Britney Spears: Judge rules singer's father must share conservatorship
Friday - 12/02/2021 11:37
A judge has denied a request by Britney Spears' father to exert greater control over her finances.
Jamie Spears has controlled his daughter's financial affairs since 2008, but the singer has recently indicated she wants him removed.
On Thursday, a judge upheld a previous ruling that made a financial company a co-conservator for the singer.
The judge rejected Mr Spears' request to keep his previous level of power over his daughter's investments.
The ruling means Mr Spears and the private trust company, Bessemer Trust, will now have equal power to manage her finances.
As a result, he is now expected to work with the company to create a budget and investment proposal for the singer's estate.
The conservatorship is a legal arrangement that was put in place because of concerns about her mental health.
Los Angeles Judge Brenda Penny appointed Bessemer Trust as co-conservators in November, but rejected the star's effort to remove her father entirely.
Jamie Spears had objected to Bessemer's involvement, arguing that it reduced the power he has held for years. Judge Perry threw out his objection on Thursday. Another hearing is scheduled for 17 March.
Britney Spears' lawyer Samuel D Ingham III has previously said the singer is "afraid" of her father and does not want him to control her finances and career.
On Thursday, Mr Ingham reiterated the pop star's wish, adding that it was "no secret" she didn't want her father to be a co-conservator, but acknowledged that removing him altogether would be a "separate issue".
Interest in the case has been renewed after the recent release of a documentary that focuses on the conflict over the singer's guardianship.
Framing Britney Spears, which was produced by The New York Times, examined the conservatorship in depth, as well as how the singer has been treated by the media throughout her career.
It also explored the #FreeBritney movement, a campaign by some of the star's fans who believe her life and career are being controlled against her will. Campaigners from the group were outside the hearing on Thursday.
Babs Gray, host of the BritneyGram podcast, told the BBC outside the court: "It hasn't changed anything much today... I don't think a lot of forward movement will happen until Britney's lawyer actually files to get her out of the conservatorship."
She said interest in the #FreeBritney issue had "exploded" in the past week as a result of the documentary.
"It's been really encouraging to see how supportive everyone is about the movement, how they are reckoning with how Britney was treated in the past," she said. "I hope its not just a flash in the pan. I hope people keep paying attention and keep putting the pressure on."
Britney Spears hasn't performed live for more than two years, and insists she has no intention of doing so again until her father is forced to relinquish control over her career.