Britney Spears’ dad will exit conservatorship, but not yet

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Britney Spears’ father said during a court filing Thursday that he’s getting to step down from the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money for 13 years, but his departure isn’t imminent. James Spears filed legal documents saying that while there are not any grounds for his removal, he will step down after several lingering issues are resolved. The document gives no timetable for his resignation from his role helping oversee his daughter’s finances.

“Mr. Spears continues to serve dutifully, and he shouldn’t be suspended or removed, and positively not supported false allegations,” the filing said. “Mr. Spears is willing to step down when the time is true, but the transition must be orderly and include a resolution of matters pending before the Court.” Those matters include subsequent review of the pop singer’s finances, which has been delayed by months of public and legal wrangling over James’ Spears role and therefore the legitimacy of the conservatorship by Britney Spears and, in recent weeks, her new attorney.

The documents say that James Spears has been “the unremitting target of unjustified attacks” but “he doesn’t believe that a public battle together with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests.” The filing says James Spears will fight the petition to force him out, but will work with the court and Britney Spears’ attorney Matthew Rosengart on subsequent phases. “We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded during a filing that he must be removed,” Rosengart said during a statement. “It is vindication for Britney.”

Spears said he was performing on an idea to offer up his role from before his daughter hired Rosengart last month. For most of the existence of the conservatorship, which was established in 2008, James Spears oversaw his daughter’s personal affairs and money. In 2019, he stepped down because the so-called conservator of her person and maintained control of her finances.

He was nevertheless the target of much of his daughter’s ire during a pair of speeches before the court in June and July, during which she called the conservatorship “abusive.” Spears in her June remarks said she had been required to use an IUD for contraception , take medications against her will and prevented from getting married, having another child or maybe riding in her boyfriend’s car unsupervised.

“This conservatorship is doing me far more harm than good,” the 39-year-old Spears said at the time. “I need to have a life.” James Spears, 69, was fighting to stay on top of things in court filings as recently as last week. He said the allegations in his daughter’s testimony are “untested,” need investigation, and involve issues that have long been out of his control. He suggested that Jodi Montgomery, who took over for him as conservator of Britney Spears’ personal affairs, deserved scrutiny if her allegations were accurate.

Rosengart said that while he welcomed the new move, he won’t take the pressure of James Spears, who shouldn’t wait to step down. “We anticipate to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, et al., over the past 13 years, while he reaped many dollars from his daughter’s estate, and that I anticipate to taking Mr. Spears’s sworn deposition within the near future,” Rosengart’s statement said. “In the interim, instead of making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr. Spears should remain silent and step aside immediately.”

Even after James Spears’ departure, the court will maintain an equivalent control over Britney Spears that’s has since the conservatorship was put in situ in 2008. But he has been a lightning rod for the ire of fans within the #FreeBritney movement, whose voice became increasingly prominent as they need been embraced by Britney Spears and Rosengart. And Rosengart has marked James Spears’ departure as a necessary initiative before ending the arrangement entirely. The new filing adamantly defends the work of James Spears and therefore the conservatorship, and pushes back especially against allegations made by Britney Spears’ mother Lynne Spears during a recent declaration.

“When this Conservatorship was initiated 13 years ago, Britney Jean Spears was in crisis, desperately in need of help. Not only was she suffering mentally and emotionally, she was also being manipulated by predators and in financial distress,” the documents say. “Mr. Spears came to his daughter’s rescue to guard her, and this Court made the determination that the protection provided by a conservatorship was necessary and in Ms. Spears’ best interests.” The documents say that Lynne Spears was wrong in criticizing the hiring of a psychiatrist that she said James Spears chose for his or her daughter, and in saying that medications he prescribed were inappropriate.

The doctor was actually chosen by Britney Spears herself, and had the approval of Montgomery, her medical team, and Britney Spears’ previous attorney, the filing says. This same group, including the singer herself, approved of the medication the doctor prescribed, the filing says. It also criticizes Lynne Spears assuming a task in the least , saying she is someone Britney Spears “has avoided speaking with for many of her adult life.”

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