Britney Spears' father files to end her conservatorship after 13 years
Britney Spears has spent one-third of her life living under her father's control. But on Tuesday afternoon, she got one step closer to the liberation she's long asked for: Jamie Spears has filed a petition to terminate his daughter's conservatorship, according to the Associated Press and other outlets.
"This filing represents a massive legal victory for Britney Spears, as well as complete vindication," Spears' lawyer Mathew Rosengart told EW in a statement Tuesday evening. "Having exposed his misconduct and improper plan to hold his daughter hostage by trying to extract a multi-million-dollar settlement, Mr. Spears has now effectively surrendered. There is no settlement."
Since the arrangement's inception in 2008, Spears' father has retained control over her personal life, career, and finances. "The conservatorship has helped Ms. Spears get through a major life crisis, rehabilitate and advance her career, and put her finances and her affairs in order. But recently, things have changed," the new court filing states, per NBC News. "Ms. Spears is now outspoken in her frustration with the level of control imposed by a conservatorship, and has pleaded with this Court to 'let her have her life back.'"
On June 23, amid heightened media scrutiny and with #FreeBritney protesters chanting outside the courthouse, the pop star addressed Judge Brenda Penny herself in a hearing for her ongoing case (the audio of which was made available to stream live). In shocking testimony, Spears claimed she's been abused, exploited, isolated, and improperly medicated under the conservatorship, and expressed the explicit wish for the arrangement to end. "I just want my life back," she said at the time.
In the weeks that followed, key players in the apparatus surrounding her resigned from their roles; on Aug. 12, Jamie filed documents stating he would be "willing to step down" from his role "when the time is right."
Now he is following that up by filing for the arrangement's termination entirely. "As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter," the petition states. "If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance."
Spears' father has long maintained that he is looking out for his daughter's best interests, though activists for the #FreeBritney movement — the aims of which are to emancipate Spears, to raise awareness of conservatorship abuse, and to reform the probate court system — have often questioned whether his control over her has amounted to exploitation. Spears has repeatedly asked for her father to be removed from his position, and in her June 23 testimony, the singer said, "My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a huge role in punishing me — ma'am, they should be in jail."
"To the extent Mr. Spears believes he can try to avoid accountability and justice, including sitting for a sworn deposition and answering other discovery under oath, he is incorrect and our investigation into financial mismanagement and other issues will continue," Spears' attorney added in his statement to EW on Tuesday.
The case's next court date is set for Sept. 29.
This story has been updated with a statement from Britney Spears' lawyer.
- Britney Spears speaks in court: 'I just want my life back'
- Britney Spears' father, Jamie, is 'willing to step down' as conservator of her estate
- Framing Britney Spears director Samantha Stark reacts to pop star's testimony: 'This felt so powerful'
- Framing Britney Spears unravels a heartbreaking pop mystery
- The #FreeBritney movement finds vindication in Britney Spears' hearing: 'We just witnessed history'