Britney Spears is afraid of father Jamie Spears, and will not resume performing as long as he has power over her career, her attorney said in court Tuesday, as reported by the Associated Press. While Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny declined to suspend Jamie from his role in the court conservatorship that has controlled the pop star's life, career and finances for 12 years, she did agree to consider future petitions for his suspension or removal, which Spears' attorney Samuel D. Ingham III said he plans to file.
"My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father," Ingham told the judge. "She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career." Britney has been on an indefinite work break since 2019 and has been vocal in court about not returning to the stage until her father is removed from her conservatorship as the "Free Britney" movement grows among her fans.
Jamie's attorney, Vivian Lee Thoreen, said in court that her client had done a perfect job with his role as conservator, citing her net worth's climb to more than $60 million from being in debt. Thoreen said if Jamie were removed, there would be a disruption to operations that would ultimately hurt Britney. "I don’t believe there is a shred of evidence to support my client’s suspension," she said.
The judge approved a corporate fiduciary, the Bessemer Trust, to serve as co-conservator over Britney Spears' estate along with her father, at the request of Britney, who did not attend the hearing herself. Ingham called her a "high-functioning conservatee" who deserves notice of what her father is doing with her estate, such as appointing a new business manager, which he has not provided, although Jamie's attorney said he had no legal obligation to.
In court filings, Jamie's attorneys said his "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." Meanwhile, Ingham said Britney hasn't spoken to her father in a long time, which was supported by Britney's mom and Jamie's ex-wife, Lynne Spears, who said through her attorney that her daughter should not be required to obey her father’s demands, calling their relationship "toxic."
"It has broken Lynne’s heart that things have come to this point," said her attorney, Gladstone N. Jones. While Lynne has no ill will towards her husband, she thinks it's "time to start fresh" and remove him from the conservatorship. "Contentiousness is not uncommon in families," Jones said, "but this is not a usual family."