Despite Spears’ 24-minute long testimony on June 23, regarding ending the “abusive” conservatorship with her father that the 39-year-old American singer and songwriter has lived under for 13 years, the court denied the request to suspend her father immediately upon the appointment of Bessemer Trust Company of California as sole conservator of her estate.
The court also observed that it found Spears to be “substantially unable to manage her financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence.”
What is conservatorship?
US law defines a conservatorship as the appointment of a person or persons to assist with the management of the personal and financial affairs of someone who has been deemed to be fully or partially unable to manage on their own.
In 2008, at the age of 26, Spears entered into a temporary conservatorship or guardianship with her father following several media meltdowns. It gave her father, Jamie Spears, control over her financial affairs, estate, and her personal life.
In 2014, Spears had raised issues with her father’s role in the conservatorship while repeatedly asking to terminate it altogether but her court-appointed lawyer had not filed to do so. Once again in 2016, Spears told a court investigator assigned to her in the case that she wanted the conservatorship to end as soon as possible claiming that it was becoming an “oppressive and controlling tool” against her.
After over a decade of the conservatorship, in 2019, she filed a petition to detach herself from her father and entered into a legal battle against the conservatorship accusing him of several issues such as mismanaging her finances and alcohol problems. She claimed that she had no financial independence and her mental health was severely affected as well.
The latest legal setback on Wednesday is not new.
In November 2020, Spears’ lawyer had filed another petition to remove her father from the conservatorship stating that Spears was “afraid of her father” and would refuse to perform again, if her father continued to be in charge of her career. Though the judge at the time had not ruled out future petitions for the suspension of Spears’ father, she (the judge) had declined to remove him from the conservatorship and had instead appointed the financial company Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator.