Britney Spears' father denied objecting to her recent trip to Hawaii as he argued against her plea that he be removed from her conservatorship in a court document filed Friday.
Vivian Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears, wrote that the claim that he had disapproved of her Maui vacation last month was false, and that other accusations in the 39-year-old pop star's request for an expedited hearing on her petition to suspend her father were "unsubstantiated" and "vague."
On Thursday, the pop star's attorney Mathew Rosengart filed an application to move the Sept. 29 hearing up, saying the Hawaii dispute "underscores" why his removal could not wait. Rosengart also said that while rescheduling the hearing on Spears' request to remove her father to an earlier date is "important," his "immediate suspension ... would be the most effective interim remedy."
In Friday's filing, Thoreen said Spears' father did not object to rescheduling the hearing for an earlier date but argued that "there is absolutely no urgency justifying" the application and that "there are no grounds whatsoever" to remove him as conservator of her estate.
"For over thirteen years, Mr. Spears has dutifully and faithfully served as the Conservator of his daughter’s Estate without any blemishes on his record," Thoreen wrote. "This is not an opinion; he has taken the Estate from being in debt and
facing tens of millions of dollars of lawsuits to a current value of well over $60 million."
The singer formally asked the court to suspend her father and appoint a professional fiduciary to take his place last month. Her request is supported by her mother, the current conservator of her personal life, and her medical team, according to court documents.
Calls to #FreeBritney and get rid of Spears' father from the court-mandated arrangement, which gave him and others control of her life in 2008, have intensified since the singer told the court that her conservatorship was "abusive" in an emotional and explosive hearing on June 23.
During her testimony, Spears said she was required to take medication that made her feel drunk and that she has been prevented from exercising a wide range of innate rights, like riding in her boyfriend's car and getting her IUD removed. Since then, her father has tried to shift the blame and asked the court to investigate the claims she made.
"These issues regarding Ms. Spears’s medical treatment are indeed serious, but Mr. Spears has not been in control of his daughter’s medical treatment since late 2018," Thoreen wrote.
In a declaration included in Friday's filing, Spears' father said he had hired Jodi Montgomery, the current conservator of her personal life, to be her case manager and "assist in all aspects of her medical decisions and treatment" in August 2018. He claimed that due to his own health issues he hadn't been in control of his daughter's medical treatment since late 2018 — even though he was still conservator of his daughter's personal care at that time. Montgomery was appointed to be Spears' temporary conservator in September 2019.
Her father also claimed that it was Montgomery and her former court-appointed attorney Sam Ingham who admitted Spears to a mental health facility in early 2019 — a stay that the singer told the court in June she felt forced into.
But in a statement to BuzzFeed News, Montgomery's attorney Lauriann Wright said that was "unequivocally NOT TRUE."
"Only the Conservator of the Person would have had that power (with the Conservatee’s consent) — and, again, that was Jamie Spears in March 2019," Wright said, adding that while Montgomery may have signed paperwork for the facility, "she did so only as Case Manager and only at the direction of Jamie Spears."
According to Wright, the decision to place Spears in the facility was made by her treating psychiatrist at the time, Timothy Benson, who had claimed she had "abused" her "by the treatment" he provided her in her statement to the court. Benson has since died.
The pop star's father also said that Montgomery had called him on July 9 and "sounded very distraught" as she expressed concern about his daughter's recent behavior, adding that she was not "timely or properly" taking her medications and wasn't listening to her medical team.
He also alleged that Montgomery had "acknowledged that many of [Spears'] statements at the [June 23] hearing were not true and attributed her statements to the fact that [she] is 'mentally sick'" and "raised potential options including a 5150 psychiatric hold."
But Wright said the father's declaration "misrepresents" what Montgomery said regarding a potential 5150 hold.
"At no time did Ms. Montgomery express to Mr. Spears that Ms. Spears would currently qualify for such a hold," Wright said, adding that Montgomery is saddened that her call to Spears' father "is now being misrepresented and manipulated to gain some sort of tactical advantage in the pending proceedings to remove him as Conservator."
“We all need to focus on one thing, and one thing only — the health, well-being, and best interests of Britney Spears,” Wright said.