12 years after Britney Spears’ father was granted full custody over her personal and financial decisions, the Baby One More Time star is now asking a judge in LA to allow scrutiny of the conservatorship, with lawyers arguing that it is in both her and the public's best interest.
According to lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III, although the order is ostensibly meant to “protect” her interests, the pop diva is "vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret”, Sky News quoted him as saying.
In his court filing, he went on to endorse the #FreeBritney movement - a large-scale campaign set up by fans, initially on social media, and further backed by such celebrities as Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter, and Ruby Rose. Fans have on many occasions staged protests in front of a Los Angeles court, which has usually held its proceedings behind closed doors.
It reads: "Britney's conservatorship has attracted an unprecedented level of scrutiny from mainstream media and social media alike”.
"Far from being a conspiracy theory or a 'joke' as Jamie [Britney’s father] reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of Jamie’s aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimise the amount of meaningful information made available to the public”, the filing proceeds.
While Britney's lawyer said Jamie’s tactics could have had "merits" when the singer was, for instance, trying to give a new start to her career, "at this point in her life when she is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans”.
Late last month, Britney's younger sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, filed a court order requesting that assets currently stored in a trust fund set up for Britney's sons Sean, 14, and Jayden, 13, be moved into accounts that she is a custodian of. Court documents revealed that Jamie Lynn has been a trustee of the pop superstar's multimillion-dollar estate for the last two years.
Britney was made the subject of a conservatorship in 2008 in the wake of a large-scale breakdown and mental health crisis, with the court handing her father and co-conservator Andrew Wallet full control over her estate, finances, welfare, and personal life. Her teenage sons have since lived with Britney's ex-husband, Kevin Federline, who was granted sole custody of them at the time.
After Wallet relinquished his control 11 years later, Jamie stepped back from his role as sole conservator due to alleged "personal health reasons" and Britney's care manager Jodi Montgomery temporarily took over the duty. Now, Britney has petitioned to have Montgomery named her permanent caretaker, instead of her father.