Britney Spears’ father, Jamie, announced in court papers Thursday he will step down as conservator of his daughter’s estate, marking a major victory for the pop star, who has long decried his involvement in the conservatorship.
In court papers, Jamie Spears’ attorneys insist there are no grounds for his suspension or removal as conservator, but he will step aside because “he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests.”
The singer vociferously called for her father’s removal as conservator during an emotional June court hearing, during which she also called for an end to the 13-year conservatorship. Her attorney, Mat Rosengart, filed court papers late last month requesting that Jamie Spears be removed as conservator and replaced by Woodland Hills accountant Jason Rubin.
Rosengart has not yet filed papers seeking to end the conservatorship.
In Jamie Spears’ Thursday court filing, his lawyers said their client has been “the unremitting target of unjustified attacks” about his work as conservator. Jamie Spears has repeatedly defended his work in the role, claiming in papers earlier this month that he took his daughter’s estate “from being in debt and facing tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits to a current value of well over $60 million.”
“So even though he must contest this unjustified petition for his removal, Mr. Spears intends to work with the court and his daughter’s new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator,” according to the new court documents. “As the court has likely surmised, before Ms. Spears’ new attorney arrived, Mr. Spears had already been working on such a transition with Ms. Spears’ former court-appointed counsel, Sam Ingham.”
The court papers note that he will work with the court and Spears’ attorney to “resolve pending matters” with the conservatorship, such as the latest financial accounting report.
“When these matters are resolved, Mr. Spears will be in a position to step aside,” according to the court papers. “But there are no urgent circumstances justifying Mr. Spears’ immediate suspension. Consider the true facts and the actual circumstances that currently exist, an orderly transition based on cooperation would most certainly be in the best interests of Ms. Spears. Regardless of his formal title, Mr. Spears will always be Ms. Spears’ father, he will always love her unconditionally and he will always look out for her best interests.”
A court hearing on Rosengart’s petition to remove or suspect Jamie Spears had not been scheduled until Sept. 29. In response to Spears’ decision to step aside, Rosengart issued a statement saying, “We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney. We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others.
“We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter’s estate, and I look forward to taking Mr. Spears’ sworn deposition in the near future.”
In Thursday’s court papers, Jamie Spears insists again that he has acted in his daughter’s best interests during his time overseeing her estate.
“If the public knew all the facts of Ms. Spears’ personal life, not only her highs but also her lows, all of the addiction and mental health issues that she has struggled with, and all of the challenges of the conservatorship, they would praise Mr. Spears for the job he has done, not vilify him,” according to the court papers. “But the public does not know all the facts, and they have no right to know, so there will be no public redemption for Mr. Spears.
“That is fine with Mr. Spears so long as the court acts, based not on the opinions of those pandering to the public and social media, but on substantiated facts and all of the highly confidential information that the court has in its possession to make decision that are in Ms. Spears’ best interests.”