The court-appointed attorney who has represented Britney Spears in her conservatorship since it began is resigning in the wake of the pop star's explosive comments about the legal arrangement that has put her father and lawyers in control of her life for more than a decade.
In a new filing Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Samuel Ingham informed the judge of his resignation and that of co-counsel Loeb & Loeb LLP. He also requested that their departures take effect "upon the appointment of new court-appointed counsel."
Ingham did not provide a reason for his resignation or indicate whether the 39-year-old singer had chosen a new attorney, as she told the judge that she'd like to do. Ingham did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' questions.
On June 23, the 39-year-old singer addressed the court in a rare public hearing, sharing a series of shocking revelations — including that she'd like to get married and have another child, but under the conservatorship, she hasn't been able to make a doctor's appointment to remove her IUD. During her statement, Spears said she had not known that she could petition to end the legal arrangement — a claim that has put additional scrutiny on Ingham, who was appointed to represent her when the court first approved the creation of the conservatorship on Feb. 1, 2008.
Ingham's resignation comes days after Bessemer Trust, a wealth management firm that was appointed to manage Spears' estate with her father, filed to resign as a co-conservator, saying that it “heard the Conservatee and respects her wishes." In a separate filing last week, her father, Jamie Spears, denied any involvement in his daughter's care and asked the court to investigate her claims.
Spears' comments came months after the New York Times' Framing Britney Spears documentary was released, 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 continues to hold over her financial and physical well-being, given her return to a successful music career.
Fans who have pushed to #FreeBritney have long questioned whether Ingham has been acting in Spears' best interest. The day before she addressed the court, the Times reported that Spears had pushed to end the conservatorship for years, and during her public statement, she told the judge she wanted to be freed. But Ingham, who, according to the Times, is paid $475 an hour to represent Spears and made about $373,000 for his work with her in 2019, has never filed a petition to terminate the arrangement.
Under the conservatorship, the singer pays the legal fees for her attorney and those of her conservators.
"He’s making bank loads of money. They all are," #FreeBritney activist Junior Olivas told BuzzFeed News last month. "When you're making that much money for like doing nothing why would they want to end it?"