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Britney Spears’ father removed from conservatorship role

By | Published on Thursday 30 September 2021

Britney Spears

A judge in LA has removed Britney Spears’ father from his role as conservator of her estate. Judge Brenda Penny also indicated that she now plans to begin the process to completely terminate the conservatorship that has controlled Britney’s personal and financial affairs for thirteen years.

Jamie Spears has played a key role in running his daughter’s music business and personal life through the conservatorship ever since it was created by the courts back in 2008, the legal arrangement being put in place after Britney went through a very public mental breakdown.

Legal wrangling over the running of the conservatorship began after Jamie temporarily stood down due to ill-health. On his return, it was argued that Britney no longer wanted her father involved as a conservator. It was during the subsequent legal back and forth that Britney gave a headline grabbing testimony in court, in which she called the conservatorship “abusive” and requested that the arrangement be terminated, while being particularly critical about her father.

In the wake of that testimony, various people involved in the conservatorship resigned, including Britney’s court-appointed lawyer. The attorney who replaced him, Matthew Rosengart, quickly got to work pulling the conservatorship apart, in particular demanding that Jamie be removed from his role as conservator of his client’s estate with immediate effect.

Jamie initially resisted calls for him to resign, but then said he would step down from the conservatorship when the time was right, insisting a smooth transfer was required to any new conservator. But then, out of the blue, earlier this month Jamie filed new legal papers calling for the entire conservatorship to be terminated.

Although Rosengart said that Jamie’s sudden support for ending the conservatorship was “a victory and vindication” for Britney, he also questioned the motives behind that change of position. Accusing Britney’s father of “evident and ongoing” mismanagement of his client’s finances, he said Jamie was now pushing for the termination of the conservatorship in a bid to avoid any scrutiny of his handling of his daughter’s estate.

With that in mind, Rosengart argued, Jamie needed to be removed from the arrangement urgently, even if the conservatorship was going to be wound down completely later this year anyway. “Every day Mr Spears clings to his post is another day of anguish and harm to his daughter”, Rosengart declared.

In the latest court hearing on the conservatorship yesterday, Jamie’s legal rep Vivian Thoreen said that the focus now should be on the termination of the whole arrangement, rather than removing her client from his conservator role.

Addressing Rosengart’s argument that Jamie only wants termination to avoid any scrutiny of his management of his daughter’s estate, Thoreen countered that termination wouldn’t actually stop that scrutiny, not least because the termination process will involve a full accounting of the conservatorship.

However, Rosengart continued to demand that Jamie be cut out of the conservatorship immediately, stressing that his client’s conservator of the person, Jodi Montgomery, as well as her psychiatrist, both agreed that doing so was necessary to protect Britney’s mental health.

He then again accused Jamie of misconduct, before citing one of the latest documentaries on Britney’s legal affairs and the claims within it that a security firm hired by the conservatorship had placed listening devices in Britney’s bedroom.

While Jamie denies all the allegations of bad conduct – indeed Thoreen said her client’s record was “impeccable” – Judge Penny nevertheless concluded that, whoever is in the right and whoever is in the wrong, “the current situation is not tenable and appears to be a toxic environment”.

To that end, Jamie is out. Accountant John Zabel was then appointed as an interim trustee of the conservatorship, who will now work alongside Montgomery, who remains as conservator of the person. Meanwhile, Penny also indicated that she will order that the conservatorship be terminated entirely before the end of the year.