“We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney,” Rosengart wrote in a statement to The Washington Post. “We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others.
“We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter’s estate,” Rosengart’s statement continued, “and I look forward to taking Mr. Spears’s sworn deposition in the near future.”
In the filing, which was first obtained by TMZ, lawyers for Jamie Spears wrote that while he agreed to step down, “There are, in fact, no actual grounds for suspending or removing Mr. Spears as the Conservator of the Estate” and “it is highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms. Spears’ best interests,” according to the filing. The documents said Jamie Spears has been the “unremitting target of unjustified attacks” but that he doesn’t think a public battle with his daughter over his role in the conservatorship “would be in her best interests.”
“So, even though he must contest this unjustified Petition for his removal, Mr. Spears intends to work with the Court and his daughter’s new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator,” the documents state. Jamie Spears is currently the conservator of Britney Spears’s estate and oversees her finances, while she has a separate conservator of the person, Jodi Montgomery, who acts as her care manager. In documents filed in July, Rosengart requested the instatement of Jason Rubin, a certified public accountant, as Jamie Spears’s successor.
Britney Spears has been in a conservatorship, a legal structure designed to protect the monetary and personal interests of the elderly and seriously ill, since 2008. That was right around the time she suffered a public breakdown in the middle of a contentious divorce and custody battle, and made multiple trips to rehab. Her family and members of her team argued that the conservatorship saved her life, but fans have questioned the arrangement for years, given that Spears was back in the studio six months after the legal arrangement started and eventually embarked on a world tour and launched a Las Vegas residency.
The movement by her supporters was deemed #FreeBritney, and it picked up steam in 2019 after a Spears fan podcast reported that she was being held against her will at a mental health facility following the cancellation of her residency. Spears’s team denied anything was amiss, and the pop star herself had never spoken out about her situation, although there have long been rumors that she wanted the conservatorship to end. Then, in June, she made an explosive statement at a hearing in which she said she felt trapped and traumatized by the “abusive” arrangement.
“I’ve told the world I’m happy and okay,” Spears told a judge, but added that the circumstances of the conservatorship were “embarrassing” and “demoralizing.” In a long statement, Spears said she was forced to perform concerts, was given prescription drug therapy that made her feel “drunk,” and was not allowed to remove her IUD. “I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day,” she said. Spears also said she had not realized she could file to terminate the conservatorship, and then was worried that if she did, no one would believe what had happened to her.
In the weeks afterward, there was an enormous showing of public support for Spears from fans and celebrities. Her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, stepped down, and her longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, resigned. Bessemer Trust, the financial institution that acted as co-conservator to control Spears’s finances, also withdrew.
Shortly after, Spears was given permission to hire her own representation, and chose Rosengart. In a news conference outside the Los Angeles courthouse in late July, he said his firm was moving “aggressively and expeditiously to file a petition to remove Jamie Spears unless he resigns first.”