Britney Spears’ manager Larry Rudolph resigned on July 5 after 25 years of serving in the position. Just hours later, Spears’ court-appointed lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III also resigned from his post after representing her for 13 years. Both exits come roughly two weeks after Spears spoke out against her conservatorship in court on June 23, saying that the legal arrangement, which was set up in 2008, had become “abusive” after an alleged 2019 incident in which she was held at a mental health facility against her will, among other claims.
Rudolph gave his letter of resignation to Spears’ father Jamie, who was Spears’ primary conservator until August 2019 and remains in charge of her estate, and her current caretaker Jodi Montgomery, explaining that he hadn’t spoken to Spears in two-and-a-half years after she announced an indefinite work hiatus in January 2019, according to Deadline.
In his letter, Rudolph alleged that “Britney had been voicing her intention to officially retire” and claimed that he had never been apart of the conservatorship or its operations. “I was originally hired at Britney’s request to help manage and assist her with her career,” he wrote. “And as her manager, I believe it is in Britney’s best interest for me to resign from her team as my professional services are no longer needed.”
As for Ingham, he was apparently “extremely upset” about Spears’ emotional testimony, in which she revealed that she never knew she could petition to terminate her conservatorship, among other bombshells. TMZ claims that Ingham gave his client many options, including “requesting that the conservatorship should end,” contrary to Spears’ statement. However, he will not talk further into his decision to resign, citing attorney/client confidentiality. The outlet reports that more resignations are to follow, but also that people on Spears’ conservatorship team will try to debunk claims made by Spears in court.
Amid the wave of resignations, Montgomery confirmed in a statement that she would stay put as Spears’ conservator for the time being. “Ms. Montgomery has no plans to step down as Ms. Spears' Temporary Conservator of the Person,” her lawyer Lauriann Wright told PEOPLE. “She remains committed to steadfastly supporting Ms. Spears in every way she can within the scope of her duties as a conservator of the person.” Wright went on to claim that the singer asked Montgomery to stay as recently as July 6, and promised that she would work for Spears as long as she and the courts need her to.
The resignations could spell good news for Spears in court. Ingham’s resignation means that Spears may finally be allowed to hire her own legal counsel to allow her to petition to finally end the conservatorship.
Contrary to Rudolph’s statements, Spears has not yet confirmed that she plans to retire from her career, and his resignation is not a signal that she’s about to make this move official. In court documents, Spears declared that she doesn’t plan on performing again as long as father remains involved in her conservatorship. In June 2021, the “Gimme More” singer also told fans in an Instagram video that she has “no idea” if or when she’ll take the stage again. However, she has not indicated whether she plans to proceed with her career should the conservatorship be terminated, as she would like. In fact, Spears told Judge Brenda Penny in court that she only requested a “2- to 3-year break” after completing her four-year residency Piece Of Me, which her team denied her, meaning she may just be looking to take more time for herself.
However, the resignations could spell good news for Spears in court. Ingham was appointed to serve as Spears’ attorney in 2008 after the singer made multiple attempts to hire her own legal counsel, which were denied by the court and conservators. Spears even remarked during her testimony that she could never hire an attorney. “I’ve been talking to [Sam] like three times a week now, we’ve kind of built a relationship, but I haven’t really had the opportunity to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself,” she said. “And I would like to be able to do that.”
Ingham’s resignation means that Spears may finally be allowed to select and hire her own legal counsel to work on her behalf and finally allow her to petition to end the conservatorship. However, that decision will be left to the courts, who have not yet indicated what they will allow in light of Ingham’s resignation. The fight to #FreeBritney is far from over.
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