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Britney Spears conservatorship: Star fights to reveal ‘family secrets’

Written by on 5 September 2020

Britney Spears is fighting for details about her conservatorship to be made public, despite her father’s efforts to keep the case sealed.

Jamie Spears has had strict control over his daughter’s life since 2008, when the pop star’s very public breakdown led him to take charge of her personal and financial decisions.

Britney, 38, is now asking a judge in LA to allow scrutiny of the conservatorship, with lawyers arguing it is in both her and the public’s interest.

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Jamie Spears has had control over his daughter’s personal life since 2008

Britney’s lawyer, Samuel D Ingham III, says although the order is supposedly for her “protection”, she is “vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret”.

He also appeared to endorse the #FreeBritney movement – a viral campaign set up by fans – in his court filing.

It reads: “Britney’s conservatorship has attracted an unprecedented level of scrutiny from mainstream media and social media alike.

“Far from being a conspiracy theory or a ‘joke’ as James reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of James’ aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimise the amount of meaningful information made available to the public.”

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Britney’s father has regularly sought to have legal filings sealed from the public and hearings held behind closed doors, many times successfully.

Britney Spears with her sons Sean (L) and Jayden (R) in 2017
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Britney Spears with her sons Sean (L) and Jayden (R) in 2017

While Britney’s lawyer said those tactics may have had “merits” when the singer was trying to restart her career, “at this point in her life when she is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans”.

Fans regularly stage protests outside the Los Angeles Superior Court during hearings using the hashtag #FreeBritney on social media.

They believe the singer has been coerced into giving away financial control and have called for an investigation into the conservatorship.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: A supporter of Britney Spears gathers with others outside a courthouse in downtown for a #FreeBritney protest as a hearing regarding Spears' conservatorship is in session on July 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Spears was placed in a conservatorship managed by her father, James Spears, and an attorney following her involuntary hospitalization for mental care in 2008. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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Fans staged a #FreeBritney campaign outside a court in Los Angeles

The movement has gained support from celebrities including Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter, Ruby Rose and Paris Hilton.

For the first 11 years of the conservatorship, Britney’s father was co-conservator with lawyer Andrew M Wallet, who resigned in 2019 – automatically giving Jamie Spears sole control over her life.

Jamie Spears temporarily stepped down as his daughter’s conservator last year due to health problems but retained control of her finances.

Jamie Lynn Spears has been a trustee of the pop superstar’s multimillion-dollar estate since 2018
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Jamie Lynn Spears has been a trustee of the pop superstar’s multimillion-dollar estate since 2018

Britney has requested that licensed professional Jodi Montgomery, who is currently in charge of her personal affairs, be named permanent conservator.

Late last month, Britney’s younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears filed a court order requesting that assets currently stored in a trust fund set up for Britney’s sons Sean, 14, and Jayden, 13, be moved into accounts of which she is a custodian.

Britney Spears performing in Las Vegas in 2016
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Britney hasn’t performed live for several years

The teenagers have lived with Britney’s ex-husband, Kevin Federline, since he was granted sole custody of them in 2008, when Britney was granted frequent visits.

Court documents revealed that Jamie Lynn has been a trustee of the pop superstar’s multimillion-dollar estate for the last two years.

In the event of Britney’s death, Jamie Lynn would also administer the family’s assets for her children.

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Britney has not performed live since 2018, when she abruptly cancelled her Britney: Domination Las Vegas residency and checked into a mental health facility.

Court documents say that Britney will not be returning to the stage again any time soon.