TMZ has reported that James Spears is stepping down as Britney Spears’ conservator to escape the ongoing public battle with his daughter. But, just because James will no longer be conservator doesn’t mean Britney is finally free, as it seems a new conservator might be taking James’ place. TMZ cited the new legal document saying James ‘intends to work with the Court and his daughter's new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator.’
Will a new conservator take James’ place?
The document continued to state that: ‘there are, in fact, no actual grounds for suspending or removing Mr Spears as the conservator of the estate ... and it is highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms Spears’ best interests.’
Nevertheless, even as Mr Spears is the unremitting target of unjustified attacks, he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests.
The papers then go on to state that ‘even though he must contest this unjustified petition for his removal, Mr Spears intends to work with the court and his daughter's new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator.’
Celebrity lawyer Matthew Rosengart, Spears’ chosen representative, also told TMZ that the pair were ‘pleased but not necessarily surprised at the turn of events.
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.
Rosengart went on to hint that just because James is stepping down doesn’t mean that the legal battle is over:
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. In the interim, rather than making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr Spears should remain silent and step aside immediately.
What’s happening with Britney’s conservatorship?
News that James is stepping down is just the latest victory for Britney, who addressed the court in June, describing the conservatorship as ‘abusive.’
James, otherwise known as Jamie, was appointed as the pop icon’s conservator back in 2008, after a hugely publicised breakdown. James was then placed in control of Britney’s entire life, both personal and financial. And according to Britney, even choices about her own contraceptives were made without her consent.
James stepped down as conservator of Britney’s personal life in 2019 due to health reasons. Still, he remained partly responsible for her finances, alongside Bessemer Trust, a company assigned to the stars’ estate the same year after a private court hearing. Jodi Montgomery, a professional, also took Jame’s place as conservator over Britney’s personal life.
In June, Britney started campaigning once again to win back the rights to her own life. The Circus singer described her situation to the judge:
The last time I spoke to you [the judge] … made me feel like I was dead. I am telling you again because I am not lying … so maybe you can understand the depth and the degree and the damages … I deserve changes.
She continued: ‘I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I have an IUD inside of myself so that I don’t get pregnant, but [my team doesn’t] want me to have any more children.’
The judges ruling didn’t work out in Britney’s favour at the time. However, weeks later, she was granted permission to part from her court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham. The pop star ended up hiring powerful Hollywood lawyer Matthew Rosengart. Rosengart, then in late July, filed a petition for Britney’s father to be replaced with Jason Rubin, a principal at a company called Certified Strategies which specialises in estate financial management, elder financial abuse investigation, investment fraud investigation and securities litigation.
Soon after the June court case, Bessemer Trust also stepped down as co-conservator over Britney’s finances, claiming that they believed the conservatorship was voluntary and that she had consented to the firm’s management.
Currently, Britney’s assets are valued at over $50 million, and the star has made claims that her father was using his position of conservator for his own financial gain, sparking the petition to have Jamie removed.
Britney’s fight for freedom has also gained huge support online, with Celebrity names like Cher, Christina Aguilera, and ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake aligning themselves with the #FreeBritneymovement.
Cher famously Tweeted that when Britney is finally free, she’ll take her to Saint Tropez and ‘eat ice-cream to her heart’s content.’