Home Entertainment Britney Spears Settles with Dad, Avoiding Trials Over Conservatorship

Britney Spears Settles with Dad, Avoiding Trials Over Conservatorship

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Britney Spears Settles with Dad, Avoiding Trials Over Conservatorship

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Britney Spears has reached a confidential settlement with her dad Jamie Spears and will avoid two previously scheduled trials over how money was spent during her highly controversial conservatorship.

“Although the conservatorship was terminated in November, 2021, her wish for freedom is now truly complete,” her lawyer Mathew Rosengart said in a statement Friday afternoon. “As she desired, her freedom now includes that she will no longer need to attend or be involved with court or entangled with legal proceedings in this matter.”

Jamie’s lawyer, Alex Weingarten, also confirmed the settlement Friday, saying it resolves all outstanding disputes. “Jamie is thrilled that this is all behind him. He loves his daughter very much, and everything he has ever done has been to protect and support her.”

The pop star — who previously described her 14-year conservatorship mostly managed by her father as exploitative and traumatizing — was due to begin the first of the two trials next month. It was set to focus on the money taken from her estate to pay for everything related to the conservatorship in 2019. The second trial was scheduled for June on the issue of fee petitions for several lawyers who worked for her dad.

It was in January 2022, after her conservatorship ended, that Spears fired the first major salvo in her legal war with her dad. She objected to a fee petition from his latest law firm and included in the filing a sworn statement from Sherine Ebadi, a former FBI agent hired to review alleged conservatorship misconduct. In her declaration, Ebadi said she interviewed conservatorship whistleblower Alex Vlasov after he told the New York Times that his former security company, hired by Jamie, had placed a hidden listening device in Britney’s bedroom. Ebadi said she found Vlasov to be “highly-credible.”

Speaking to The Times, Vlasov claimed that when Spears was in a residential mental health clinic in 2019, after she’d cancelled her second Vegas residency and gone on indefinite hiatus, she was trying to find a new lawyer while her phone was still being tracked. Vlasov said Jamie was “monitoring everything” at that time, including Spears’ “conversations with her friends, with her mom.” (Jamie’s lawyer Weingarten has attacked Vlasov’s claims in court filings, calling them “slanderous.”)

A source close to the situation tells Rolling Stone that Spears agreed to settle with her dad to avoid a courtroom “circus.” With the new settlement, “everything is moot,” the source says. Spears has spoken up, restored her rights, and is ready to move on with her life.

In a blockbuster statement to a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in June 2021, Spears said she felt exploited and “bullied” by her dad and managers under their oversight. “I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK, and I’m happy. It’s a lie. I thought, just maybe, if I said that enough, maybe I might become happy, because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized. You know, ‘Fake it till you make it.’ But now I’m telling you the truth, OK? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry, it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day,” she said in her address that went on for nearly 25 minutes.

In vivid language that appeared to confirm the fears of her most ardent fans, Spears claimed she was “forced” to agree to her 2018 Piece of Me tour under threat of “scary” legal action and treated like a “slave” as she was preparing for her second Vegas residency, Domination. After she resisted some choreography and said she needed a break, her doctor put her on the powerful drug lithium “out of nowhere,” she said.

“I felt drunk. I really couldn’t take up for myself,” she told the court. Spears said she was then sent to a private rehab program in Beverly Hills that cost $60,000 a month. She had no phone, no privacy door on her room, and had to sit in a chair for 10 hours a day, seven days a week, submitting to the program she desperately wished to escape, she said.

“I cried on the phone [to my dad] for an hour, and he loved every minute of it,” she said. “The control he had over someone as powerful as me. He loved the control to hurt his own daughter, 100,000 percent. He loved it,” she said, her voice dripping with scorn. She said the conservatorship barred her from removing an IUD, marrying her boyfriend, trying for another baby, and contacting old friends.

Through his lawyers, Jamie has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In his statement Friday, Weingarten made a final veiled dig at his opposing counsel, saying, “It is unfortunate that some irresponsible people in Britney’s life chose to drag this on for as long as it has.” In a ruling signed Thursday, Los Angeles County Judge Ana Maria Luna confirmed that “Mr. Spears is fully and finally discharged as former conservator of the estate.”

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Rosengart, meanwhile, used his Friday statement to laud his client as a “brave artist of historic and epic proportion.” He cited her “remarkable success” since exiting her dad’s oversight, including her August, 2022 collaboration with Sir Elton John on the chart-topping hit “Hold Me Closer” and her bestselling book, The Woman in Me.

“We repeat our gratification for being in a position to help restore the civil rights and liberties of Britney Spears and the honor and privilege it has been to serve and protect Ms. Spears and obtain her goals in resolving various legal matters pursuant to her thoughtful and wise instruction and requests, which once again are to her credit,” Rosengart said.

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