Entertainment

Britney Spears' father agrees to step down as conservator

Share
Key Points
  • After months of public pressure, James Spears said he will step down as conservator for his daughter pop singer Britney Spears.
  • This comes just weeks after Britney Spears' new attorney filed a petition to replace her father as conservator.
  • Britney Spears has made several claims of abuse against her father, alleging he has used the arrangement for personal gain.
VIDEO2:2402:24
Britney Spears father steps down as daughter's conservator

After months of public pressure, James Spears said he will step down as conservator for his daughter pop singer Britney Spears.

He agreed to be removed from his daughter's conservatorship so long as the transition is orderly and resolves all pending matters related to his acts as her conservator, he said in a filing Thursday with the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Within that document James Spears' lawyers claim there were no actual grounds for his suspension or removal and that it is "highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms. Spears' best interests."

No timeline was laid out for the change.

The news comes just weeks after Britney Spears' attorney filed a petition to replace her father as conservator with a certified public accountant.

Much of Thursday's filing targeted James Spears' ex-wife, Lynne Spears, who recently began supporting her daughter in court after years of limited involvement with the conservatorship.

Lynne Spears had claimed James Spears was asserting "absolutely microscopic control" over Britney Spears throughout the conservatorship and alleged that he was incapable of putting his daughter's interests above his own.

Lawyers for James Spears said Lynne Spears has been absent from her daughter's life for most of the last 12 years and accused her of exploiting Britney by publishing a book about her in 2008.

"Instead of criticizing Mr. Spears, Lynne should be thanking him for ensuring Ms. Spears' well-being and for persevering through the years-long tenure requiring his 365/24/7 attention, long days and sometimes late nights, to deal with day-to-day and emergency issues," the lawyers wrote in the filing.

Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship for 13 years after publicly dealing with mental health issues, but the pop star has been petitioning for an end to the arrangement.

Former federal prosecutor and Hollywood lawyer Mathew Rosengart began representing the singer last month. As her new attorney, Rosengart filed a petition in late July to replace her father as conservator with Jason Rubin, a principal at Certified Strategies, a firm that has experience in estate financial management, elder financial abuse investigation, investment fraud investigation and securities litigation.

"We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney. We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others," Rosengart said in a statement.

Rosengart's statement indicated that this is not the end of the legal battle between the two.

"We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter's estate, and I look forward to taking Mr. Spears's sworn deposition in the near future," Rosengart said.

The singer's assets are valued at more than $50 million. She has made several claims of abuse against her father, alleging he has used the arrangement for personal gain. James Spears has publicly denied these accusations.

When James Spears encountered health issues in 2019, Jodi Montgomery, a licensed private fiduciary, was appointed in a temporary role within the conservatorship. Montgomery is reportedly onboard with Britney Spears' desire to remove the guardianship and is well-liked by the singer.

VIDEO1:5001:50
Britney Spears conservatorship case prompts bill in Congress