Britney Spears' Father Is Shifting The Blame In New Court Filings After The Singer's Explosive Testimony
Jamie Spears also asked the court to investigate the claims his pop star daughter made about her treatment under her long-running conservatorship.
Britney Spears' father, who along with an array of lawyers has legally controlled the pop star's money and life for 13 years under a court-mandated conservatorship, denied being involved in her care after she shared a series of shocking revelations about her treatment under the arrangement.
In documents filed late Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, an attorney for Jamie Spears said he was concerned about "the management and care" of his 39-year-old daughter. He asked the court to investigate the claims she made last week, when she asked a judge to end her conservatorship.
"Either the allegations will be shown to be true, in which case corrective action must be taken, or they will be shown to be false, in which case the conservatorship can continue its course," the documents state.
Hours later, on Wednesday, Judge Brenda Penny filed an order officially appointing Jamie Spears and Bessemer Trust as co-conservators of the singer's estate, cementing her decision in November 2020 to deny Britney Spears' request to suspend her father as conservator of her finances.
On June 23, the singer addressed the court in a public, emotional hearing for the first time, saying she believed the conservatorship was "abusive" and has prevented her from living a full life. She also revealed that she was required to take medication that made her feel drunk and that she hasn't been allowed to go to the doctor to remove her IUD so she can have another baby.
“I just want my life back," Spears said during the virtual appearance.
In March, Spears' court-appointed attorney Samuel Ingham filed a petition asking that Jodi Montgomery, the singer's current conservator of the person, permanently replace her father in that role. In response, Spears' father questioned whether that was truly his daughter's desire. Montgomery was appointed as Spears' temporary conservator in September 2019 when her father stepped away due to his health.
Since then, it has been Montgomery, not Jamie, his attorney asserted, who "has made such decisions regarding Ms. Spears’ personal care and medical treatment."
"Mr. Spears, therefore, was greatly saddened to hear of his daughter’s difficulties and suffering, and he believes that there must be an investigation into
those claims," his attorney Vivian L. Thoreen wrote, adding that he "is unable to hear and address his daughter’s concerns directly because he has been cut off from communicating with her."
The filing also stated that the petition filed by Ingham was not signed by the pop star herself. Ingham did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
The pop star's comments in court came months after the release of the New York Times' Framing Britney Spears documentary, sparking a reexamination of how she was treated by the media before and during her public breakdown. The documentary also questioned the control that her father has continued to hold over her financial and physical well-being, given her return to a successful music career. The day before she addressed the court, the Times reported that the singer had pushed to end the conservatorship for years, telling the court in May 2019 that she felt forced by the conservatorship to perform and to check into a mental health facility.
The documents filed by her father's attorney on Tuesday did not directly address Spears' previous statement to the court, which was sealed, or the Times' reporting. However, Thoreen wrote that when Spears' father did serve as her conservator of the person, "he did everything in his power to support and care" for her "well-being and her personal decisions including marriage."
In a statement released Wednesday, Lauriann Wright, an attorney for Montgomery, said the conservator "has been a tireless advocate for Britney and for her well-being" and that since her appointment in 2019, she and the singer's medical team "have had one primary goal — to assist and encourage Britney in her path to no longer needing a conservatorship of the person."
Wright said Spears' right to marry and have kids is not affected by the conservatorship under probate law and that Montgomery "has and will be there" to help the pop star if she "needs any assistance with either." Wright added that because Montgomery is not the conservator of the estate, every expenditure she makes has had to be approved by Spears' father.
"Practically speaking, since everything costs money, no expenditures can happen without going through Mr. Spears and Mr. Spears approving them," Wright said.
According to the order filed by the judge on Wednesday, Jamie Spears and Bessemer Trust hold the joint power to "take all actions necessary to secure" the singer's assets, "revoke all powers of attorney, including powers of attorney for making health care decisions and managing real estate," and "pursue opportunities related to professional commitments and activities," among other responsibilities.
Wright said Montgomery "has advocated on Britney's behalf for any expenditures" that Spears or her medical team have recommended, but that "not every requested expenditure has been approved."
"While it is Ms. Montgomery's professional duty to be Britney's protector and advocate, honoring her wishes and seeing to her best interests while Britney is under conservatorship, it is her sincere personal wish that Britney continues to make meaningful progress in her well-being so that her conservatorship of the person can be terminated," Wright said.
A petition to terminate the conservatorship has not yet been filed, according to online court records.