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Britney Spears, Joni Mitchell & 5 More Entertainers Once Ruled by a Conservatorship
A New York Times story published Wednesday offered an illuminating look at Britney Spears' now eight-years-long conservatorship. Mandated by a California judge in February 2008, following a public meltdown that resulted in the singer's hospitalization, Spears' father Jamie Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet were appointed responsible parties for the pop star.
A conservatorship typically is enacted when another adult cannot care for themselves and their finances, and many entertainers have found themselves in similar predicaments to Spears'.
See seven examples below:
Spears pays out millions of dollars in fees for legal work on her behalf and has her father on an annual salary to make major decisions about her career and life. But the Times story, and subsequent reports, questions whether her recovery might be complete. Certainly her finances are looking up: Spears landed at Billboard's annual Moneymakers list, with $10.5 million earned in 2015.
Until his death in 2014, disc jockey Casey Kasem's wife Jean and Kasem's children from another marriage fought for conservatorship of the ailing legend. Kasem, who suffered from Parkinson's disease, was put under the care of his wife Jean following a judge's decision to reject daughter Julie Kasem's conservatorship petition in 2013. In the petition, Julie noted that she had not been allowed to visit her father despite being given power of attorney in 2007 in the event that her father became unable to make his own health decisions.
However, a judge reversed the conservatorship ruling in May 2014 and named daughter Kerri Kasem a conservator just months before his death, noting that he had "grave concerns" for the "safety, health and well-being" of Kasem. Despite Kasem's children's best efforts to bring criminal charges about against their step-mother for elder abuse, the District Attorney never filed charges. (Read THR's story on the Kasem saga here.)
Eagles' Randy Meisner
Following the death of his wife Lana Rae in March, Eagles co-founder and bassist Randy Meisner was granted a temporary conservatorship that he requested himself, noting that he was in "a lot of pain," according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The temporary conservatorship put Meisner himself under the care of longtime friend Arthur Ford and his finances under the watch of accountant Tom DeLong. Meisner is set to have a permanent conservator appointed on May 25.
After suffering an aneurysm that rendered her unable to speak, Joni Mitchell was placed under the conservatorship of friend Leslie Morris. According to court documents obtained by People, a conservator was appointed to "provide for temporary care, maintenance and support" as the artist recovers.
In February 2011, after the actor's attorney filed a complaint on his behalf, Mickey Rooney and his estate were placed under the temporary conservatorship of lawyer Michael Augustine. Like Kasem, Rooney's family battled with each other until the day he died; stepson Chris Aber was forced to stay 100 feet away from Rooney after court documents alleged that Aber "threatens, intimidates, bullies and harasses Mickey."
Hairspray actress Amanda Bynes was first put under an emergency conservatorship in 2013 following a 30-day psychiatric hold. Since then, Bynes' mother Lynn has continued to regain conservatorship of the actress as she has bounced in and out of psychiatric facilities and has been arrested for several DUIs. According to court documents obtained by People, the singer was determined to "pose a substantial risk to herself, to others, and to property." Most recently, in February 2015, Bynes' conservatorship was once again extended and the singer remains in her parents' control.
In December 1991, Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson was put under a conservatorship after Wilson's brother Carl and cousins Mike and Stan Love filed a lawsuit against Wilson's longtime live-in psychologist and, for a time, the musician's legal guardian, Eugene Landy. It was alleged that Landy manipulated Wilson, who had suffered from alcohol and drug abuse, obesity and a schizo-affective disorder, which Landy purportedly never properly treated.