Britney Spears’ father is hitting back at House Republicans who called for a hearing on legal conservatorships in light of the #FreeBritney movement, which has sparked public concern over the lack of control the pop megastar appears to have over her life.
Speaking to TMZ in an interview published Tuesday, Vivian Thoreen, the attorney representing Jamie Spears in the conservatorship matter, slammed Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Jim Jordan (R-Oh.) for calling on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to hold a hearing, as well as for their comments referring to Jamie’s motives as “questionable.”
“Britney’s Conservatorship of the Estate was co-managed by a private professional fiduciary and her father until early 2019. At that time, Britney requested in court papers that her father be the sole conservator of her estate. Her Conservatorship of the Person is not managed by her father but by a private professional fiduciary,” she told the outlet.
Thoreen argued the conservatorship was a system with checks and balances, with annual reviews from experts.
She also claimed that the 39-year-old superstar, as well as her legal team, have been a part of the decisions involving the conservatorship over the years.
Asked specifically about Gaetz and Jordan’s concerns regarding Jamie’s intentions in controlling all aspects of his adult daughter’s life, Thoreen offered praise for the father’s care for his daughter.
“Jamie Spears has diligently and professionally carried out his duties as one of Britney’s conservators, and his love for his daughter and dedication to protecting her is clearly apparent to the court,” the lawyer said, adding that Britney and her legal team had never filed an actual petition to end the conservatorship.
The substantial assets of the “Oops!…I Did It Again” singer, who is now 39, have been under her father’s control since 2008.
In their letter to Nadler, Gaetz and Jordan argued that, “When situations suggest the unjust deprivation of those rights by the government, we have an obligation to conduct oversight and explore potential remedies.”
“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,” they wrote.
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 “I’m a Slave 4 U” singer’s battles with her father and the media became 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, cited the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union in their letter.
“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 wrote.
“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 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.”
“Ms. Spears is not alone. There are countless other Americans unjustly stripped of their freedoms by others with little recourse.”