Britney Vs. Jamie: Behind The Scenes Of The Spears’ Fight For Control

The superstar singer once called her dad overseeing every aspect of her life “oppressive” and “controlling.”

This combination photo shows Jamie Spears, left, father of Britney Spears, as he leaves the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Oct. 24, 2012, in Los Angeles and Britney Spears at the Clive Davis and The Recording Academy Pre-Grammy Gala on Feb. 11, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

As of November 2021, Britney Spears' Britney’s conservatorship is officially terminated. She once called her dad’s control over every aspect of her life “oppressive” and “controlling.”

Photo by: Associated Press

Associated Press

By: Aaron Rasmussen

In early 2008, Britney Spears’ life appeared to be unraveling at the seams following two involuntary psychiatric evaluations. Her father, concerned his eldest daughter was mentally unwell and possibly battling addiction issues, was granted broad legal authority by the court to oversee virtually every aspect of her life, from her $60 million estate to her medical care. The unusual setup would last for the next 13 years.

February 2008

Britney is placed under a court-ordered conservatorship that her father, Jamie, mainly controls. “We are deeply concerned about our daughter's safety and vulnerability and we believe her life is presently at risk,” Jamie and his now-ex-wife, Lynne, note in a statement. “There are conservatorship orders in place created to protect our daughter that are being blatantly disregarded. We ask only that the court's orders be enforced so that a tragedy may be averted.”

November 2008

Britney hints that life under her father’s thumb is stifling and unbearable. “The way I feel, it’s like they hear me but they’re really not listening,” she says in the MTV documentary Britney: For the Record. “When you go to jail, there’s always the time that you know that you’re going to get out… It’s just like Groundhog Day every day.”

2014

Britney’s court-appointed lawyer at the time, Samuel D. Ingham III, first raises his superstar client’s request to begin exploring removing her father, Jamie, from his role overseeing her life, citing multiple concerns, such as his alleged drinking, as reasons for a change, according to The New York Times. Jamie continues as conservator.

2016

Court records obtained by The New York Times lay bare Britney’s complaints to an investigator about the conservatorship. “She is ‘sick of being taken advantage of’ and she said she is the one working and earning her money but everyone around her is on her payroll,” the investigator wrote in a report. The star also called the arrangement an “oppressive and controlling tool against her.”

2019

Jodi Montgomery takes over Britney’s personal and medical care in what The New York Times calls an “ongoing temporary basis.” The singer complains to the court she feels forced into performing against her will.

August 2020

Britney’s conservatorship is extended into February of the following year.

November 2020

Britney’s lawyer reveals the singer’s feelings about Jamie. “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” Ingham tells the court, The Associated Press reports. “She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.” The judge denies Britney’s request to remove her father as conservator but names a financial company, Bessemer Trust, as co-conservator of her estate.

June 2021

Britney publicly blasts the conservatorship in court filings, insisting those who are in charge of the arrangement “should be in jail,” The New York Times reported. “I just want my life back," she tells the court. “I’m not here to be anyone’s slave.” She adds, “I'm traumatized ... I'm not happy, I can't sleep. I'm so angry. And I'm depressed. I cry every day.”

July 2021

Bessemer Trust bows out as co-conservator in the face of Britney’s desire to terminate the conservatorship. Britney retains attorney Matthew Rosengart to fight her father as well as Tri Star Sports & Entertainment, her former business manager. Both Jamie and the company deny all allegations of financial mismanagement and other wrongdoing. Rosengart formally asks the court in a filing to immediately remove Jamie as conservator and to put an end to the conservatorship.

August 12, 2021

Jamie agrees to eventually step aside as his daughter’s conservator. His lawyers write that while there were “no actual grounds for suspending or removing” Jamie from his role, he intended to make sure there would be “an orderly transition to a new conservator,” The New York Times reported. Through his lawyers, Jamie insists he “saved Ms. Spears from disaster, supported her when she needed it the most, protected her and her reputation from harm, and facilitated the restoration of her career.”

September 2021

The court formally suspends Jamie’s role in his daughter’s conservatorship.

November 2021

Britney’s conservatorship is officially terminated.

For more on the trials, stream Jamie vs Britney: The Father Daughter Trials on discovery+.

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