Britney Spears' Request to Remove Her Father From Her Conservatorship Shot Down in Court
Despite speaking to the judge directly on June 23rd about the emotional strain her conservatorship agreement has put on her life and mental health, Judge Brenda Penny decided to uphold Britney Spears' current conservatorship situation in which her father, Jamie Spears, is co-conservator alongside Bessemer Trust Company—however, this is actually a positive ruling.
Spears and her court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham filed to have Jamie removed from the conservatorship in November 2020, with documents claiming Spears was afraid of her father and no longer wanted to live under his thumb. Spears, instead, asked to have sole conservatorship power shifted to a third party—Bessemer Trust Company.
The ruling yesterday, denied without prejudice "the conservator's request to suspend James P. Spears immediately upon the appointment of Bessemer Trust Company of California as sole conservator of estate," the court filing reads, per CNN.
According to court documents obtained by Deadline, Judge Penny confirmed that Spears is still "substantially unable to manage her financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence," and because Spears "voluntarily requested appointment of a conservator and good cause has been shown for the appointment," the court ruled Jamie Spears and Bessemer Trust will act as co-conservators.
Again, as outlined in the most recent set of court documents, this ruling gives both Jamie and Bessemer Trust the power to obtain all documents and records pertaining to Spears' assets (credit cards, bank statements, estate planning documents, etc.), take "all actions necessary to secure [Spears'] assets," revoke all powers of attorney, the power to pursue opportunities related to professional commitments on behalf of Spears.
So, in short, nothing changed. But...
It must be noted that nothing could change as of yesterday. In fact, despite Jamie still being kept as conservator, this decision was a positive one. Judge Penny successfully legally secured Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator, thus lessening Jamie's grip on his daughter's assets.
Ingham has yet to file any request to change the conservatorship setup, as Penny suggested to Spears after the singer's June 23rd testimony, so Judge Penny could not make any legal decisions regarding Spears' conservatorship setup. And, as Deadline reports, Ingham's status as Spears' attorney is currently also in flux. Even so, sources told CNN that he and Spears met several times after her testimony to finally begin hashing out next steps to potentially end the conservatorship.
For now, the conservatorship stands as it was and legal moves must be made before Judge Penny can get down to brass tacks. Jamie Spears, on the other hand, submitted filings to investigate claims his daughter made regarding being forced to take strong medications like lithium against her will.
This ruling is not a setback, but rather, a side step while other both sides prepare for legal battle.