In a surprise move, Britney Spears’ father asked a judge on Tuesday to end her conservatorship, which would allow the singer unfettered control over her life, her finances and her health care decisions for the first time in 13 years.
Jamie Spears filed a petition with probate judge Brenda Penny, saying that recent events have shown that she “should get that chance” to control her own affairs.
“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,” wrote his attorney, Vivian Thoreen.
“As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter. If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance,” Thoreen wrote.
The move comes three weeks before a Sept. 29 hearing on whether Jamie Spears ought to be removed as conservator of his daughter’s estate. Britney Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, has kept up intense pressure on Jamie Spears since coming into the case in July, accusing him of abusing his power over her and of dissipating her estate.
Jamie Spears had offered last month to step down as the conservator, but only after a negotiated settlement could be reached. Rosengart has resisted that, saying there is nothing to negotiate and that Jamie Spears should resign immediately.
Rosengart has not, as of yet, taken the next step of seeking to end the conservatorship. Instead he has asked for an accountant to take control of Britney Spears’ finances. Another professional, Jodi Montgomery, would continue to serve as conservator of Spears’ “person.”
In Tuesday’s filing, Jamie Spears suggested that Penny could order an end to the conservatorship without a further psychiatric evaluation, which had been seen as an obstacle to formally dissolving the arrangement.
“This filing represents a massive legal victory for Britney Spears, as well as vindication,” Rosengart said in a statement on Tuesday. “Having exposed his misconduct and improper plan to hold his daughter hostage by trying to extract a multi-million dollar settlement, Mr. Spears has now effectively surrendered. There is no settlement. To the extent Mr. Spears believes he can try to avoid accountability and justice, including sitting for a sworn deposition and answering other discovery under oath, he is incorrect and our investigation into financial mismanagement and other issues will continue.”
Jamie Spears’ position on the matter is not dispositive, and it’s not entirely clear how the situation will play out from here. But it certainly appears that the conservatorship has entered its endgame.
“Mr. Spears believes that Ms. Spears is entitled to have this Court now seriously consider whether this conservatorship is no longer required,” Thoreen wrote.
At a public court hearing in June, Britney Spears spoke for 24 minutes, repeatedly denouncing the conservatorship and her father.
“I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day,” Spears told the judge at the time. “I’m not lying. I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested.”