Britney Spears‘ father Jamie Spears has publicly declared his wish to see his daughter’s court-ordered conservatorship over the last 12 years come to an end.
His attorney Vivian Lee Thoreen, who recently appeared in the Framing Britney Spears documentary, shared Jamie’s statement with CNN on Friday. The New York Times documentary has caused renewed interest in the ongoing conservatorship that has controlled the pop superstar’s life and career for more than a decade and subsequently sparked the #FreeBritney movement.
“[Jamie] would love nothing more than to see Britney not need a conservatorship,” Thoreen told CNN. “Whether or not there is an end to the conservatorship really depends on Britney. If she wants to end her conservatorship, she can file a petition to end it.”
She continued: “Jamie is not suggesting that he is the perfect dad or that he would receive any ‘Father of the Year’ award. Like any parent, he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye on what Britney may want. But Jamie believes every single decision he has made has been in her best interest.”
Britney’s court-appointed attorney Samuel Ingham III reminded Judge Brenda Perry during a Feb. 11 hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court that his client didn’t want her father as her conservator. Jamie serves as the co-conservator of Britney’s $60 million estate with Bessemer Trust Company, the bank the 39-year-old singer originally requested to oversee her finances instead of her father. Ingham also told the judge that he wanted to make sure Bessemer had equal decision-making powers to Jamie or else “the appointment of Bessemer Trust would be rendered meaningless,” according to court papers he filed.
“Jamie never contested or objected to Bessemer being appointed as his co-conservator. And at the last hearing, it was reported that Jamie was trying to get more power than his co-conservator, and that is completely inaccurate,” Thoreen added. “What we were arguing is that Jamie and his co-conservator should have equal power; that was always consistent.”
Penny declined to suspend Jamie from his central role in the conservatorship in a Nov. 10-dated hearing, after Ingham said Britney fears her father and will pause her musical career as long as he remains in charge of it.
Even though Jamie told CNN in December that he hadn’t spoken to his daughter in months, Thoreen told the publication last week that the entire Spears family quarantined together in their Louisiana home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. CNN obtained videos of the family from the two weeks they spent together, which revealed the pop superstar riding bikes and playing in the yard alongside her father, mother Lynne Spears, younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears, and her nieces.
Jamie was first appointed by the court to oversee Britney’s estate and person in 2008 after she suffered serious mental health issues that were publicly exacerbated by media and the paparazzi, as seen in Framing Britney Spears.
Samantha Stark, the documentary’s director and producer, told Billboard that she originally requested Thoreen to appear in the documentary for her expertise in conservatorships before she began working with Jamie. “We wanted somebody who believed in the system to tell us why. And we knew she had worked on the case for three months in 2008, when Britney was getting her temporary conservatorship,” Stark said. “We were surprised that soon after that interview, she rejoined Jamie’s legal team. And we asked her several times if she’d wanted to update us because now she knows different information, but she declined.”
Billboard has reached out to Britney’s reps for comment.
The next court hearing in Spears’ conservatorship case is set for March 17.