in July.
According to the Department of Justice, 1.3 million adults are under conservatorships that dictate an estimated $50 billion in assets. Two top Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee demanded hearings on conservatorship reform in March, citing abuse of the system as an infringement on civil liberties.
The court hearing in Britney’s case is currently scheduled for Sept. 29.