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13.08.2021 US & Canada

Pop star Britney Spears' father to give up control of her estate

By David Coffey with RFI
REUTERS - MARIO ANZUONI
LISTEN AUG 13, 2021
REUTERS - MARIO ANZUONI

The father of US pop star Britney Spears is to step down from the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money for the past 13 years. His departure, however, is not imminent.

James Spears filed legal documents saying that while there are no grounds for his removal, he will step down after several lingering issues are resolved.

The document, however, gives no timetable for his resignation. 

The filing read: “Mr Spears continues to serve dutifully, and he should not be suspended or removed, and certainly not based on false allegations.

"Mr Spears is willing to step down when the time is right, but the transition needs to be orderly and include a resolution of matters pending before the court.” 

Those matters include the next judicial review of the pop singer's finances, which has been delayed by months of public and legal wrangling over James Spears controversial role and the legitimacy of his conservatorship over Britney Spears and, more recently, the appointment of her new attorney.

The documents claim that James Spears has been the target of unjustified attacks and that he no longer believes that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests.

The pop star's father will still fight for control

James Spears will fight the petition to force him out but will work with the court and his daughter's attorney Matthew Rosengart on the next phases. 

Rosengart said in a statement: “We are pleased that Mr Spears and his lawyer haveconceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney.”

Spears said he had been working on a plan to give up his role before his daughter hired Rosengart last month. 

For most of the duration of the conservatorship, which was established in 2008, James Spears oversaw his daughter's personal affairs and money.

In 2019, he stepped down as the so-called conservator of her person, and maintained control of her finances. 

Britney publicly called her father's role "abusive"

He was nevertheless the target of much of his daughter's ire in a pair of speeches before the court in June and July, in which she called the conservatorship “abusive.”

Spears in her June remarks said she had been required to use an intrauterine device for birth control, take medications against her will and prevented from getting married, having another child or even riding in her boyfriend's car unsupervised.

“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” the 39-year-old Spears said at the time. “I deserve to have a life.”

James Spears was still fighting to retain control of his daughter's $60 million estate in court filings as recently as last week.

However, he maintains the allegations in his daughter's testimony are untested.

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