A judge has overruled Jamie Spears’ objections to a joint conservatorship of his daughter Britney Spears’ estate in a court hearing on Feb. 11. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny ruled on Thursday that Jamie will remain co-conservator alongside the Bessemer Trust Company, a private wealth management and investment advisory firm. Additionally, the judge also denied Britney’s request to remove her father from the conservatorship entirely.
Britney’s attorney Samuel Ingham told the court that it was “no secret” that Britney “does not want her father as co-conservator, but we recognize that removal is a separate issue,” according to Variety. Ingham said the purpose of the co-conservatorship proposal is to give Jamie and Bessemer Trust Co. “an equal division of responsibility” in the “hopes that they would sit down and figure out together the best way to handle this complex estate for the benefit of my client.”
Ingham has in the past indicated that he will revisit his request to remove Jamie from the conservatorship completely, but the request was not broached on Thursday. However, on July 1, Bessemer Trust pulled out of Spears’ conservatorship completely, according to TMZ, due to the controversy surrounding Spears’ landmark testimony on June 23, where she called the legal arrangement “abusive” and gave shocking claims against her father. This leaves Jamie as the sole conservator of Spears’ estate, a situation that the singer was trying to avoid.
The court hearing comes about a week after the release of FX and the New York Times’ Framing Britney Spears, a documentary that critically examines the conservatorship, which has given Jamie control of Britney’s finances and major life decisions. The pop star’s father has been in control of her finances and estate since about 2008. He temporarily stepped down from the role in late 2019 due to “personal health reasons,” and Britney’s longtime “care manager” Jodi Montgomery temporarily filled in.
Last December, Jamie spoke out about his conservatorship role after the #FreeBritney movement reached a fever pitch. “When a family member needs special care and protection, families need to step up, as I have done for the last 12-plus years, to safeguard, protect and continue to love Britney unconditionally,” he told CNN. “I have and will continue to provide unwavering love and fierce protection against those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her or my family."
Framing Britney Spears features a slew of #FreeBritney activists calling for the removal of the conservatorship once and for all, maintaining that these legal constraints imposed on the pop star are against her own will. A few #FreeBritney activists stood outside of the court with supportive posters on Thursday, while thousands of others gathered on Zoom for a virtual #FreeBritney rally. Per Variety, the court will hold additional conservatorship hearings on March 17 and April 27.