After years of criticism and his own daughter’s recent request for his dismissal, Jamie Spears will step down as conservator of Britney Spears’s estate. TMZ, Variety, and the New York Times reported that Jamie Spears’s lawyer filed a response to a petition for his dismissal on August 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court, in which Jamie said he plans to contest the petition for his removal but intends to work with Spears’s lawyer to come to “an orderly transition to a new conservator.” In his court papers, prepared by his attorney Vivian Thoreen, Jamie is asking Judge Brenda Penny to deny Britney’s request to immediately suspend and remove him. He argues that “there are no urgent circumstances justifying [his] immediate suspension.” The move comes after Britney gave shocking testimony about her 13-year-long conservatorship in June, claiming that she was forced to perform and kept from having children because of it, and asking for it to be ended. Then, on July 26, Britney’s lawyer (newly appointed by her) petitioned for Jamie to be removed as her conservator. Now, two-and-a-half weeks after that filing, Jamie is reportedly claiming that he wants to leave the role to avoid “a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator.”
The response is not an outright resignation from the role, with Jamie asserting that he has done nothing wrong as Britney’s conservator. “There are, in fact, no actual grounds for suspending or removing Mr. Spears as the Conservator of the Estate,” his lawyer wrote, going on to question whether his removal “would be in Ms. Spears’ best interests.” The filing went on to claim Jamie “came to his daughter’s rescue to protect her” when he became her conservator in 2008, and to refute Britney’s allegation that he forced her to perform. Jamie’s documents also criticized Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, for her absence from Britney’s life, while adding, “Regardless of his formal title, Mr. Spears will always be Ms. Spears’ father, he will always love her unconditionally, and he will always look out for her best interests.”
In a statement to Vulture, Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart praised the move as “vindication for Britney.” Although, he continued, “We are disappointed, however, by their [Jamie and his lawyer’s] ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others.” Rosengart also asserted his intention to continue investigating alleged conservatorship abuse by Jamie. “In the interim, rather than making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr. Spears should remain silent and step aside immediately,” Rosengart said. In the July 26 petition, Rosengart requested that the professional fiduciary Jason Rubin be appointed as the new conservator of Britney’s estate, to replace Jamie.
Update, August 13, 1 p.m.: Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, responded to the news of Jamie’s intent to step down after he criticized his ex-wife in his filing. “Lynne Spears is pleased Jamie has agreed to step down,” her attorney told Us Weekly. “Lynne entered into this conservatorship to protect her daughter almost three years ago. She has accomplished what she set out to do. She will have no further comment.”
Additional reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum.