Britney Spears expected to address conservatorship in court: Preliminary hearing coverage
Britney Spears is expected to speak out on her conservatorship during a hearing on Wednesday.
All parties involved in Spears’ conservatorship will appear remotely for the June 23 hearing, which is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET., with Judge Brenda J. Penny presiding, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles County Superior Court earlier this month.
The 39-year-old singer’s father, Jamie Spears, has been her conservator since 2008. Under the legal guardianship, Britney Spears does not have control over her personal or financial affairs.
Tune in to ABC News Live at 12 p.m. ET for coverage of the hearing. You can find live coverage on ABCNewsLive.com, on Hulu or in the ABC News app.
Read on to learn more about the conservatorship and what both Britney and her father are fighting for in court.
Why does Britney Spears have a conservator and when was the conservatorship established?
The conservatorship was established when Spears was 26 years old after she was hospitalized for her mental health reasons, following displays of erratic behavior.
Through the legal guardianship, Jamie Spears has controlled his daughter’s financial affairs for the past 13 years.
Andrew Wallet acted as the co-conservator of Spears’ estate with Jamie Spears from 2008 — when the conservatorship was put in place — until 2019, when Wallet voluntarily resigned from the role. The Los Angeles Times reported that Wallet said at the time of his resignation in 2019 that Britney would suffer “substantial detriment, irreparable harm and immediate danger” if he didn’t leave the role.
Jamie Spears still holds the position of co-conservator of his daughter’s estate, along with financial group Bessemer Trust, which was appointed by Judge Penny in November 2020.
The singer’s father acted as the conservator of her person, handling her personal affairs, which includes her medical decisions and more, up until September 2019.
Jodi Montgomery stepped in as temporary conservator of her person due to Jamie’s departure, which was attributed to health reasons at the time.
Spears does not want her father to act as her conservator, which she has expressed through her legal team. In August 2020, the singer’s lawyer petitioned for Jamie Spears to be removed as her conservator. The singer’s lawyer requested that Montgomery take on the role of conservator of her person permanently and a corporate fiduciary be appointed as conservator of her estate.
A court filing obtained by “Good Morning America” in August 2020 read, “Britney is strongly opposed to having James return as conservator… [and] strongly opposed to James continuing as sole conservator of her estate.”
In November 2020, Penny, the judge, appointed Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator of her estate but did not remove Jamie Spears from his position.
In the same November hearing last year, Britney Spears’ attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, reportedly shed more light on the singer’s feelings toward her father.
“My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” Ingham reportedly the judge, according to the Associated Press. “She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”
What is the latest update in the conservatorship case?
In the most recent hearing in the conservatorship case, which took place on April 27, Britney Spears’ attorney, Ingham, asked Penny if the singer could speak to the court directly.
Penny approved the request and set the June 23 court date.
According to the Associated Press, the singer has not spoken in court since May 2019 — when the courtroom was sealed.
Following the March hearing in the conservatorship case, Ingham filed a petition requesting Jamie Spears’ resignation as conservator of her person and asked that Spears’ father be replaced with Montgomery. Spears is expected to discuss this if she does speak at Wednesday’s hearing.
Lawyers for both Jamie and Britney Spears reportedly spoke during a February hearing about working on an investment plan for the singer’s finances during the pandemic.
What has Jamie Spears said about the conservatorship?
Earlier this year, Jamie Spears’ lawyer, Vivian Thoreen, spoke out on his behalf during an interview with “Good Morning America.”
“I understand that every story wants to have a villain, but people have it so wrong here,” Thoreen said on “GMA.”
Jamie Spears has faced heightened public scrutiny since the release of The New York Times and FX-produced documentary “Framing Britney Spears” in February.
The documentary, which the Spears family did not participate in, showcases the singer’s legal battle to have her father removed from control of her financial and personal affairs. Many who worked with Spears in the early stages of her career share their thoughts on the conservatorship during the documentary.
Thoreen said on “GMA” that she feels perceptions attached to Jamie Spears as his daughter’s conservator are inaccurate.
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“This is a story about a fiercely loyal, loving, and dedicated father who rescued his daughter from a life-threatening situation,” she said. “People were harming her and they were exploiting her.”
She also claimed that Spears’ father has “worked tirelessly to protect her” during his time as her conservator.
Has Britney Spears commented on the documentary?
While Spears has not spoken publicly about her father in regard to the conservatorship case, she did acknowledge the existence of the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary in March.
“I didn’t watch the documentary but from what I did see of it I was embarrassed by the light they put me in,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I cried for two weeks and well … I still cry sometimes!!!!”
She went on to call out the massive media attention she has garnered throughout her life and its effects.
“My life has always been very speculated … watched … and judged really my whole life !!!” she wrote. “I have been exposed my whole life performing in front of people!!! It takes a lot of strength to TRUST the universe with your real vulnerability cause I’ve always been so judged… insulted… and embarrassed by the media… and I still am till this day!!!”
The singer also shared a message on her social media in November 2020 about her well-being.
“I know that there have been a lot of comments and a lot of people saying a lot of different things about me, but I just want to let you guys know that I am fine,” she said in video message.
She went on to say that she is the “happiest” she’s ever been in her life.
Although the singer has shared her disapproval about the documentary and reiterated her positive mental state, she has expressed issues with the existing conservatorship arrangement she is under through her lawyer in court. And a report from The New York Times, published Tuesday, indicates this disapproval may date back years into the conservatorship.
The Times investigation claims confidential court records show Spears shared her disapproval of the conservatorship “earlier and more often than had previously been known, and said that it restricted everything from whom she dated to the color of her kitchen cabinets.”
The singer “articulated she feels the conservatorship has become an oppressive and controlling tool against her,” a court investigator wrote in a 2016 report pertaining to the conservatorship case, according to The New York Times.
Check back for live updates during the June 23 hearing, starting at 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET.
Tune in to ABC News Live coverage before the hearing at 9 a.m. PT./12 p.m. ET.
WATCH: What to expect from Britney Spears’ conservatorship hearing
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