Two influential Republican congressmen are demanding a hearing on legal conservatorships including over the estate of pop megastar Britney Spears — in a major break for the #FreeBritney movement.
The substantial assets of the “Oops!…I Did It Again” singer, who is now 39, have been under her father’s control since 2008.
Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) expressed sympathy for Spears and demanded that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) host a televised inquiry.
“Given the constitutional freedoms at stake and opaqueness of these arrangements, it is
incumbent upon our Committee to convene a hearing to examine whether Americans are trapped unjustly in conservatorships.,” Gaetz and Jordan write.
“When situations suggest the unjust deprivation of those rights by the government, we have an obligation to conduct oversight and explore potential remedies.”
Spears is suing to remove her father’s conservatorship. In November, a court refused to give her back control of her estate but added a co-conservator, the Bessemer Trust, to jointly run her affairs. The singer’s attorney in that struggle, Sam Ingham, and an attorney who represents her father did not immediately respond to The Post’s requests for comment.
The “I’m a Slave 4 U” singer’s battles with her father and the media have become the subject of much public debate this year with the release of the FX/New York Times documentary, “Framing Britney Spears” on Hulu.
Gaetz and Jordan, who are best known for their vehement defense of former President Donald Trump, even cited the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union.
“The ACLU is concerned that individuals are being ‘stripped of virtually all of their civil rights through guardianships and conservatorships’ and has called for the exploration of reforms to ensure that unnecessary conservatorships can be terminated so these individuals may direct their own lives’,” they write to Nadler.
“The most striking example is perhaps the case of multi-platinum performing artist Britney Spears. Since 2008, Ms. Spears has been under a court-ordered conservatorship. The facts and circumstances giving rise to this arrangement remain in dispute but involve questionable motives and legal tactics by her father and now-conservator, Jamie Spears.”
Gaetz and Jordan continue: “In court appearances in August and November of 2020, Ms. Spears’ attorney represented to the court that that Ms. Spears ‘strongly opposed’ having her father as a conservator, that she was afraid of her father, and that she would not again perform publicly so long as this arrangement persisted. Despite these pleas, Mr. Spears remains a conservator of her estate.”
Nadler and Jordan write that, “Despite Mr. Spears’s claiming to want nothing more than to see Ms. Spears ‘not need a conservatorship,’ his attorney admitted in a recent documentary, ‘Of the cases I’ve been involved in, I have not seen a conservatee who has successfully terminated a conservatorship.’”
Nadler’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Gaetz and Jordan proposed the broader review of conservatorships beyond Spears’ case.
“Ms. Spears is not alone. There are countless other Americans unjustly stripped of their
freedoms by others with little recourse,” they write.
“For example, Long Island resident Daniel Gross was forced against his will into a conservatorship after being hospitalized with cellulitis while visiting his daughter in Connecticut. In what the judge labeled as ‘a terrible miscarriage of justice,’ Mr. Gross was locked in a Connecticut nursing home for 10 months despite his pleas for release.”