The doctor responsible for Britney Spears' medical treatment died suddenly last month, TMZ reports, just week before a judge was set to rule if Spears was receiving appropriate treatment in her conservatorship. Dr. Timothy Benson died in Santa Monica, California, on Aug. 24. The psychiatrist was 48.
Although no official cause of death has been disclosed, sources told TMZ that he died from an aneurysm. The judge in Spears' conservatorship will reportedly receive a report within the next 10 days from a court-appointed evaluator who has spent three months determining if Spears' medical and other care was appropriate.
Questions were reportedly raised about the quality of her medical care during a hearing last spring. The evaluation was ordered after questions were raised about Spears entering a mental health facility earlier this year.
Benson, a board-certified psychiatrist, reportedly worked with NBA and NFL teams throughout his career. Sources told TMZ that some people close to Spears felt she needed a doctor who worked full-time on serious mental health issues.
Benson's death came just before Spears' father, Jamie Spears, asked a judge to temporarily relieve him of conservatorship duties until January, and to put Spears' case manager, Jodi Montgomery, in the conservator's role during the interim. Jamie cited personal health issues as the reason he cannot perform the duties — although he was recently ordered by a judge to stay away from Spears' and ex Kevin Federline's sons after Federline filed a police report against Jamie and was granted a restraining order. Federline accused Jamie of breaking down a locked door to get into a room in which his and Spears' 13-year-old son was in and shaking him.
Spears' mother Lynne has been critical about her ex-husband Jamie as Spears' conservator and of the medication prescribed to Spears by Benson. Spears' conservatorship, which she has been under for more than a decade, was subject to public scrutiny earlier this year after she suddenly halted plans for a new stage show in Las Vegas.