Britney Spears' Father Loses Case To Have Sole Control Over Her Estate
On 13th February 2021
LA probate judge denied the objections made by the 39-year-old singer’s father, Jamie Spears, who did not want to share power with Bessemer as equal co-conservator of his daughter. The decision came less than a week after the release of New York Times documentary ‘Framing Britney Spears’.
LA judge denied Britney Spears' father sole control over her finances
LA probate judge denied the objections made by the 39-year-old singer’s father, Jamie Spears, who did not want to share power with Bessemer as equal co-conservator of his daughter. The private trust company, after a grueling process, won equal power over Britney’s finances.In November, the judge in the case declined to remove Jamie, but added Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator and corporate fiduciary. At Thursday’s hearing, Jamie lost his bid to retain the power to delegate investment powers for the estate.
Following a week of swirling social media chatter, fan speculation and critical re-evaluation surrounding the life and music career of Britney Spears, the legal battle over her personal well-being and finances continued on Thursday in a brief, staid court hearing that focused on the minutiae of estate management, legal representation and scheduling.
Last year Britney filed against her father as conservator
In January of 2019, the singer announced an indefinite work hiatus from her Las Vegas concert residency and entered a 30-day voluntary residential treatment facility. Wallet resigned shortly after, in March. Spears has never voiced — in court or on social media, in the court of public opinion — a desire for the conservatorship to be removed completely. Last year, her lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, stated in a filing that she "strongly opposed" her father as conservator and that she refused to perform if he were in charge of her career.
Lawyers for the pop star and her father, from whom she is estranged, discussed how he would share management of her finances with a corporate fiduciary.Britney is far from winning the case but in November, the judge granted her wish to bring someone else into the equation with equal power to her father to control her finances and choices. Against Jamie’s objections, Bessemer was appointed to the conservatorship in November.
The judge denied her wish to remove him completely
However, the judge denied Britney’s wish to remove her father completely from the case. Ingram elaborated upon and said, "It's no secret that my client does not want her father as co-conservator, but we recognize that removal is a separate issue."In a statement after the hearing, Thoreen said, “My client looks forward to working with Bessemer to continue an investment strategy in the best interests of his daughter.”
Ingham told the court that the nature of a co-conservatorship is that James Spears' powers as sole conservator, appointed by the court in 2019, would be reduced. Thoreen argued that the court orders should be consistent with the 2019 order that gave him sole conservatorship."There's no intent or desire to create unequal power or decision-making as between the two, your honor," Thoreen argued. "This is a way to make it consistent and to not take away powers that Mr. Spears as a conservator had."
Her fans launched a #FreeBritney movement
Fans of the singer launched a #FreeBritney movement amid the legal battle, alleging that James Spears has abused what was meant to be a temporary conservatorship. “Framing Britney,” released last week on Hulu, interviewed a number of the activists behind the movement, as well as Britney Spears’ former assistant.
Junior Olivas, a fan who credited Britney Spears’ for helping him through difficult times, was among the #FreeBritney protesters who demonstrated in front of the Los Angeles courthouse while her case was being heard.
My heart said, ‘No matter what, you’re taking your butt there, and you’re going to help her just the way she helped you,'” Olivas said in the documentary.
A number of celebrities have posted support for Britney Spears following the release of the documentary, including Bette Midler and actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
Both conservators are expected to work together
The objection was denied by the judge. Both James Spears and Bessemer Trust are expected to work together on a budget and investment proposal for Britney Spears' estate following Thursday's hearing.
“My client looks forward to working with Bessemer to continue an investment strategy in the best interests of his daughter, my client Jamie Spears has diligently and professionally carried out his duties as one of Britney’s conservators, and his love for his daughter and dedication to protecting her is clearly apparent to the court," the statement said.
Lynne and Britney Spears
Britney Spears' mother, and James's ex-wife, Lynne Spears was allowed to take part in the hearing as an interested party.
In a statement released through her lawyer, she said her daughter should not be forced to obey her father's demands, calling their relationship "toxic."
Britney's boyfriend Sam Asghari also criticized her father
Sam Asghari, who has been dating Britney Spears since 2016, criticized his girlfriend’s father in an Instagram Story on Wednesday and said he had “zero respect” for the man
“Now it’s important for people to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way,” he wrote Tuesday morning, adding a “mic drop” gif.
“In my opinion James is a total d—. I won’t be going into details because I’ve always respected our privacy but at the same time I didn’t come to this country to not be able to express my opinion and freedom,” the Iranian actor added.
James Spear defended his conservatorship
James Spears defended his conservatorship to Page Six last year, telling the tabloid that he loved his daughter.
“All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything,” James Spears said. “The world don’t have a clue. It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.”
Another hearing on the conservatorship is scheduled to take place next month.