There are more eyes on Britney Spears' conservatorship battle than ever before. The singer's plight gained more visibility following FX-Hulu's eye-opening Framing Britney Spears documentary, which was recently nominated for an Emmy, but reached its climax after Spears' June 23 address to the court, when she asked to end her 13-year conservatorship.
That emotional special hearing moved the needle in a few ways — not only did it attract new widespread support for the #FreeBritney movement, but it also triggered changes in Spears' own management and legal team. Representation has resigned, family members have spoken out, and now the whole world is listening.
Ahead of the pop icon's July 14 hearing, here's what's happened since her recent bombshell statement and what we can expect going forward.
Who from Britney Spears' family has spoken out?
After the special hearing, a slew of celebrities — including contemporaries Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera — publicly supported Spears' fight to end her alleged "abusive" conservatorship. As for her family, her younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears took to her Instagram Stories to defend herself for not speaking out in support of her sister sooner. She added that she is “proud” of Britney “for using her voice.” Jamie Lynn’s husband, Jamie Watson, spoke out the day after the hearing, telling The New York Post that “[Britney's] family loves her and wants the best for her."
However, given Britney's recent criticism of her father Jamie and the rest of her family (she wants to "sue" them), and the fact that Jamie Lynn only made a statement after many petitioned for the actress to be pulled from Netflix's series Sweet Magnolias, some fans believe Jaime Lynn only spoke out to in order to keep from potentially losing her job. The actress added even more fuel to the fire after news of an upcoming memoir was prematurely dropped, titled, I Must Confess: Family, Fame, and Figuring It Out — a direct reference to her sister’s breakout single “…Baby One More Time.”
Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, said in a court filing on July 5 that her eldest daughter has been “able to care for herself” for years, and asked the court to “listen to the wishes of her daughter” and grant Britney permission to hire her own counsel.
"Now, and for the past many years, [Britney Spears] is able to care for her person and in fact has, inside of the parameters of this conservatorship, earned literally hundreds of millions of dollars as an international celebrity," the petition reads."Her capacity is certainly different today than it was in 2008." Lynne’s attorneys also listed more of Britney’s wishes that she wanted to see granted: removing Jamie as a conservator, ending the conservatorship all together without her "having to endure another evaluation," allowing her "to ride in her boyfriend's car," giving her control "own her own money," and allowing her to "have her IUD removed."
Has Britney Spears filed a petition to end her conservatorship?
No. Spears said in the June 23 address that she wasn't aware she could file to end the conservatorship, but was motivated to do so. "I just want my life back, it's been 13 years and it's enough […],” she said. “The main reason why I'm here is because I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated." However, since that day, there haven't been any documents uploaded to the Los Angeles Superior Court that indicate that she and her lawyer have filed a petition to terminate.
Have Jamie Spears or his lawyers responded to the statements made in the June 23 hearing?
Britney’s father filed court documents June 29 requesting the presiding judge, Judge Brenda Penny, open an investigation into the “serious allegations” raised by his daughter in court. Britney claimed, among other things, that she was forced to perform, given lithium against her will, and barred from getting her IUD removed. The filing said that Jamie agrees that “corrective action must be taken” if the claims are true. But if they’re not, he believes the conservatorship “can continue its course." Though Britney blamed her father for extreme conditions of the conservatorship, Jamie claimed that the two don’t communicate, nor does he have any input in her medical treatment. Instead, he pointed to Jodi Montgomery, Britney's temporary conservator of her person, as the figure potentially responsible.
Montgomery's lawyer, Lauriann Wright, filed her own documents in response to Jamie, condemning him for placing blame on Montgomery for Britney's alleged treatment.
"It is ironic that Mr. Spears now wants the conservatorship to 'reflect her wishes,' since it is no secret that Ms. Spears has wished her father out of her life for years," she wrote. Montgomery’s lawyer also alleges that Jamie has used "more than $2 million of his daughter's money" to defend himself in court in an attempt to remain the conservator of her more than $60 million estate.
Montgomery, through her lawyer, also said that she supports Britney's wish to choose her own counsel. Her court filing included screenshots of texts where Britney (listed as Jane Doe) wrote, "I need u to stay as my co conservator of person. I'm asking u for ur assistance in getting a new attorney."But then the singer mentioned in her statement that "Jodi is starting to kind of take it too far with me." Montgomery reiterated that she would not resign unless requested by Britney herself, since Britney asked her to remain in the texts.
Who is Jodi Montgomery?
Montgomery is a licensed private professional fiduciary who was appointed in September 2019 to serve as Britney’s temporary conservator of her person after Jamie stepped down from the role due to medical issues. In March 2021, Britney and her lawyer filed to have Montgomery permanently take over the position.
Montgomery and her husband Jack own a firm called Pais Montgomery Fiduciary, which “offers expertise in managing businesses, working with limited partnerships, resolving contentious family issues, maximizing and protecting the value of intellectual property rights, managing real property assets, and developing and executing plans to optimize trust finances.”
Who has left Britney Spears' team?
On July 6, Britney's manager of 25 years Larry Rudolph resigned. In his letter of resignation, Rudolph wrote that he has decided to quit working with the singer because she allegedly plans to officially retire after her current indefinite work hiatus. "As you know, I have never been a part of the conservatorship nor its operations, so I am not privy to many of these details," he wrote. "I was originally hired at Britney's request to help manage and assist her with her career. And as her manager, I believe it is in Britney's best interest for me to resign from her team as my professional services are no longer needed."
Later that same day, Samuel Ingham III, the court-appointed lawyer who represented Britney in her conservatorship for 13 years, filed a request to resign from his role. During Britney’s statement, the singer said that while she’s “grown with a personal relationship with [Ingham], I’ve been talking to him like three times a week now,” she wants to pick her own lawyer. would like to be able to do that,” she said. Ingham, however, requested that his resignation go into effect "upon the appointment of new court-appointed counsel."
Bessemer Trust, the wealth management firm that was set to act as co-conservator of Britney's estate alongside her father, requested to resign from the arrangement on July 10. In a document filed in court, the trust cited "changed circumstances," as before the singer's public criticism of her arrangement, they claimed they had been told that her conservatorship was voluntary. If the judge approves Bessemer's resignation, it's unclear whether Jamie will be restored as sole conservator of her lucrative estate.
What is going to happen at the July 14 hearing?
The planned schedule includes a decision from Judge Penny about whether Britney will be allowed to hire her own lawyer, who is responsible for the payment of lawyer fees, and the appointment of Montgomery as permanent conservator of the person. On July 12, The New York Times reported that Britney began discussions with Mathew S. Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor and prominent lawyer who has represented several celebrities, about having him and his firm, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, represent her and "push for an end to the conservatorship." He will reportedly attend the July 14 hearing in Los Angeles to begin the process of taking over as her new attorney, if the judge approves. Otherwise, Britney will be given other court-appointed counsel (something that Montgomery and her lawyer say that Spears “unequivocally disagrees" with).
Will Britney Spears speak?
The pop star will reportedly call in for the hearing via Zoom, but is not expected to make another statement.