For the first time in 13 years, there’s finally hope in the future of Britney Spears. On Tuesday, her father and conservator Jamie filed a petition for the Los Angeles County Superior Court to “now seriously consider” whether the arrangement that has allowed him to fully govern Britney’s life since 2008 is “no longer required.” The sudden reversal comes on the heels of the 39-year-old pop star’s harrowing testimony about the full extent of the “abuse” she’s endured ever since her father became the financial and personal conservator of both her person and her roughly $60-million estate (though, since 2019 he has shared personal conservatorship duties with a professional, Jodi Montgomery).
Jamie had in fact vaguely hinted, and explicitly without any sense of urgency, that he would step down from the positions earlier this month—but only “when the time is right,” and, according to Britney’s attorney, Matthew Rosengart, only in exchange for $2 million. Even Rosengart seems shocked that Jamie would ever follow through, describing the development as a “massive” and surprising legal victory. In a statement, Rosengart said that Britney’s legal team is still “assess[ing]” Jamie’s filing, which was “inappropriately sent to the media before it was served on counsel.”
All told, the news seems almost too good to be true, particularly for those in the #FreeBritney movement who’ve spent years tirelessly fighting for her liberation. The filing even makes it sound like Jamie has joined them. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance,” it states. “She wants to be able to make decisions regarding her own medical care, deciding when, where and how often to get therapy. She wants to control the money she has made from her career and spend it without supervision or oversight. She wants to be able to get married and have a baby, if she so chooses. In short, she wants to live her life as she chooses without the constraints of a conservator or court proceeding.”
In other words, Britney could soon be allowed to regain control of rights as simple as being able to spend her own money without approval and choosing to remove her IUD. She could also seek psychiatric help for what she’s described as “fucking cruelty” akin to “trafficking,” orchestrated by a man she believes “should be in jail” (and whom she’s been forced to pay $18,000 per month). And if the court agrees with Jamie’s interpretation of the probate code, Britney could do all that without having to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. (“I don’t want to be evaluated, to be sat in a room with people for hours a day, like they did me before,” she told the court in June. “And they made it even worse for me after that happened.”)
The keyword here, though, is “if.” Even if the Spears’s wishes are shared, whether or not they’ll be granted is up to the court, which will reconvene on September 29. Meanwhile, Rosengart and his team will continue to “explore all options” of holding Jamie accountable for the alleged mistreatment, starting with him sitting for a sworn deposition and testifying under oath.