Ahead of Britney Spears’ appearance in court on Wednesday to address the status of her conservatorship, The New York Times has published an expansive report detailing her behind-the-scenes push to change the situation. According to confidential records obtained by The Times, the pop singer has for several years called for the removal of her father from his role as conservator.
During a 2014 hearing closed to the public, Britney’s lawyer Samuel Ingham III told the court his client wanted to explore the removal of her father from control of her finances and career. According to Ingham, Spears had raised a “shopping list” of grievances including his drinking.
In 2016, a court investigator assigned to Britney’s case reported she felt the conservatorship had become “an oppressive and controlling tool against her.” According to the report, the singer wanted it terminated as soon as possible because she was “sick of being taken advantage of.” The investigator added, “She said she is the one working and earning her money but everyone around her is on her payroll.”
Per The Times, the report also details the degree of control Jamie exercised over his daughter’s life, including not being able to make friends without his approval. He also allegedly forbade Britney to make home improvements like re-staining her kitchen cabinets.
She was reportedly limited to a $2,000 weekly allowance while earning millions from a Las Vegas residency. Jamie receives $16,000 per month — plus $2,000 a month for office space rent — for his salary as conservator, as well as a percentage of various deals signed for his daughter.
In addition to describing security being around her constantly, Britney said she was also being tested for drugs numerous times weekly, and her credit card was held by her security team or assistant and used at their discretion.
Although Spears described “a lot of fear” coming with the “very harsh” consequences of any actions deemed as mistakes, the investigator concluded the conservatorship remained in her best interests. The report cited her complex finances, susceptibility to undue influence, and “intermittent” drug issues, but also called for “a pathway to independence and the eventual termination of the conservatorship.”
Back in March, Ingham formally asked the court to remove Britney’s father as his daughter’s conservator and permanently replace him with Jodi Montgomery. In 2019, Montgomery served as her temporary conservator when Jamie battled health issues.
The petition would not impact Jamie’s involvement in his daughter’s estate, which he has co-managed alongside Bessemer Trust Company since the organization was named a co-conservator in November 2020.
Britney has been under a conservatorship since 2008. It was first put in place following a series of mental health issues and very public breakdowns. In recent years, she has sought to regain control of her career and finances, prompting a public legal dispute between her and her father.
A month before the opening of her Las Vegas residency in February 2019, Britney announced an indefinite work hiatus. During a closed-door hearing that spring, she read a statement claiming she had been forced into a mental health facility against her will, which she interpreted as punishment for standing up for herself and making an objection during a rehearsal.
In November 2020, Spears threatened to stop performing altogether as long as her father remained her conservator. Earlier this year, she won a small legal victory when a judge declined Jamie’s request to remove Bessemer Trust as a third party co-conservator of her estate.
Read more about Britney Spears’ effort to end her conservatorship at The New York Times.