- 30 Sep 21
Jamie Spears has been suspended from his daughter's conservatorship after 13 years - but what does that mean for the popstar's freedom?
A Los Angeles court suspended Britney Spears' father from his role overseeing her estate, after the judge said that it was "no longer tenable" for him to remain in charge of the pop superstar's money.
The ruling marks a major victory for the 39 year old singer, who has been fighting to have Jamie Spears removed from her conservatorship since 2019
A hearing has also been scheduled to discuss terminating the conservatorship entirely for November 12th.
The elder Spears was made conservator of Britney's person and estate back in 2008, after she was deemed unfit to look after herself after suffering a series of mental breakdowns. She publicly testified on the conservatorship for the time ever on Jun 23rd this year, where she revealed details of her mistreatment and pleaded for her father’s removal, saying “I want my life back.”
After resisting attempts to remove him from his daughters conservatorship, Jamie filed his own petition to terminate the conservatorship earlier this month. At yesterday's hearing, his legal team argued against his suspension, instead arguing termination of the complex legal arrangement was the correct course.
However Britney's lawyer, Matthew Rosengart alleged Jamie wanted the conservatorship ended to avoid having his files closely examined: "What he is afraid of is the revelation of his corruption."
Rosengart argued forcefully for Jamie’s removal during a heated hearing, calling an end to the "Kafka-esque nightmare" Britney was enduring. "He must be suspended today, not because a lawyer is arguing it but because Britney Spears is pleading for it."
After the ruling, Britney, who was not present at the hearing, posted a video of herself at the controls of a plane captioned "on cloud 9 right now".
Judge Brenda Penny ordered Jamie to turn over all relevant documents to a certified public accountant appointed as temporary conservator of Britney's estimated 60 million dollar estate.
His lawyer Vivian Thoreen defended her client’s "impeccable" record as conservator and argued that there was no justification for his removal. After Judge Penny ruled that Jamie's suspension was "unappealable", Thoreen said she will be exploring appeal options regardless.
By suspending Jamie yesterday, rather than ending the conservatorship outright, Rosengart and others on Britney's legal team will be able to take a "top-to-bottom look" at his actions over the years of Britney's conservatorship. Rosengart repeated in court his previous claims that Jamie's U-turn on ending the conservatorship was an attempt to avoid any revelations of corruption.
He also argued that Jamie had crossed "unfathomable lines" and should face a criminal investigation for engaging in illegal surveillance of Britney, including communications with her children, her boyfriend and her lawyer, referencing Controlling Britney Spears, a follow up documentary by The New York Times to their explosive documentary Framing Britney Spears earlier this year.
Since his appointment as Britney's legal representation in July this year, Rosengart has worked quickly to remove her father from her conservatorship. Jamie had temporarily stepped down as Britney's personal conservator in 2019 due to ill health, which prompted the singer's bid to have him removed as conservator of her multi-million dollar estate.
John Zabel, a California-based public accountant chosen by Rosengart and Britney, has now been appointed to manage her estate temporarily. Jodi Montgomery will remain as conservator of Britney's person.
Fans outside the courthouse and online reacted exuberantly to the news, and celebrities such as Cher, who has been a vocal supporter of the #FreeBritney movement, also took to social media to celebrate.
I’ve Talked & 🙏🏻🙏🏻‘d About This 4 YEARS👏🏼.
IM MORE THAN THRILLED 4 HER🎂‼️
BLESS OUR SUPER 🌟#FREEBRITNEY
— Cher (@cher) September 29, 2021
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- 20 May 22