Is this really the end of Britney Spears’s toxic feud with her father? He has finally given up legal control of the singer’s life but he has quit with a parting shot about her ‘addiction and mental health issues’, writes ALISON BOSHOFF
This was the moment her fans had waited 13 years for. But even as she won a legal victory over father Jamie this week, effectively seeing him relinquish control of her career and life, many are now starting to wonder just what Britney Spears’ freedom will look like.
For the past three weeks, among increasingly shrill posts about her state of mind, she’s published topless images and videos from the same photo session five times.
She says she dances on her own for three hours a day, every day, and posts video after video on Instagram of herself twirling around. Anyone who doesn’t like it — or wonders when she might tour or make music again — is told to ‘f*** themselves.’
As she puts it: ‘If you don’t want to see my precious ass dancing in my living room or it’s not up to your standards… go read a f*****g book !!!!’
For the past three weeks, among increasingly shrill posts about her state of mind, Britney has published topless images and videos from the same photo session five times
Britney Spears with father Jamie Spears in a photo she posted on Instagram on June 21, 2015, with caption: Happy Father’s Day, daddy! Love you!!
In another post Britney, 39, mused: ‘Maybe I’ll just be nice and plant here and keep my dreams alive by thinking about visiting St Tropez with Cher and eating ice cream… she was one of my favorite [sic] singers as a kid and I loved to dress up as her.’
She also talks about taking a bath at 2am and getting locked in her bathroom, and seems obsessed by the idea that the paparazzi doctor pictures of her to make it look as if she has cellulite.
Worth at least £43 million, with two teenage children and two marriages behind her, the sad fact is that, even though she may be free at last, Britney is a different person to the assured young woman of 20 years ago when she was made famous by hits including Baby One More Time and Toxic.
Last night her father Jamie, 69, confirmed that he will be stepping aside as her conservator — an arrangement that has been in place since 2008 after she suffered a nervous breakdown.
In June, she described to a court how she was afraid of Jamie, cried every day and was legally enslaved by the conservatorship which prevented her from having a baby or getting married
Yet those who imagined this would herald the waving of a white flag and a ceasefire in the Spears family, after months of bitter words and accusations, will be disappointed.
For, in a series of bombshell statements, Jamie Spears has laid bare the reasons why he’d taken the dramatic step of seeking the conservatorship in the first place and the deep problems that still exist today. He had asked to be put in charge of Britney’s finances, career and personal life after a court deemed she was in no fit state to look after herself and vulnerable to exploitation by ‘predatory individuals’.
But Britney saw things differently. In June, she described to a court how she was afraid of Jamie, cried every day and was legally enslaved by the conservatorship which prevented her from having a baby or getting married.
She asked the court to get rid of him in a motion which was due to be heard in September and vowed not to perform as long as he remained in charge.
However, Jamie has agreed in documents that he will step aside in an ‘orderly transition’ when the time is right — and says that he was making arrangements for this to happen at least a year ago.
He’d stepped down from being the ‘conservator of her person’ due to his own illness in 2019 — he suffered a life-threatening ruptured colon — and now agrees to step down as ‘conservator of her estate’ when various matters are resolved. He insists he loves his daughter, has never controlled her and has only ever wanted what was best for her.
He denies her claims that she was forced to perform and sent to mental health facilities.
In a legal document filed in court in Los Angeles on Thursday he described Britney’s long-term ‘addiction and mental health issues’ that meant ‘she needed to be legally protected from herself’.
This is the first time Britney’s addiction issues have ever been officially addressed.
To illustrate, he detailed the cost of her current regime of medication — for which he pays — which runs to at least $10,000 a month.
His lawyer wrote: ‘If the public knew all the facts of Ms Spears’ personal life, not only her highs but also her lows, all of the addiction and mental health issues she has struggled with, and all of the challenges of the conservatorship they would praise Mr Spears for the job he has done, not vilify him. But the public does not know all the facts and they have no right to know, so there will be no public redemption for Mr Spears.’
In his filing, he wrote: ‘When this conservatorship was initiated 13 years ago, Britney Jean Spears was in crisis, desperately in need of help. Not only was she suffering mentally and emotionally, she was being manipulated by predators and in financial distress. Mr Spears came to his daughter’s rescue to protect her… no one knew Ms Spears better and no one loved her as much as a parent would.’
While he acknowledges that Britney often felt ‘constrained’ by the arrangement, ‘for the past 13 years the conservatorship has worked as intended’, supporting her when she was able to work, and allowing her to withdraw when she could not.
‘It protected her from disaster, protected her and her reputation from harm and facilitated the restoration of her career.’
Jamie Spears says individuals, including Britney’s mother Lynne, from whom he is divorced, have made ‘false allegations about the true state of affairs’ and that there are no grounds for suspending or removing him.
‘It appears that Lynne has not accepted the full extent to which Ms Spears has had addiction and mental health issues, or the level of care and treatment she needs,’ the document says.
He contests the petition for his removal but adds: ‘As Mr Spears is the unremitting target of unjustified attacks he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests.
Britney said last month that she hopes to sue her father for ‘conservatorship abuse’
Britney’s new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, hailed Mr Spears’ statement as ‘another step towards justice’
‘Regardless of his formal title Mr Spears will always be Ms Spears’ father, he will always love her unconditionally and he will always look out for her best interests.’
He adds that her medication plans, including entering a mental health facility in 2019, were all approved in writing by Britney and that she was not forced to go in, was allowed out for visits and to see her children and had her mobile phone.
He said all medical matters were decided by lawyer Jodi Montgomery from March 2019 as he was unwell, however ‘it is unclear whether Ms Spears knows or remembers the extent to which Jodi Montgomery, Sam Ingham and the medical team were involved in everything she is complaining about’.
The lawyer also referred to Britney’s fractured relationship with her mother, saying they’d been estranged for her entire adult life, but claimed she pays for Lynne’s mansion in Louisiana, including utility bills and maintenance, which costs $150,000 a year.
The document adds: ‘Mr Spears and the rest of the team of professionals must remain vigilant on a daily basis in this conservatorship because problems can, and do, arise at any moment given Ms Spears’ medical issues and celebrity status.
‘Mr Spears has not coerced Ms Spears to do anything. Mr Spears has tried to do everything in his power to accommodate Ms Spears’ wishes whether regarding her personal life family or career, while… protecting her from others seeking to take advantage.’
Britney’s new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, hailed Mr Spears’ statement as ‘another step towards justice’.
Mr Rosengart said: ‘We are pleased, but not necessarily surprised, that Mr Spears and his lawyer finally recognise that he must be removed. 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, and I look forward to taking Mr Spears’ sworn deposition in the near future.’
Britney said last month that she hopes to sue her father for ‘conservatorship abuse’. The only certainty is that months, if not years, of legal wrangling lie ahead — with Britney footing the bill.
Additional reporting: Daniel Bates in New York
Source: Read Full Article