A Los Angeles judge and several other people with legal powers over pop star Britney Spears will convene for a hearing to deal with the aftermath of her dramatic speech condemning the conservatorship that has controlled her life for 13 years.
Spears’ remarks led to the resignation of her court-appointed lawyer, the withdrawal of an estate-management company that was supposed to oversee her finances, and accusations between her father and a professional conservator over who is to blame for the legal circumstances Spears said are “abusive” and must end.
The star is not expected to speak again at the afternoon hearing, in which all the parties are expected to take part remotely, but she may weigh in as she seeks to hire a lawyer of her choice.
At the June 23 hearing, her first public statement in court on the matter, Spears said she was being forced to take medication and use an intrauterine device for birth control. She added that she was not allowed to marry her boyfriend, and said she wanted control of her own money.
“I just want my life back,” Spears said.
She was harshly critical of her father, who serves as conservator of her finances, and had more measured criticism for Jodi Montgomery, the court-appointed professional who serves as conservator of her person, overseeing her life choices.
James Spears said in a legal filing that the court needs to investigate the allegations and Ms Montgomery’s role, pointing out that his daughter’s personal life has been beyond his control since he resigned as conservator of her person in 2019, a role he held for 11 years.
He opposed Ms Montgomery’s request for money to hire security because of recent death threats, saying he has been subjected to similar threats for years.
Ms Montgomery denied that Britney Spears was prevented from marrying or forced to use birth control. She lashed back at James Spears, saying that the singer has expressed no desire to oust her as she has with her father.
The court-appointed conservator said she is committed to staying on in the job and is putting a care plan in place to help end the conservatorship – something she said James Spears has expressed no desire to do.
“Mr Spears, as the conservator of the estate, and Ms Montgomery, as the conservator of the person, should be working as a team to ensure that Ms Spears’ best interest are being met, that she is on a path to recovery and termination of her conservatorship, and that she is living her best life possible,” Ms Montgomery said in a court filing.
“Instead, Mr Spears has decided it is time to start the finger-pointing and media attacks … The mud-slinging by Mr Spears and his new ‘It wasn’t me!’ strategy – after being her sole or co-conservator for more than 13 years – leaves Ms Montgomery no other choice but to defend herself.”
Despite nearly two years on the job, Ms Montgomery’s status is still technically temporary. She appeared to be on track for permanent appointment before recent events.
Britney Spears will still be represented at Wednesday’s hearing by her longtime court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham III, who filed documents last week saying he had resigned, effective as soon as the singer appointed a new attorney, which was an aim she spoke of at the hearing in June.
The Bessemer Trust, a financial company that Spears had sought as a replacement for her father last year but was instead appointed to work alongside him, also withdrew from the conservatorship last week, saying it no longer wanted to take part in a legal arrangement that she did not want.