Britney Spears’ Father Loses Bid To Regain Sole Conservatorship

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Britney Spears has been making headlines for the past year or so surrounding her conservatorship arrangement. Her father, James Spears, has been the sole conservator of her estate since 2008, but Britney made moves to change that starting last year. In the most recent hearing which took place last week, James Spears’ attornies went to court with Judge Brenda Penny to try and reinstate James as sole conservator, to which the judge denied his request. 

A recap on the case: 

A conservatorship is a court proceeding at which a probate judge appoints a person to assume legal responsibility for someone, usually a close relative, who lacks the ability to manage their personal and financial affairs, according to the Judicial Council of California’s Handbook for Conservators. These types of conservators or guardians are usually appointed to the elderly but are sometimes also appointed to young adults with mental or physical impairments. Mr. Spears has had control of Britney’s estate (and life) since 2008. 

In 2008, Britney Spears had a very public meltdown, the final straw in a downward spiral that she had been following for a while. The incident happened in a store where Britney screamed expletives at customers, the workers, and even fans before storming out. This was followed a few days later by her now-iconic head-shaving episode. The previous year she had also lost custody of her two children due to “her party lifestyle being unsuitable for raising children” according to the judge. These factors led to her estate and finances being moved into a conservatorship that was controlled by her father and has remained that way since. 

12 years later, however, Britney is doing much better and made it known through her attorney that she was not happy with her father in charge. She even threatened to not perform again until something was done. 

This began the court proceedings which have dragged into 2021. At last year’s court hearing with judge Brenda Penny, Britney’s request for her father to be removed completely from her conservatorship was denied. However, Penny allowed for a co-conservatorship to be established which put Bessemer Trust in charge of her estates as well. This new arrangement meant that James Spears could no longer make singular decisions regarding his daughter’s estate and now must share ownership with Bessemer Trust. 

Now, in 2021, they met in court again to argue about how much control both co-conservators would have over the estate. James Spear wanted full control or more control than Bessemer Trust had, which the judge denied and declared that both co-conservators have equal amounts of control over Britney Spears’ estate. 

This case has been highly publicized and has even led to a documentary with The New York Times called “Framing Britney Spears” and a fan-led movement known as #FreeBritney. Numerous protests have happened outside the courthouse as the case took place as well as social media sites exploding with support for Britney and outrage at her conservatorship agreement.

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Britney Spears is trying to get rid of her conservatorship altogether so this case is far from over, and will no doubt be in court again soon.