In spite of fans’ far-reaching protests – and the chilling testimony of Britney Spears – a judge has officially refused to remove the 39-year-old artist’s father as conservator.
Judge Brenda J. Penny just recently ruled against dissolving or substantially modifying the 13-year-old conservatorship, which has been the subject of much media attention (and ample fan criticism) as of late. In denying Britney Spears’ request without prejudice, the presiding judge specified that the “Toxic” artist “is substantially unable to manage his or her financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence” and “has voluntarily requested appointment of a conservator and good cause has been shown for the appointment.”
Previously, other judges also declined to do away with the conservatorship entirely – albeit while reducing the role that James Spears plays in his daughter’s affairs. The 68-year-old was set to co-manage the finances of Britney (who has a net worth – or estate worth, that is – of $60 million, per Forbes) with New York City-headquartered family office Bessemer Trust, for instance.
But seemingly in response to the PR nightmare (fueled by Spears’ opposition to the arrangement, of course) associated with remaining part of the conservatorship, Bessemer Trust this afternoon moved to withdraw from the assignment. It’s unclear at this time which entity or individual will serve as a replacement.
Judge Penny proceeded to highlight the “additional powers,” besides those “otherwise provided by law,” that the conservators can jointly exercise. Among said powers are the ability “to pursue opportunities related to professional commitments and activities” and “to select, invest in and monitor the particular investment vehicles for the conservatorship estate.”
The conservators must file an accounting on or before Tuesday, March 1st, 2022, the judge stated in closing, while the case’s next hearing is slated to arrive on Wednesday, July 14th.
Predictably, given the highly charged (and much-publicized) nature of the matter, all manner of fans and artists are taking to social media to weigh in on the ruling. Jamie Lynn Spears addressed the subject earlier this week – and faced pushback from Britney diehards – and Bryan Spears, Britney’s 44-year-old brother, said during a podcast interview that the conservatorship has “been a great thing for our family, you know, to this point.”
Lastly, Iggy Azalea voiced support for Britney Spears in a lengthy message late last night, writing: “During the time we worked together in 2015, I personally witnessed the same behavior Britney detailed in regards to her father last week and I just want to back her up & tell the world that: She is not exaggerating or lying.
“I saw her restricted from even the most bizarre and trivial things: like how many sodas she was allowed to drink. Why is that even necessary?
“Her father conveniently waited until literally moments before our BMAs performance when I was backstage in the dressing room & told me if I did not sign an NDA he would not allow me on stage. … Jamie Spears has a habit of making people sign documents while under duress it seems, and Britney Spears should not be forced to co-exist with that man when she’s made it clear it is negatively impacting her mental health.”