the law

Britney Spears Wants to Speak at Upcoming Conservatorship Hearing

Illustration: J. Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD

Britney Spears will address the judge overseeing her conservatorship case at an upcoming proceeding, according to reports. If Spears does address this judge as expected, it would be the first time in years that she has spoken out about her controversial conservatorship, according to Variety.

The development emerged during a proceeding Tuesday, where lawyers provided updates on legal filings and accounting matters with the conservatorship. Spears’s lawyer, Samuel Ingham, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny that “Britney wants to address the court directly,” and that she wanted to do so soon, CNN reported.

Penny agreed and scheduled a hearing on June 23, where Spears could speak on the “status of her conservatorship.” Ingham did not give specifics on what Spears would discuss in court.

Spears’s conservatorship dates to 2008, following several highly publicized hospitalizations amid a breakdown. Jamie Spears, her father, and lawyer Andrew Wallet were appointed co-conservators, meaning Britney largely no longer had control over her money and major life decisions.

Judges can grant a guardian full control over a person’s finances if they’re physically or mentally incapable of managing them on their own. The Superior Court of California notes that a conservator can be responsible for a conservatee’s finances or their “person” — that is, aspects of their daily life such as housing and health. Usually, conservators are guardians for elderly persons, including those with cognitive decline, or parents of developmentally disabled adults.

Newsweek reported that the conservatorship meant Jamie had to approve “every major decision she makes, from business, to health, to voting and marriage.” In 2016, the New York Times said that Spears’s “most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control.”

Wallet resigned from his role in the conservatorship two years ago, making Jamie the sole conservator of her estate. Jamie had also supervised Britney’s medical and health decisions until September 2019, when he resigned from being conservator of her “person” because of health issues. Jodi Montgomery was then appointed conservator of Spears’s person on a temporary basis, CNN said.

In November, Penny rejected Spears’s request that Jamie be removed as conservator of her estate, but appointed a financial company, Bessemer Trust, as co-conservator, at the singer’s request. “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” Ingham reportedly said at a hearing. “She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”

In March, Spears asked for Jamie Spears to resign and asked for Montgomery to serve as her permanent conservator, according to NBC News.

Spears’s fans and supporters have become increasingly critical of her conservatorship, pointing to the fact that she’s released hit albums and raked in millions as proof that she can handle her own affairs. The release of the New York Times’ documentary Framing Britney Spears in February put renewed spotlight on the #FreeBritney movement.

Britney Spears Wants to Speak at a Conservatorship Hearing