Britney Spears Objects to Dad Jamie's Request to Seal Court Docs, Wants Fans to Stay Informed
By Antoinette Bueno
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
Britney Spears doesn't want information about her conservatorship to be kept private. In court documents obtained by ET on Thursday, the singer objected to her father, Jamie's, motion to seal the case.
Jamie previously filed a petition with the court to have Andrew M. Wallet back as a co-conservator of Britney's estate, and to seal court proceedings and the reporter’s transcript related to the petition. The next hearing on the case, which Britney is set to attend, is scheduled for Sept. 16.
Meanwhile, Britney has asked the court to instead appoint Bessemer Trust Company, N.A. to serve as conservator of her estate, in a further attempt to remove her father as sole conservator of her estate. In the new court documents, Britney's lawyer, Samuel Ingham, states that the 38-year-old singer doesn't want information on her conservatorship to be sealed and in fact, wants to keep her fans informed.
"Britney strongly believes it is consistent not only with her personal best interests but also with good public policy generally that the decision to appoint a new conservator of her estate be made in as open and transparent a manner as possible," the documents read. "The sealing motion is supposedly being brought by her father to 'protect' Britney's interests, but she is adamantly opposed to it."
The court documents reference an interview Jamie gave with Page Six last month, in which he called the #FreeBritney movement a "joke."
"Britney's conservatorship has attracted an unprecedented level of scrutiny from mainstream media and social media alike," the documents read. "Far from being a conspiracy theory or a 'joke' as James reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of James' aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimize the amount of meaningful information made available to the public. Whatever merits his strategy might have had years ago when Britney was trying to restart her career, at this point in her life when she is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans."
"Although the sealing motion is supposedly for her 'protection,' Britney herself is vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret," the documents continue. "The moment that James obtained from this Court the power to handle Britney's affairs on her behalf, he surrendered a large measure of privacy as to the manner in which he exercises that power. Transparency is an essential component in order for this Court to earn and retain the public's confidence with respect to protective proceedings like this one. In this case, it is not a exaggeration to say that the whole world is watching."
In Jamie's Page Six interview, he denounced the #FreeBritney supporters.
"All these conspiracy theorists don't know anything," he said. "The world don't have a clue. It's up to the court of California to decide what's best for my daughter. It's no one else's business."
"I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year," he added. "How the hell would I steal something? ... I love my daughter. I love all my kids. But this is our business. It's private."
Meanwhile, Britney's mom, Lynne Spears, has backed Bessemer Trust Company to serve as conservator over her daughter's estate. In July, Lynne filed a request with the Los Angeles County Court in hopes of receiving special notice on "all matters" in regard to the singer's SJB Revocable Trust.
ET previously reported that Britney's younger sister, 29-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears, was named the trustee of the singer's SJB Revocable Trust. Jamie Lynn will be responsible for ensuring Britney's fortune is transferred into a trust benefiting her sister's children in the event of her death, according to court documents. The documents state that Jamie Lynn was appointed trustee of Britney's trust in 2018, with her appointment signed off by Jamie and Wallet, while Wallet was still her co-conservator. The SJB Trust was set up in 2004 to protect Britney's fortune, four years before her conservatorship started in 2008. While she is living, Britney remains its sole beneficiary.