Britney Spears’ new lawyer has filed a petition to remove her father, James “Jamie” Spears, from her conservatorship, The New York Times reports.
Mathew S. Rosengart, who became Spears’ lawyer earlier this month, reportedly filed the petition in Los Angeles probate court Monday, July 26th, although it was not made immediately available to the public. Rather, the petition was mentioned in a separate public filing that sought to name a replacement for Jamie Spears.
The public filing requested that Jason Rubin, a certified public accountant in California, be named as the conservator of Spears’ estate. Referencing Spears’ approved request to appoint Rosengart as her attorney, the filing noted “that Ms. Spears has sufficient capacity to choose her own legal counsel, she likewise has sufficient capacity to make this nomination.”
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Rosengart, as well as a lawyer for James Spears, did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s requests for comment.
Spears’ official request comes after she testified at the end of June about what her life has been like for the past 13 years under the control of the conservatorship, led by her father, Jamie Spears. The conservatorship gave Jamie control over Spears’ career, as well as her $60 million fortune, which he now co-manages with a wealth management company, Bessemer Trust (they were appointed at Spears’ request). Bessemer Trust recently asked to be removed from that role. During her testimony, Spears also claimed the conservatorship gave her little control over her own body: She claimed she was prescribed medication such as Lithium against her will, and told she was not allowed to get married, have another child, or have her own IUD removed.
“All I want is to own my money… and for this to end… and for my boyfriend to be able to fucking drive me in his car. And honestly…. I want to be able to sue my family,” Spears said during the hearing. She added, “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.”
Additionally, The New York Times reported that previously sealed court records revealed that Spears had voiced numerous concerns about her father’s fitness to oversee her assets than initially reported. The documents also revealed that Spears had made several requests for other changes to be made to the conservatorship.
In the wake of her testimony, Spears received an outpouring of support from her pop peers, including Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Halsey and Cher. “It is unacceptable that any woman, or human, wanting to be in control of their own destiny might not be allowed to live life as they wish,” Aguilera wrote.
Spears was put under the court-ordered conservatorship in 2008 after a string of erratic behavior culminated in a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold. Spears has worked regularly during the conservatorship, putting out several albums, headlining a successful Las Vegas residency, and serving as a judge on The X Factor. In 2019, the conservatorship started garnering more scrutiny after Spears abruptly canceled her second Vegas residency (Spears later claimed in court that she was forced into a psychiatric facility after arguing about creative decisions in rehearsal). It was at this point that the #FreeBritney movement began to grow online, and ever since, Spears fans and supporters have been a constant presence outside her court hearings.
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