Singer Britney Spears’ battle to remove her father’s conservatorship over her estate scored a minor legal victory on Thursday after a probate judge denied her father’s objections to an order establishing Bessemer Trust Co. as a co-conservator of daughter Britney Spears’ estate.
Britney Spears filed a petition with the court last year to remove her father, James “Jamie” Spears, and to place a financial institution as the sole conservator over her estate.
Her attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, argued last year that the singer was afraid of her father and would rather a professional financial institution take over her estate.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny appointed Bessemer as co-conservator along with Jamie Spears on Nov. 10. At the same time, Penny also denied Spears’ request to remove her father entirely from the conservatorship.
Jamie Spears’ attorney objected to the language of the proposed order, saying it improperly reduced his powers over his daughter’s estate. The judge denied those objections.
Addressing the court on Thursday, Ingham said the purpose of the order was to give both Jamie Spears and Bessemer “an equal division of responsibility, in the hopes that they would sit down and figure out together the best way to handle this complex estate for the benefit of my client.”
“It’s no secret that my client does not want her father as co-conservator, but we recognize that removal is a separate issue,” Ingham said.
Both Jamie Spears and Bessemer Trust are expected to work together on a budget and investment proposal for Britney Spears’ estate following Thursday’s hearing. The court is expected to hold additional hearings on March 17 and April 27.
Ingham has separately indicated that he may seek to revisit his request to remove Jamie Spears entirely, but he did not do so on Thursday.
The pop star’s legal struggle is under new scrutiny following the New York Times’ release of “Framing Britney,” a documentary that followed Britney Spears’ rise to stardom and the media pressure that’s often blamed for her public breakdown in 2007.
The hearing comes a week after the release of “Framing Britney Spears,” a New York Times documentary on Hulu and FX that scrutinizes the conservatorship that followed the singer’s public breakdown in 2007. The documentary features #FreeBritney activists who say the probate court has kept Spears under legal restraints against her will.
Several #FreeBritney activists appeared with posters outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles on Thursday.