Britney SpearsThe father, Jamie Spears, has been expelled from his guardianship, following a lengthy and protracted legal battle that has persisted since the pop star was placed under the court-ordered settlement in 2008.
Judge Brenda Penny ruled that Spears’ father will no longer serve as guardian of his daughter’s estate, and will immediately remove him from the guardianship entirely.
John Zabel, an accountant, will temporarily replace Spears’ father in the role of guardian of her estate, which means that he will now control all of his financial decisions until the next steps are determined. Spears’ conservative of her person, Jodi Montgomery, who manages her day-to-day wellness and medical decisions, still remains on the case.
No decision was made on the fate of the conservatorship, which Spears’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, said should be finalized this fall. Rosengart suggested setting a termination hearing within the next 45 days, either in October or November. Rosengart told the judge that the pop star agreed to her proposed course of action of first suspending her father and then ending the guardianship, which would be in her best interest.
Vivian Thoreen, the attorney for Spears’ father, strongly opposed the suspension, calling Zabel a “stranger” in the case.
This news is the most significant development in Spears’ ongoing guardianship saga, which in recent months has come out before the public. There has been more movement in Spears’ case this past summer than in 13 years, largely due to the star’s own public testimony and the ability to hire her own attorney.
There has been more movement in Spears’ case this past summer than in the past 13 years, largely due to the star’s own public testimony and the ability to hire her own attorney. As the case began to unfold before the public in recent months, public interest soared to an all-time high, dominating headlines around the world with a rallying cry to #FreeBritney.
The case has also shed light on the general guardianship system, raising questions about the laws and the rights of wards, like Spears.
On June 23, the pop star gave a scorching testimony, marking the first time she publicly addressed the court in her 13-year conservatorship, though she had given private testimony in 2019, which the singer described as ignored. During her 24-minute deposition in June, Spears told the judge that her guardianship was “abusive” and asked that it be terminated without further evaluation.
In the weeks following Spears’ first testimony, the legal team surrounding her guardianship underwent major changes.
His court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, who had represented the pop star since the beginning of his guardianship and reportedly earned $ 3 million for representing the star, asked the court to fire him of his case, before he was allowed to hire his own attorney with Rosengart. The wealth management firm, Bessemer Trust, which was set to take on the role of co-curator of Spears’ estate and work in conjunction with her father, too taken out of guardianship. Larry Rudolph, Spears’ longtime manager, resigned too, after 25 years of working alongside the star, when he went from being a teenage star to an international superstar.
Spears had been publicly fighting her father, urging the judge to remove him from guardianship, stating that she believes he should be in jail. Confidential court documents that have been exposed in recent documentaries and through various reports have shown that Spears had allegedly been trying to get out of her conservatorship for years, despite her conservators’ indication otherwise.
After more than a decade of arguing that she must be a ward, Spears’s father abruptly changed his mind in August. agree to waive guardianship that he had overseen since it was approved by the court in 2008. Shortly thereafter, in early September, he suddenly asked the court to end the guardianship altogether, a total of 180 from all his previous statements, including the recent indictment in early August that his famous daughter is “mentally ill” and may need a psychiatric checkup. Legal experts indicated that Spears saw the writing on the wall and asked for the guardianship to be terminated to free herself of any responsibility.
As public interest soared, Spears’ story became the fodder for animated programming. Numerous documentaries revolving around Spears have been released before the audience.
On FX and Hulu’s “Controlling Britney Spears”, In the follow-up to the Emmy-nominated “Framing Britney Spears,” The New York Times laid out damning allegations that Spears’ father and his conservatives were closely monitoring the pop star by tracking her phone and bugging her home, where they captured audio recordings of their private preserves in their bedroom. CNN aired an hour-long special report, “Toxic: Britney Spears’ Battle For Freedom.” And on Tuesday, Netflix released a highly anticipated documentary, directed by Erin Lee Carr, “Britney vs Spears” who took a look at the network of conservatives, beyond Spears’ father, namely her former business manager, Lou Taylor of Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group.
Spears’ father had been her co-curator since 2008, when the singer suffered a very public meltdown. He became sole conservator in 2019 after attorney Andrew Wallet resigned from joint conservatorship. In September 2019, she temporarily renounced her powers and Montgomery became her conservative, meaning she became responsible for Spears’ medical and personal well-being.
While under his tutelage, Spears continued to record music and perform regularly at his Las Vegas residence, earning hundreds of millions of dollars. Most of the people under guardianship do not have the ability to work, so Spears’ case was very abnormal. Under the terms of her guardianship, the singer has been responsible for paying high legal fees on both sides, while her guardians have made substantial gains in their guardianship duties.
Despite fighting words of the singer and her attorney, in addition to various allegations uncovered through the documentaries, Spears’s father has repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing and has maintained that he only looks out for his daughter’s best interest.