According to a new filing in Los Angeles probate court on August 12, lawyers for Jamie Spears stated that while there are “no actual grounds” for removing him as the conservator of the estate, Jamie feels that the current public battle between him and his daughter is not in Britney’s “best interests.” In the past, he’s often returned used this exact terminology to justify his many controversial decisions and actions within the ongoing conservatorship.
“As Mr. Spears is the unremitting target of unjustified attacks, he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests,” the lawyers wrote. “So, even though he must contest this unjustified Petition for his removal, Mr. Spears intends to work with the Court and his daughter's new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator." The timeline for the change is still unclear, but Jamie's lawyers told The New York Times that he still needs to "resolve outstanding matters including financial accounting for the conservatorship in recent years" before stepping aside.
This huge milestone in Britney’s highly-publicized conservatorship battle comes after a recent handful of big changes to her case: namely that she was able to hire her own counsel, Mathew Rosengart, to represent her going forward, and that Rosengart has since been “aggressively” moving to oust her father Jamie Spears from handling her nearly $60 million estate. In his July 26 motion to replace Jamie with an accountant, Jason Rubin, Rosengart cited Britney and Jamie’s estranged relationship, as well as Jamie’s alleged “potential misconduct” in handling Britney’s fortune, among the many reasons why he should no longer serve as her conservator.
In the court documents filed by Jamie’s team, more than half criticized his ex-wife Lynne Spears. Lynne wrote a declaration in support of Jamie's removal that accompanied Rosengart’s motion, citing Jamie’s “complete control over [Britney], his mistrust of her, his coercion of her, his ‘bartering’ with her over what she can and cannot do for whatever reward or punishment he is willing to mete out, his constant threats and his decision-making over all aspects of her life.” Jamie's lawyers called Lynne’s credibility into question, saying that Britney refused to see her mother when she was in a mental health facility in 2019.
“Instead of criticizing Mr. Spears, Lynne should be thanking him for ensuring Ms. Spears’ well-being and for persevering through the years-long tenure requiring his 365/24/7 attention, long days and sometimes late nights, to deal with day-to-day and emergency issues,” the lawyers wrote. A lawyer for Lynne told the Times that the pop star's mother was “pleased Jamie has agreed to step down,” adding, “Lynne entered into this conservatorship to protect her daughter almost three years ago. She has accomplished what she set out to do.”
When Jamie originally led the push to establish Britney’s conservatorship in 2008, he served as both the conservator of her person and estate, but in recent years his role diminished — first, in 2019 when Jodi Montgomery became temporary conservator of Britney's person after Jamie fell ill, and then in February 2021 when a judge approved Britney's team's motion to appoint Bessemer Trust Co. as a co-conservator of her estate. However, Jamie's lawyers maintained in his resignation that his daughter's conservatorship was justified, as he "came to his daughter's rescue to protect her" when she was "in crisis, desperately in need of help."
“If the public knew all the facts of Ms. Spears’ personal life,” they wrote in the resistant filing, “not only her highs but also her lows, all of the addiction and mental health issues that she has struggled with, and all of the challenges of the Conservatorship, they would praise Mr. Spears for the job he has done, not vilify him. But the public does not know all the facts, and they have no right to know, so there will be no public redemption for Mr. Spears.”
According to confidential court records obtained by The New York Times, however, Britney has been in “serious opposition” to the conservatorship much since at least 2014. And during a July 14 address to the court, however, Britney said she wanted to press charges against her father for "conservatorship abuse" and called her unique 13-year arrangement "traumatizing."
In response to Jamie's decision to step down, Rosengart told The New York Times that he and his team are "pleased but not necessarily surprised."
"We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others," he wrote. "We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter's estate, and I look forward to taking Mr. Spears's sworn deposition in the near future. In the interim, rather than making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr. Spears should step aside immediately."
Refinery29 reached out to both Rosengart and Jamie Spears’ representation for confirmation and comment.
This is a developing story.