Britney Spears Refuses to Perform as Dad Remains Co-Conservator of Her Estate
By Liz Calvario
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Britney Spears' dad Jamie Spears continues to remain co-conservator of her estate after she requested to have him "suspended immediately." The singer also claims in new court documents that his business dealings lost her over $300,000.
A hearing was held on Tuesday at the Stanley Mosk courthouse in Los Angeles, with Britney's mother Lynne Spears' lawyer also present. Britney's attorney, Sam Ingham, who referred to the singer as "a high functioning conservatee," said she fears her father and will not perform on stage as long as he remains a part of the conservatorship. The lawyer added that Britney and her father haven't talked in a long time.
Jamie's lawyer, however, claimed Ingham is creating controversy where it doesn't exist, arguing that Jamie has done nothing to violate his power of conservator. Additionally, Jamie's lawyer continued to argue that they want to hear from Britney directly.
Lynne's lawyer also added that Lynne wants Jamie removed as well. The lawyer stated Lynne wishes her ex-husband no ill will but that Britney's relationship with her father has gotten worse over the years, alleging that Britney has had "dark days" because of Jamie. Her lawyer alleged that Jamie told Lynne that Britney is like a racehorse and needs to be handled as one. Jamie's lawyer replied that it is all hearsay, adding that no one loves Britney more than her father.
The judge did not suspend Jamie as co-conservator for the time being, and instead agreed to make Bessemer Trust a co-conservator along with Jamie, with all parties agreeing to the decision in the meantime.
On Tuesday, Britney also filed additional objections to her dad's financial report, claiming she lost nearly $309,000. Docs obtained by ET note that TriStar Sports and Entertainment Group, Spears' former management, was paid 5% commission on her gross entertainment-related income. This arrangement allegedly generated millions for TriStar, but things changed when Britney took an "indefinite work hiatus" in early 2019. In an email included in the docs, TriStar wrote to Jamie in November 2019 and said it wanted to remain on the 5% commission plan, but with a $500k annual minimum.
Ingham claims that Britney's counsel knew nothing of this arrangement and lost $308,974.51, which is what her dad approved to be sent to TriStar for its services in 2019 as the "amount owed." Ingham calls these "radical new arrangements" and that it gave TriStar a 260% raise from the amount it would have been owed under the previous deal. He wants the money to be credited back to Britney.
Last week, the singer's attorney filed new documents, with Britney requesting that Bessemer Trust Company be the sole conservator of her estate, and that her dad be removed.
Documents obtained by ET stated that Britney's TriStar Sports and Entertainment Group business manager quit abruptly. The "Stronger" singer and her lawyer claimed Jamie hired Michael Kane of Miller Kaplan to serve as business manager without her knowledge or consulting her about the replacement's fees.
"The Oct. 28 letter is a blatant attempt by [Jamie] to retain full functional control of her assets, books and records in the face of Britney's objections, TriStar’s resignation and the appointment of Bessemer Trust,” the documents read. “His simple litigation strategy is to introduce a new gatekeeper who admittedly has a major working relationship with his legal team."
"Therefore, Britney will be filing a petition to remove James as conservator of the estate," the docs added. Her lawyer also claimed that the singer and her estate will suffer loss and injury if her father is not suspended immediately upon the appointment of Bessemer Trust.
On Tuesday, Jamie's team also responded to Britney's original request to have him suspended, stating that he should be "commended for his role" as conservator. Jamie's team claimed that he has taken the estate from being in debt and facing tens of millions of dollars of lawsuits to a current value of well over $60 million.
"Mr. Spear's sole motivation has been his unconditional love for his daughter and a fierce desire to protect her from those trying to take advantage of her," the docs state.
Jamie's team also claimed that hiring a new business manager after Lou Taylor of TriStar resigned "was critical for Mr. Spears to prevent a complete disruption to the estate and any gaps in the provision of services, and that is exactly what he did." They also claimed that he "spoke with his potential, future co-conservator Bessemer Trust to determine whether a business manager would even be necessary -- the answer was yes."
The docs also state that Jamie notified Britney's attorney of the change, however "Ingham complained of lack of notice." But as he is not a co-conservator of the estate, Jamie isn't "obligated" to give him or Britney notice of TriStar's resignation. "TriStar was engaged by Mr. Spears as Conservator of the Estate and properly tendered its resignation to him," the docs state.
Meanwhile, Jamie claims that the only "real danger" to Britney's estate is having him removed and Bessemer Trust as the sole conservator, as "no one with the institutional knowledge that Mr. Spears possesses from his 12 years of serving as the Conservator of the estate."
"No one loves Britney as much as Mr. Spears loves his daughter. He wants his daughter to be happy, healthy, protected, and thriving," the docs read. "His love for Britney is a material factor in how he has been able to turn her estate around from being in the red to what it is now."
Last week, Britney had a small victory when her petition request was granted that would allow her to expand her legal team. She was not present for the latest hearing, though her mother, Lynne Spears, her attorney and her dad were present.
Prior to that hearing, Britney's legal team was adamant in court docs filed that she does not share her father's "vision of a future in which she resumes performing and leaves the management of her estate completely to him as she did in the past."
Jamie's legal team requested that Britney herself, not just her attorneys, be present during such court proceedings. The singer's lawyer, however, argued that it was not necessary for her to show up for such hearings.