Britney Spears Loses Court Battle Against Father

Britney Spears Star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Erika Yap

Internationally renowned popstar, Britney Spears, has lost a court case against her father in an attempt to remove him as her conservator.

The ruling, made by LA judge, Brenda Penny, on Wednesday, comes as a result of the singer’s attempt to regain autonomy over her estate and remove her father, James Spears, as her legal guardian. Ms Spears’ lawyer, Samuel Ingham, argued that the relationship was one of control and fear.

Ingham stated that: “she will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career”.

Vivian Thoreen, James Spears’ lawyer, used the argument that Mr Spears had managed to positively transform the popstar’s finances. She asserted that when he assumed the role, the popstar was facing tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits. But now Britney’s business operation is worth $60m (£45m).

This arrangement has persisted for 12 years

“I don’t believe there is a shred of evidence to support my client’s suspension,” said Thoreen.

James Spears’ conservatorship, which has granted him a large degree of control over his daughter’s finances and her personal life, began in 2008 as Britney Spears, 38, was suffering with poor mental health. However, these rulings are usually temporary and reserved specifically for those struggling severely to make decisions for themselves.

This arrangement has persisted for 12 years.

Ex-wife of James Spears and Mother of Britney Spears, Lynne Spears, who took part in the case as an interested party, has deemed the arrangement ‘toxic’ – unintentionally referencing the famous Britney Spears song.

The case was settled as the popstar accepted the co-conservatorship of the Bessemer Trust, a corporate trustee, alongside her father.

This case has played out against the backdrop of the #FreeBritney movement. This fan-led, grassroots campaign grew from the belief that Britney Spears was forced into the arrangement with her father in 2008 and that the singer has been signalling for help on social media.

#FreeBritney protestors gathered, with signs and ‘Free Britney’ facemasks, outside the LA court last Wednesday to show support for her case.

“I think this signals a fundamental issue in US legal approaches to mental health”, Chrissie, a third year Politics student, has argued.

The conservatorship had been extended to at least February 2021

Ms Spears posted on Instagram following the hearing. The image, a vintage-style photo of children playing with a skipping rope, was captioned:

“Keep JUMPING towards your dreams ????!!!”.

As of August, the conservatorship had been extended to at least February 2021.

Erika Yap

Featured image courtesy of Jorge Quinteros on Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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