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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

A reminder of the harrowing details of Britney Spears’ conservatorship


by Jennifer McShane
07th Aug 2021
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Britney Spears’ father said in a court filing Friday that there are “no grounds whatsoever” for removing him from the conservatorship that controls her money and affairs – a day after the singer’s new lawyer had requested a hearing to suspend James Spears from the arrangement.

As the battle intensifies in the battle of Britney Spears’ conservatorship which sees Spears’ father say Spears’ claims are “untested,” it is worth reminding what the singer has had to endure.

A recent report by The New Yorker goes into more details that are new to the public, graphicly detailing the level of control those around the singer had.

It also highlights alleged mistreatment of Spears by her father and conservator Jamie Spears, who has helmed the conservatorship and controlled his daughter’s finances since 2008.

James Spears’ filing also says that court-appointed professional Jodi Montgomery, who oversees Britney Spears’ life decisions while her father handles her money, called him and sought his help with his daughter’s mental health struggles. She has said he “misrepresented and manipulated” the call to use it to his own advantage as he discussed the possibility of hospitalising his daughter on an emergency psychiatric hold. Spears has argued her father should be charged with “conservatorship abuse”.

Britney made a number of devastating claims, including that she was forced to take lithium after publicly announcing she was taking a break from live performing, and being under watch even while she gets changed. Britney isn’t just under “control” by a conservatorship — she is apparently forbidden from doing anything of her choosing in life, getting married, driving in a car with her boyfriend, everything from the life-altering to the completely mundane such as painting her kitchen cabinets.

Perhaps most heartbreaking is her claim that the team managing her decades-long financial and personal conservatorship used an IUD to prevent her from having more children.

“I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby and my conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out,” she told the court. “I feel ganged up on. I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone.”

According to the New Yorker report, Spears called 911 the night before her court testimony last month, “to report herself as a victim of conservatorship abuse.” In her statement the next day, Spears publicly spoke about the conservatorship for the first time, telling the judge, “My dad, and anyone involved in this conservatorship, and my management, who played a huge role in punishing me when I said no — they should all be in jail.”

We may have only heard from Spears publically for the first time recently, but the piece says from the beginning she did not want her father to be in control of her estate.

“From the earliest days of the conservatorship, Spears appeared to chafe against her constraints,”  states the article which details  a February 2008 court hearing “that Spears had a ‘strong desire’ that Jamie not be a conservator.” According to Jacqueline Butcher, a former friend of the Spears family who was interviewed for the article, the conservatorship was granted without Spears’ consent, and “without ever talking to her.”

“The whole process was maybe ten minutes,” Butcher said.

“No one testified. No questions were asked.”

Butcher also said he recalled witnessing Jamie mistreating his daughter shortly after the arrangement began: “He would get all in her face — spittle was flying — telling her she was a whore and a terrible mother.”

He allegedly limited Spears’ contact with anyone she was close to, and would “do terrible things, like withhold access to her kids,” Butcher added.

Jamie maintains everything he has done has been for Spears’ own welfare (which according to Spears is totally untrue), and “declined to answer specific questions but characterized his behavior as that of a loving father saving his daughter from possible ruin.”

The report also states that Spears’ mother Lynne – who divorced from Jamie in 2002 –was not made a co-conservator because she thought the conservatorship would only last for a few months, and that Jamie quickly took control of it regardless.

“I got mixed feelings about everything,” she said. “I don’t know what to think…. It’s a lot of pain, a lot of worry.”

Spears is a woman who has been living a hellish existence for over a decade. Throughout the New Yorker piece, it’s clear that all she wanted was some normality.

Her breakup with Justin Timberlake rocked her, the paparazzi increased and Spears found herself unable to cope with the pressure. But she had no support. Something as serious as a conservatorship – which is near impossible to end once it has been enforced – was initially put in place to help Spears. But even when she was stable, she had no say.

A hearing to address Rosengart’s petition to remove James Spears is scheduled for 29th September.

Read the full article at The New Yorker.

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