Britney Spears’ father ‘has nothing to hide’ in conservatorship row, court hears

Britney Spears’ father has “nothing to hide” in the legal row over her conservatorship and wants to make sure the singer understands the implications of opening the case up to public scrutiny, a court has heard.

The pop star’s affairs have been overseen by James Spears since 2008 after she had a public unravelling.

Her lawyers have called for the case to be unsealed and opened to the public, saying the singer is “vehemently opposed” to her father’s effort to “keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret”.

There is also a disagreement over who should be made co-conservator of her estate.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears has asked a court to make parts of her conservatorship open to the public (Yui Mok/PA)

A hearing took place in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The 38-year-old singer did not appear in court and lawyers took part by audio.

Geraldine Wyle, representing Mr Spears, said her client’s concerns are for the privacy of his daughter and her two sons, including fears over her medical records being made public.

She said he has “nothing to hide” but wants to hear directly from either his daughter or Jodi Montgomery, conservator for the singer’s personal affairs.

Ms Wyle said one of the two should “potentially weigh in so that we are certain everyone is aware what exactly is being waived and the consequences of having information that is possibly harmful” if made public.

The singer’s lawyer, Samuel D Ingham III, said he was in favour of pushing the hearing back “in the interests of getting it right”.

Sitting at Los Angeles Superior Court, judge Brenda J Penny said she had a tentative ruling to deny the motion to seal recent court filings, but was deferring it to November 10.

The court also heard there had been an issue with Mr Ingham’s weekly 10,000 dollar (£7,700) payments from the Spears estate, which he said had “mysteriously stopped”.

Lawyers for Mr Spears said there had been a “glitch” and agreed to resume the payments following a ruling by the judge.

Singer Spears, who has sold more than 100 million records around the world, said in a recent court filing that she had no intention of returning to the stage soon.

She opposes her father’s attempt to bring back Andrew Wallet as conservator. He held the role from 2008 to 2019 and was paid millions of dollars, according to court filings.

He quit in March last year. Spears says she needs to control her outgoings while not performing and does not want Mr Wallet to return.

The conservatorship has become highly controversial among a vocal section of the singer’s fan base. Mr Spears has dismissed the #FreeBritney movement as a conspiracy theory.

Celebrities including Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter, Ruby Rose and Paris Hilton have all signalled support for the movement.

Spears last performed live in October 2018, before cancelling a much-anticipated Las Vegas residency in early 2019.