Britney Spears' father Jamie is 'willing to step down' as conservator of her estate
The pop star has lived under a conservatorship since 2008.
After 13 years, Britney Spears is one step closer to freedom.
On Thursday afternoon, the pop star's father, Jamie Spears, filed court documents saying he's "willing to step down" as conservator of his daughter's estate "when the time is right," EW has learned. The singer's lawyer Mathew Rosengart had filed a petition for Jamie's suspension in late July; even before her explosive June 23 testimony (in which she stated that "my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship… should be in jail"), Britney Spears had long expressed a wish that Jamie wield less control over her life.
Though he is relenting, Jamie's court filing states that "there are, in fact, no actual grounds for suspending or removing" him, and asserts that "it is highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms. Spears' best interests," according to a document obtained by PEOPLE.
Representatives for Britney Spears and Jamie Spears did not immediately respond to EW's requests for comment.
The filing goes on to characterize Jamie as "the unremitting target of unjustified attacks" amid the heightened media scrutiny that has emerged around his daughter's case over the course of this year, especially since the February release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears. The filing provides, as a reason for his stepping down, that "he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests. 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 filing also says, "As the Court has likely surmised, before Ms. Spears' new attorney arrived, Mr. Spears had already been working on such a transition with Ms. Spears' former court-appointed counsel, Sam Ingham."
Britney's lawyer Mathew Rosengart responded to Jamie Spears' Thursday filing with a strong statement, obtained by Variety: "I announced in Court on July 14 that, after 13 years of the status quo, it was time for Mr. Spears to be suspended or removed as conservator and that my firm and I would move aggressively and expeditiously for that outcome."
"We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney. We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others," Rosengart's statement said. "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."
Rosengart added, "In the interim, rather than making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr. Spears should remain silent and step aside immediately."
Until recently, Britney Spears was represented by Ingham, who was assigned to her case when the conservatorship began in 2008. In her June 23 testimony, however, the singer asked Judge Brenda Penny to finally be given the chance to hire her own lawyer; Ingham stepped down in early July, and Spears was allowed to hire Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor.
Jamie Spears has been conservator of his daughter's estate since the arrangement's inception. For 11 years, was co-conservator alongside attorney Andrew Wallet, who stepped down in 2019; late last year, the court approved wealth management firm Bessemer Trust to replace Wallet and serve in the role with Jamie. Following Britney's June 23 court appearance, however, the company requested to be removed from the conservatorship, which was swiftly approved. The "Toxic" singer's estate is estimated to be worth around $60 million.
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