Judge Sides With Britney Spears in Latest Battle Over Conservatorship
An important win for the #FreeBritney movement happened Thursday, as a Los Angeles judge sided with Britney Spears’ legal team in giving a third party equal power to her father in managing the pop icon’s finances.
Since 2008, Jamie Spears, father of Britney, has been in control of his daughter’s finances and has control over her estate, which can include things like visitation. This is due to the fact that Britney Spears is under a conservatorship.
Conservatorship is a legal concept in the United States where a guardian is appointed by a judge to manage the financial affairs and, in some cases, the daily life of another person due to physical or mental limitations, or old age. This makes someone essentially a ward, to use Batman terms.
Britney has been her father’s ward for over a decade.
CBS reports that Judge Brenda Penny ordered Jamie Spears and financial company Bessemer Trust to work together on a budget and investment plan for Britney—not removing Spears from the role as guardian, but attempting to make it more balanced.
Britney’s court-appointed attorney, Sam Ingham, reinforced the previous statements that Britney wants her father removed from the conservatorship. “It’s no secret that my client does not want her father as her conservator but we recognize that removal is a separate issue,” Ingham said.
Vivian Thoreen, who is representing Jamie Spears, claimed the co-conservatorship between Jaime and Bessemer Trust was “unclear and ambiguous by design.”
The father is also stating that his control over his daughter’s estate has been a success since it has gone “from being in debt to having a valuation of more than $60 million.”
Now, this might be shocking to Mr. Spears, but money is not the only barometer for success, happiness, and fulfillment. Plus, Britney herself is not opposed to still having someone in charge of her finances, just not her father. Considering she is an almost 40-year-old woman with children of her own, I would imagine that’s fair.
Plus, considering that the track record of parents having that much control over their rich children is very bad, I think it would be better for both to not have money be at the core of their relationship.
The #FreeBritney movement has been a part of an intersection discussion about women’s autonomy but also mental health and ableism. Conservatorship has been proven to be legally hard to undo and while there are certainly times where it is useful, I think that it is important that whomever the person put in charge of it is someone the conservatee trusts.
That is clearly not Jamie Spears and that should matter to the legal system—not just for someone rich and powerful on paper like Britney Spears, but for the average person, as well.
(via CBS News, image:VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
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