In a Wednesday filing in Los Angeles Superior Court, Britney Spears’ attorney filed a motion opposing a request by her father, Jamie Spears — who is also her conservator — to to keep her conservatorship case sealed.
“Far from being a conspiracy theory or a ‘joke’ as James reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of James’ aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimize the amount of meaningful information made available to the public,” wrote the singer’s court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the report, the motion asked the court to open Spears’ conservatorship case, which has been sealed for years at her father’s request, to public scrutiny. Jamie Spears has argued that the case is family business and should remain private.
“The public has a legitimate interest in understanding how its court system operates,” Ingham wrote, citing the California Constitution. “At this point in her life when she is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans. Although the sealing motion is supposedly for her ‘protection,’ Britney herself is vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret.”
Jamie Spears has been Britney’s co-conservator since 2008 when she suffered a very public breakdown. He became sole conservator in 2019 after attorney Andrew Wallet resigned from his co-conservatorship. Jamie Spears is recovering from treatment of a ruptured colon, after which Spears postponed her lucrative Las Vegas residency and later checked herself into a health facility for a month-long stay.
The #FreeBritney movement has long argued that the singer is essentially being held captive by the conservatorship, and for years fans have gathered outside the court hearings and cited what they claim are secret calls for help in the singer’s social media posts.
However, in a filing earlier this week, Spears’ attorney said the conservatorship is “voluntary,” and that the singer is “strongly opposed” to her father remaining the sole conservator.
“Britney strongly believes it is consistent not only with her personal best interests but also with good public policy generally that the decision to appoint a new conservator of her estate be made in as open and transparent a manner as possible,” Ingham wrote.
Spears is petitioning that her temporary conservator, Jodi Montgomery, take on the role permanently. Furthermore, the document states that Britney Spears opposes her father’s continued control over her estate and would like to regain oversight of her finances. As the filing reads: “Britney … strongly prefers to have a qualified corporate fiduciary appointed to serve in this role.”
The court has granted Jamie Spears to be paid around $130,000 annually by his daughter’s estate for his role as conservator, and according to court documents obtained by ET, the largest expense of Britney’s estate in 2018 was her legal and conservator fees, which, in total, equaled over $1.1 million for that year.
Lawyers for Spears believe the motion will be “aggressively contested by James Spears” but state, “We are now at a point where the conservatorship must be changed substantially in order to reflect the major changes in her current lifestyle and her stated wishes.”