Britney Spears is asking a California court to remove her father, Jamie Spears, who has long handled the decision-making in both her personal and professional life, as her sole court-appointed conservator.
The pop star’s attorney requested that Jodi Montgomery, the temporary, licensed professional conservator overseeing her protracted case since September, be named permanent conservator of Spears’ personal affairs, according to court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
“We are now at a point where the conservatorship must be changed substantially in order to reflect the major changes in her current lifestyle and her stated wishes,” Spears’ attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, wrote in documents filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The 38-year-old entertainer is “strongly opposed” to having her father return as what the court calls a “conservator of her person” and “strongly prefers” that Montgomery continue in that role before her appointment expires on Aug. 22.
Britney Spears hasn’t fully controlled her life for years. Fans insist it’s time to #FreeBritney.
As for the estate, Jamie Spears has been calling the shots since his co-conservator Andrew M. Wallet resigned in March 2019. Spears is also opposed to her father continuing in that capacity by himself and prefers to have a “qualified corporate fiduciary” appointed to serve in the role, according to the documents cited by The Times.
Ingham said he expects the efforts to be “aggressively contested” by Jamie Spears, The Times reported.
A remote status hearing in the case has been scheduled for Wednesday. To coincide with it, a #FreeBritney rally outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown L.A. has been organized to demand an end to the conservatorship altogether.
Since 2008, when she was twice committed to a psychiatric ward, the pop star has been under the legal guardianship of her father, lawyers and a care manager. The rare legal arrangement, meant to protect individuals who are unable to care for themselves, allows the elder Spears to negotiate on his daughter’s behalf in business, sell her property and control who she can see. All of her purchases are logged in a spending report that is sent to the court on an annual basis.
In Tuesday’s documents, the singer’s attorney summed up the lifetime of the case in three phases. The first is `triage,” in which her conservators “rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin” when the case began in 2008. The other two phases cover her resurgent performing years, followed by her recently stated desire not to perform.
In recent months, the singer’s fans have reignited fears that she is trapped and sending coded messages for help through her Instagram posts, The Times reported. In April, after the mother of two revealed she accidentally burned down her home gym, her followers bombarded her post with comments expressing their concern for her well-being. One urged Spears to wear a specific color of outfit in her next Instagram post, and when she did, it was taken as a sign that she was indeed secretly requesting aid.
Last year, she canceled her Las Vegas residency and checked into a mental health facility after revealing that her father was sick. She has not performed live since 2018.