Britney Spears’ father said Thursday he’s “willing to step down” as his daughter’s conservator but argues that there is no justification for him to immediately be replaced or to resign from the position, which he has held for more than 13 years.
In a response to a petition to replace him, James “Jamie” Spears’ legal team argued that he stepped in to his daughter’s life in 2008 through the conservatorship because she was “desperately in need of help.” Britney Spears was suffering emotionally and being “manipulated by predators,” the filing says.
“Mr. Spears continues to serve dutifully, and he should not be suspended or removed, and certainly not based on false allegations,” the filing says. “Mr. Spears is willing to step down when the time is right, but the transition needs to be orderly and include a resolution of matters pending before the Court.”
The filing argues that a petition filed to remove him by Britney Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, was based on falsehoods and that he has been the “unremitting target of unjustified attacks.”
The filing led to some confusion Thursday as some news organization reported that he had filed his resignation, but Jamie Spears’ legal team confirmed to NBC News that he wasn’t stepping aside at this time.
The filing also mentions that Jamie Spears had been working on a transition with his daughter’s previous attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III.
It’s unclear whom he was trying to hand his power to in the filing. A financial institution, Bessemer Trust, was appointed as co-conservator last year, but the organization resigned from the case last month.
Jamie Spears’ filing instead says several matters pending in the conservatorship must be settled before he could conceivably be removed.
“When these matters are resolved, Mr. Spears will be in a position to step aside,” the filing says. “But there are no urgent circumstances justifying Mr. Spears’ immediate suspension.”
Rosengart, who was appointed to Britney Spears’ case on July 14, filed a petition asking the court to remove Jamie Spears as conservator and replace him with Jason Rubin, a professional accountant. The court is expected to decide at a hearing next month.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny rejected the petition to advance the hearing in a filing Monday.
Rosengart argued that Britney Spears’ mental health was being negatively affected by her father’s control over her life. The filing last month included a declaration from her conservator-of-the person, Jodi Montgomery, that alleged that the current father-daughter dynamic was “not psychologically healthy” for Britney Spears.
Jamie Spears’ response Thursday specifically addressed allegations made by his ex-wife, Lynne Spears, who also provided a declaration that said she didn’t believe he was acting in the best interests of their daughter. She said Jamie Spears’ “absolutely microscopic control” through threats and coercion has reduced his relationship with their daughter to nothing more than “fear and hatred.”
Lynne Spears said she became involved in her daughter’s case during a “time of crisis” that began in 2018 and continued into the next year. She said that in that period, Britney Spears was being treated by a “sports enhancement” doctor hired by Jamie Spears who was “prescribing what I and many others thought to be entirely inappropriate medicine to my daughter, who did not want to take the medicine.”
Jamie Spears rebutted the allegation, saying Lynne Spears “has not accepted the full extent” of the level of care and treatment their daughter needed for her mental health. The filing argues that the doctor was a Harvard-trained psychiatrist whom Britney Spears approved of after an interview.
He also denied having coerced his daughter to “do anything,” including undergo forced inpatient facility treatment.
“If the public knew all the facts of Ms. Spears’ personal life, not only her highs but also her lows, all of the addiction and mental health issues that she has struggled with, and all of the challenges of the Conservatorship, they would praise Mr. Spears for the job he has done, not vilify him,” the filing says.
“But the public does not know all the facts, and they have no right to know, so there will be no public redemption for Mr. Spears,” it says.
Lynne Spears’ is “pleased Jamie has agreed to step down,” her attorney, Gladstone N. Jones III, said in a statement Thursday.
“Lynne entered into this conservatorship to protect her daughter almost 3 years ago,” Jones said. “She has accomplished what she set out to do. She will have no further comment.”
In a statement following the new filing, Rosengart said Thursday that his team was pleased that Jamie Spears “conceded in a filing that he must be removed.”
“We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter’s estate, and I look forward to taking Mr. Spears’s sworn deposition in the near future,” Rosengart said.