Since February 2008, Britney Spears has felt “treated like a child” while under a conservatorship. Now, the pop star, 38, is “ready to take back control after 12 years,” a source tells Us Weekly. But if the #FreeBritney movement has revealed anything, it’s that this process has already been far from easy.
On August 17, Britney began the process of becoming “her own person,” says the Us source, by filing court documents requesting her father be removed as her conservator. Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, 68, became a conservator of her estate in 2008 after her divorce from Kevin Federline, 42, with whom she shares two sons, Preston, 14, and Jayden, 13. The “Toxic” singer suffered a public breakdown, leading Jamie and Britney’s attorney, Andrew Wallet (who resigned in March 2019), to split the legal guardianship role for years.
As co-conservators, Jamie and Wallet were given full control over Britney’s financial assets and personal decisions—leaving her entire life up to their oversight. Before Wallet resigned in 2019, he maintained the Las Vegas star’s financial assets. But following his resignation, this responsibility fell under Jamie’s purview until he temporarily relinquished his role to Jodi Montgomery, a licensed fiduciary and Britney’s care manager, in September of 2019.
At the time, Jamie cited “personal health reasons” for his decision to step down temporarily. Yet it’s worth noting that Jamie’s relinquishment as sole conservator also came after the former building contractor was involved in an alleged altercation with his grandson, Preston. Britney’s ex-husband, Federline, reportedly obtained a restraining order against her father following the incident.
Months later, Britney has moved to have her father removed permanently from the position and keep Montgomery on as her conservator instead. But following her August 2020 submission in court, Jamie filed a petition requesting to bring Britney’s former attorney, Wallet, back on to serve as conservator alongside him. A source close to Jamie tells Us that Montgomery is “an outsider” who “doesn’t know the extent of Britney’s struggles.” Yet Britney has not lost hope. “With Jodi in the mix, Britney’s been more driven and hopeful and continues to take steps in the right direction,” another insider tells the outlet.
Following Jamie’s petition, Britney’s sister, Jamie Lynn, has been appointed to “trustee” of Britney’s trust, according to court documents obtained by Us Weekly on Tuesday, August 25. The trust, set up in 2004, was originally organized to protect the financial futures of Britney and her two children. Jamie Lynn’s status as a trustee suggests that “any insurance on the settlor’s life or other assets payable to the Trust as a result of settlor’s death [and will be] distributed by the Trustee to the trustee or co-trustee of the BJS Kids & Family Trust,” according to the docs. Put more simply, this means that if Britney should die, her younger sister will obtain the entire principal of the trust.
While this is good news for Jamie Lynn—who has been a vocal supporter of the #FreeBritney movement—it still isn’t necessarily a step toward Britney’s freedom. A court date on September 16, 2020, will hopefully provide more answers there.