Britney Spears’ lawyer has launched a critical legal bid to remove her father from her “abusive” conservatorship and replace him with an independent accountant.
Last month the singer shocked the world when she spoke out about the controversial legal arrangement, which she claims is exploitative and abusive.
A court placed Britney under the conservatorship, controlling both her personal life and finances, in 2008 after a mental health crisis put her in hospital.
For 13 years, Britney’s father Jamie has been in control of his daughter’s career as well as her reported $60 million fortune.
Now, the singer’s new lawyer Mathew Rosengart has filed a formal petition asking for the “suspension and removal” of Jamie as conservator.
Rosengart said the singer’s conservatorship has “traumatised” her and she lives in a “Kafkaesque nightmare” that’s growing “increasingly toxic”.
Britney is also accusing her father of unfairly profiting from the arrangement.
“Although it is common for managers, agents, and other industry professionals to receive a percentage of an artists’ earnings, Mr. Spears is none of those,” he wrote.
“He is a conservator and, as a conservator, his role is to be burdened by, rather than benefit from, the conservatorship.
“Mr. Spears is not a professional business or financial manager.”
Britney Spears ‘fearful of her father’
Rosengart added Britney is so “fearful” of her father, his role in her life has left her feeling “traumatised” and unable to sleep.
“The venomous nature of this relationship makes Mr. Spears’s prompt removal under [the law] inexorable,” he wrote.
“It is detrimental to the wellbeing of the very person the conservatorship is supposed to protect.
“Indeed, far from benefitting Ms. Spears, as she herself has testified, it impairs Ms. Spears’s mental health, her wellbeing, and her ability to pursue and continue with her extraordinary career.”
Rosengart said Jamie is “obligated to accommodate [her] request that he step aside and let a professional take over.”
“Any father who genuinely loves his daughter and has her best interests at heart should willingly step aside in favour of the highly respected professional fiduciary nominated here,” he said.
The petition asks the court to replace Jamie with a certified public accountant identified as Jason Rubin.
Jamie Spears’s lawyer has previously said he would not be standing down. His lawyer disputes Britney’s account of the conservatorship.
A court hearing will address the petition and other issues in the conservatorship on September 29.
Britney speaks out about ‘abusive’ conservatorship
Last month, Britney Spears made her first public comments about the shocking extent of control of the conservatorship.
She claimed she was forced to perform while unwell, forcefully prescribed medication that made her feel “drunk”, and told she can’t have her IUD birth control device removed.
“All I want is to own my money and for this to end… and for my boyfriend to be able to f___ing drive me in his car,” she said.
“And honestly, I want to be able to sue my family.
“I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.”
She recently wrote on Instagram she will “not perform on any stages anytime soon with my dad handling what I wear, say, do, or think”.
Britney Spears’ years-long conservatorship sparked the #FreeBritney campaign.
Supporters, many of them queer, regularly rally outside the courts with concerns about Britney’s welfare and questions about the arrangement.
The #FreeBritney movement got mainstream attention after the release of the New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears this year.
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