Britney Spears has asked a court not to return her father Jamie to a role that gave him control over many aspects of her life and career.
Jamie Spears has been his daughter’s legal conservator for 12 years, due to concerns around her mental health.
He temporarily stepped aside from the role overseeing her personal affairs in 2019, citing his own health problems.
Some of Spears’ fans believe she was forced into the arrangement, and have been running a #FreeBritney campaign.
What has Britney now said?
“Britney is strongly opposed to James’ return as conservator of her person,” according to a court document filed to the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles.
It explained that the singer was in favour of the role, which she said “rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin” and made her “able to regain her position as a world class entertainer”.
However, she wants her manager Jodi Montgomery, who stepped in for her father during his absence, to become his permanent replacement, once the conservatorship is up for extension again after 22 August.
Her lawyer said he expected that James Spears would contest the request to push him aside.
The document also revealed that Britney has no plans to perform again soon. She last performed live in October 2018, before cancelling a planned 2019 Las Vegas residency due to her father’s ill health, noting how “it’s important to always put your family first”.
What is the conservatorship, and why was it set up?
Britney Spears has not controlled her financial or many of her career decisions since 2008 under this court-enacted agreement.
A conservatorship is usually granted by for individuals who are unable to make their own decisions, like those with dementia or other mental illnesses.
Essentially, for the last dozen years, her father and attorney have managed her assets and personal life – including being able to restrict her visitors and communicate with doctors about her treatment.
The star began behaving erratically in 2007 after her divorce from Kevin Federline, and she lost custody of their two children (although she has frequent visits).
Her alleged mental breakdowns took place in the public eye – she made headlines for shaving her head and was photographed hitting a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella – and went to rehab facilities several times.
She was placed in psychiatric care after refusing to surrender her sons in a stand-off with the police, and the conservatorship was put in place in early 2008.
In the years under the conservatorship, she has released three albums, completed a previous two-year Las Vegas residency, and made numerous television appearances.