Britney Spears, 39, is one step closer to ending her ongoing conservatorship: her father Jamie Spears, 68, has agreed to step down as conservator of her estate according to court documents obtained by HollywoodLife on Thursday, Aug. 12. Judge Brenda J. Penny previously denied Britney’s request to remove Jamie from the role, which he has held for 13 years.
Jamie’s agreement to step down comes despite his lawyer saying there is “no actual grounds for suspending or removing” him, per the docs. His “public battle with his daughter” is his primary reason, according to court documents. “There are, in fact, no actual grounds for suspending or removing Mr. Spears as the Conservator of the Estate under Probate Code section 2650. And it is highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms. Spears’ best interests,” quotes from the document read.
Until July, Jamie co-managed the “Toxic'” singer’s business affairs with wealth management group Bessemer Trust, who requested to withdraw amid ongoing controversy — leaving Jamie the sole conservator of her estate. Of note, Jodi Montgomery remains in the role of conservator for her person.
Following Jamie’s agreement to step down, Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart — who she hired by her own choice — also issued a statement to HollywoodLife. “I announced in Court on July 14 that, after 13 years of the status quo, it was time for Mr. Spears to be suspended or removed as conservator and that my firm and I would move aggressively and expeditiously for that outcome,” he said.
“Twelve days later, my firm filed a Petition for Mr. Spears’s suspension and removal based on strong, insurmountable legal grounds, which were unequivocally supported by the law and all parties involved, including Jodi Montgomery, Britney Spears, and her medical team,” he also said in the statement.
“We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney. We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others,” the lawyer added. “We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter’s estate, and I look forward to taking Mr. Spears’s sworn deposition in the near future.”
Bessemer Trust requested to withdraw from the conservatorship arrangement according to court documents filed on Thursday, July 1 — just eight days after Britney’s bombshell 23 minute testimony. The Kentwood, Louisiana native made a number of allegations against the 13-year long arrangement which she deemed “abusive.”
She added that she wants to “end the conservatorship without being evaluated” and that it was “not OK to force me to do anything I don’t want to do” in reference to her 2018 world tour. Britney further revealed she was unable to marry and have another baby with her boyfriend Sam Asghari, 27, due to an IUD her conservators “won’t let” her remove. Britney also compared her father Jamie to a “sex trafficker” who allegedly “forced” her to work a 2018 world tour.
Bessemer Trust‘s resignation from the conservatorship was in direct response to Britney’s court statement. “As a result of the conservatee’s testimony at the June 23 hearing…Petitioner has become aware that the Conservatee objects to the continuance of her Conservatorship and desires to terminate the conservatorship,” Bessemer’s filing read. “Petitioner has heard the Conservatee and respects her wishes,” they also said.
The New York based financial firm was brought on board after Britney’s former lawyer Sam Ingham made the request on the singer’s behalf. In the filed documents from Aug. 27, it was explained that Jamie was serving “alone” as sole conservator of her estate which she “strongly apposed.” The documents went on to explain she wished for a “qualified corporate fiduciary appointed to serve in this role.” After a Nov. 2020 hearing, Bessemer Trust was appointed as co-conservator. Ingham resigned on July 6.
Britney’s recent request to have her dad Jamie removed from her conservatorship was denied on June 30 by judge Brenda J. Penny. “The conservator’s request to suspend James P. Spears immediately upon the appointment of Bessemer Trust Company of California, N.A. as sole conservator of estate is denied without prejudice,” the order read.