By Hannah Connolly
his evening, Britney Spears' father James ‘Jamie’ Spears has agreed to step down as Britney Spears' conservator. However, the all encompassing control over the singer's life is far from over.
Her father stated he “intends to work with the court and his daughter's new attorney to prepare an orderly transition to a new conservator”. What this development categorically does not mean is an end to the conservatorship at large.
“We must not forget the underlying truths being disguised by headlines and social media - Britney is not yet free.”
A conservatorship is put into place with the goal to ‘protect the interests of an individual when they are deemed as incapable of looking after themselves’. The world has watched the public hounding of her person as Britney suffered from mental health issues that led to her divorce and loss of custody of her children.
Since 2008, Britney has not been able to enact any control over her own finances - including any access to her estimated $60 million net worth without first gaining permission from her previously all-male conservators.
“We are pleased that Mr Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed (from the conservatorship)” revealed Britney’s new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart in a statement to CBC news.
Her new lawyer, who replaced her previous legal advisor Samuel Ingham, has previously worked as a federal prosecutor in the US and has represented director Steven Spielberg and actor Sean Penn.
Though Rosengart has called the decision to remove Jamie Spears as “a major victory” the battle for Britney’s independence is far from over.
“Britney Spears still remains under the care of a personal conservator Jodi Montgomery, who has, since 2019, remained in control of Britney’s medical and health decisions”
Britney Spears still remains under the care of a personal conservator Jodi Montgomery, who has, since 2019, remained in control of Britney’s medical and health decisions.
Mr Spears, according to court documents has declared that he is “the unremitting target of unjustified attacks” but he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interest.”
These developments come almost two months after the singer spoke in court, calling for the end of the agreed conservatorship that has dictated her life for the last 13 years. Accusing her father of “conservatorship abuse” and repeated instances of being forced to work against her will whilst unwell and controlled personal health decisions including her ability to have further children.
The removal of her father as conservator does not spell the end to the control enacted over the singer’s life and is emblematic of historic and contemporary legislative and societal precedents that restrict and control women’s lives.
Though this is a step in the right direction, how much celebrating can really be done when a grown woman is (still) having her life controlled by others? Still has little freedom, and no say over her own body? We must not forget the underlying truths being disguised by headlines and social media - Britney is not yet free. And unfortunately, there is a fight still to be had.
Just like Britney, there are millions of women who are victims of abusive power dynamics and millions more women that are under the control of men - using money as a means to coercive control. Read our article on how Britney's conservatorship highlights women's economic abuse here.
Britney Spears still has a long battle ahead in her fight for freedom.
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