The #FreeBritney movement continues to gain traction boosted by the buzzy Framing Britney Spears documentary, and Jamie — who serves as co-conservator of the pop star's estate and was painted as the villain in the film, has been doing damage control. His attorney Vivian Lee Thoreen has given her second interview in days defending him.
"[Jamie] would love nothing more than to see Britney not need a conservatorship," Thoreen told CNN of the legal arrangement — used in extreme circumstances for people who are unable to care for themselves — that has been in place since the pop star's 2008 breakdown. "Whether or not there is an end to the conservatorship really depends on Britney. If she wants to end her conservatorship, she can file a petition to end it."
Thoreen said Jamie "is not suggesting that he is the perfect dad or that he would receive any father of the year award. Like any parent, he doesn't always see eye-to-eye on what Britney may want. But Jamie believes every single decision he has made has been in her best interest."
She claimed that the decision to keep Britney in a conservatorship is out of Jamie's hands.
"The court investigator also interviews everyone who is involved in the conservatorship, and they do a deep dive to really study the conservatorship to find out what's going on," she said. "And what I can tell you is every year the court has kept the conservatorship in place."
Since last year, Britney — through her court-appointed attorney Samuel Ingham III — has been trying to remove her father from his role. Ingham has said the star is "afraid" of Jamie, hasn't spoken to him since last summer and refuses to work in showbiz until he's out. She requested that Jodi Montgomery, who's currently in charge of the conservatorship over her person, to oversee everything. Jamie has a co-conservator, currently Bessemer Trust, a financial company, overseeing the operation of Britney's $60 million estate.
Thoreen said Jamie doesn't object to working with newly-appointed Bessemer Trust in managing his daughter's money. However, she added, "At the last hearing, it was reported that Jamie was trying to get more power than his co-conservator, and that is completely inaccurate. What we were arguing is that Jamie and his co-conservator should have equal power."
Thoreen also addressed the current estrangement between father and daughter, who haven't spoken since the summer.
"Jamie unquestionably loves Britney, and he misses her very much," she said. "But he also respects her, and he wants to give her autonomy and space. And as I've said before, like any other family, there are ups and downs. So, Jamie is respectful of Britney's space, and he is also respectful of her attorney's request that he not contact her. But the key is Britney knows that she can contact her daddy anytime and that he will be there for her. Whether or not there's a conservatorship, Jamie will love Britney."
Yahoo Entertainment recently spoke with a California-based family law attorney Christopher C. Melcher of Walzer Melcher about what exactly it would take to get Britney out of her conservatorship. He said she would have to petition the court and then make the case that she's able to care for herself. She would have to exhibit consistent behavior showing she can successfully meet her day-to-day needs (food, housing and health) as well as be able to provide for herself financially. She would also have to show that she has a support system in place in case she runs into issues while doing so.
This petition to end the conservator could be filed by her attorney "at any time," said Melcher, who does not represent the star. However, "If she doesn't ask, she won't get it," he said, meaning she hasn't initiated that process. So while she's made it clear she wants her father out, she's otherwise demonstrating that, for whatever reasons, she is OK with the conservatorship — until she petitions to end it.
There are monthly hearings in the conservatorship case and the next one is scheduled for March 17. It is an accounting hearing, so her financials will be reviewed — and the first time since Bessemer Trust started in its role.
The following month, a petition hearing is scheduled for April 27.
Britney's attorney doesn't comment on ongoing cases and Britney has stayed mum on the topic except for seemingly alluding to it on social media. One of her latest posts referred to the "craziness the past year" and pleaded for people to "be kind." She's also said people don't know the full story and for now she's enjoying being a "normal" person, enjoying time with her two sons and boyfriend Sam Asghari, who has said he's not a fan of Jamie's.
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