Britney Spears to address US court over her conservatorship

Keiran Southern
·4-min read

Watch: Britney Spears to speak about her conservatorship at court hearing

Britney Spears is set to address a US court over the conservatorship that controls her life.

The pop star’s lawyer, Samuel D Ingham, said she wants to address the court directly.

Judge Brenda Penny, sitting at Los Angeles Superior Court, set a status hearing for June 23.

It was not clear how Spears, 39, would appear, either in-person or virtually.

Britney Spears UK tour launch
Britney Spears (Yui Mok/PA)

She has previously made her feelings about the court-ordered conservatorship known through Mr Ingham, including last year when he said she was scared of her father and would not perform again while he controlled her life.

Mr Ingham told the court his client’s wishes during a hearing on Tuesday, that came after the chart-topping singer’s parents had clashed in legal papers.

The court also heard brief updates on other matters related to the case, and the judge set a separate date of July 14 for those to be heard.

Spears has been subject to a conservatorship since 2008 when she had a series of public breakdowns captured by paparazzi cameras.

Jamie, her father, retains joint control of her estate alongside a wealth management company, despite Spears asking for him to be ousted from his role.

Friction within the family was laid bare in recent court filings.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears said she will not return to performing while her father retains control of her life (Tony DiMaio/PA)

Lynne Spears, the singer’s mother, objected to fees claimed by Jamie’s legal team totalling around 890,000 dollars (£640,000) over a period of four months.

Her lawyers called for the claims to be closely scrutinised and any unnecessary costs reimbursed to the singer’s estate.

They said the costs were “procedurally improper” and claimed for lawyers not approved by the court, as well as arguing “the hours logged are utterly excessive”.

Lynne argued Holland & Knight LLP, her ex-husband’s lawyers, spent money on a “national media tour” to promote his legal representative Vivian Thoreen and “combat media coverage that cast (Jamie) in negative light”.

Jamie hit back, saying their fees are justified and alleging Lynne “is not acting in the best interests” of their famous daughter.

In court filings, his legal team said: “She has not been involved in her daughter’s conservatorship until very recently, and she is now raising objections to fees related to matters that she has no knowledge of.

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“In doing so, she is causing undue delay and expense in the administration of the Conservatorship, and ironically, stirring up more unnecessary media attention.

“While the Conservator and his counsel have been very cautious, limited, and thoughtful in dealing with the media (a far cry from any ‘national media tour’), Lynne Spears is the one who exploited her daughter’s pain and trauma for personal profit by publishing a book about the Conservatee.”

Lynne, 65, wrote the 2008 memoir, Through The Storm: A Real Story Of Fame And Family In A Tabloid World, following her daughter’s public breakdown.

Addressing the other points raised in the filing, Jamie’s legal team said Holland & Knight LLP had been authorised by the court to work on the case, not individual lawyers.

And they defended media costs, saying Spears is “a world-renowned entertainer and celebrity” and as a result the conservatorship continues to be intensely followed in the public eye, including in recent documentaries.

Jamie’s team asked the judge to overrule the objection.

It is the latest clash in an increasingly contentious court battle.

Mr Ingham, previously said Spears is “afraid” of her father and will not perform again while he retains control of her finances.

Jamie, 68, had also overseen his daughter’s personal affairs but stepped down from that role in September 2019 due to health reasons.

Jodi Montgomery, a care professional, replaced him on what has been a temporary basis.

Spears’ life and career came under renewed scrutiny following the release in February of documentary Framing Britney Spears, which explored her meteoric rise and subsequent struggles under the tabloid glare.

Lynne and Jamie divorced in 2002. They also have a son, Bryan, and youngest daughter Jamie Lynn Spears.

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