Britney Spears has requested to address the court in the ongoing battle over her conservatorship.
Spears’ court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, said in a Tuesday hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court that the pop star had asked to speak to the court soon, and agreed with Judge Brenda Penny on a June 23 date, according to the Associated Press.
It would be the first known time in more than two years that the 39-year-old Spears has spoken in court. The last time, on May 10, 2019, the courtroom was sealed. None of what she said became public.
Her conservatorship has come under renewed scrutiny in recent months following the release of the New York Times’ documentary “Framing Britney Spears” and by the #FreeBritney movement.
USA TODAY has reached out to a representative for Jamie Spears, the pop star’s father and conservator, for comment.
The pop star’s request comes after Jamie Spears accused his ex-wife Lynne Spears of having “exploited her daughter’s pain and trauma for personal profit,” as the family’s high-profile conservatorship case continues.
Lynne Spears, who was married to Jamie Spears from 1976 until 2002, asked the Los Angeles County Superior Court in a court filing last week to require her ex-husband’s law firm Holland and Knight to reimburse their daughter’s estate for several fees that are “unnecessary.” Lynne Spears and her lawyers argue the fees help promote a “national media tour” for the firm representing Jamie Spears and are being used to “combat media coverage that cast Mr. Spears in a negative light,” rather than working on conservatorship matters to help Britney Spears.
In response, Jamie Spears’ lawyers called on the court to overrule the objection, arguing that Lynne Spears is the one “not acting in the best interest” of her elder daughter.
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“She has not been involved in her daughter’s conservatorship until very recently, and she is now raising objections to fees related to matters that she has no knowledge of,” his lawyers wrote in a court filing Monday obtained by USA TODAY. “In doing so, she is causing undue delay and expense in the administration of the Conservatorship, and ironically, stirring up more unnecessary media attention.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Jamie and Lynne Spears’ lawyers for further comment.
Amid renewed interest in Britney Spears’ conservatorship thanks to the February documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” her conservators will convene at a hearing Tuesday afternoon to rehash how money has been spent managing the 39-year-old singer’s estate. Jamie Spears temporarily stepped aside as sole conservator in 2019, but still handled her finances while a professional conservator handled her person.
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Jamie Spears’ lawyers painted a picture of a father being “very cautious, limited, and thoughtful in dealing with the media,” while accusing Lynne Spears of “exploiting” her daughter through writing her 2008 memoir, “Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World.”
“Despite having zero involvement in her daughter’s conservatorship until very recently, Lynne Spears is asserting claims as if she were a party directly involved in the litigation (which she is not),” Jamie Spears’ filing added.
This conservatorship, in which a judge tasked her father with looking after her finances and life decisions, has lasted since the beginning of 2008, a year after the “Baby One More Time” singer suffered a widely publicized mental breakdown. The pop star lacks independent control over her personal life and her fortune, now estimated at more than $60 million.
Britney Spears officially requested the resignation of her father as her personal conservator, according to documents filed March 23 in probate court in Los Angeles. She sought to permanently replace him with Jodi Montgomery, a state-appointed conservator who has temporarily acted as her personal conservator since September 2019.
Contributing: Maria Puente, Charles Trepany