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Britney Spears requests to address court at hearing on her conservatorship


Britney Spears on Tuesday was granted a request to address the court managing her conservatorship directly at a status hearing in June.

The singer’s attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, asked for the hearing when the court convened Tuesday to address matters regarding accounting and fees, which were pushed back to July for additional information. It’s unclear what issues Britney Spears will raise to the court or whether she will ask to end her conservatorship.

“The conservatee, she has requested that I seek from the court a status hearing at which she can address the court directly,” Ingham said during the Tuesday hearing via video conference. “This does not relate to any of the matters on the calendar now and it does not related to the accounting or the fee issues.”

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny scheduled a status hearing for June 23.

Ingham declined a request from NBC News to comment further on the request.

Britney Spears has been under a legal conservatorship for more than 12 years, meaning the singer has essentially had a court-appointed guardian following a public breakdown in 2007. She petitioned to have her father Jamie Spears removed from her conservatorship in 2020, with her attorney saying Britney Spears was “afraid” of Jamie Spears.

The court did not remove Jamie Spears from her case and instead appointed Bessemer Trust, a private financial institution, as a co-conservator.

The issue drew interest from Britney Spears’ fans, who began a #FreeBritney movement to remove her from her father’s conservatorship. Fans of the singer have expressed concerns that Jamie Spears has abused what was meant to be a temporary arrangement.

Britney Spears has rarely spoken publicly about the legal battle, while her father’s legal team has defended his role in his daughter’s life. Representatives for Jamie Spears have argued in multiple interviews that the outside concern is misplaced and that he “rescued his daughter from a life-threatening situation.”

Her conservatorship was brought under heightened scrutiny earlier this year after the release of “Framing Britney Spears” — a movie documenting the singer’s rise to fame, her struggles under the media spotlight and eventual conservatorship. Neither Britney Spears nor her family appeared on camera in the documentary, which debuted on Hulu in February.

Tuesday’s hearing was initially scheduled for Penny to review motions regarding fees and accounting matters for the conservatorship, including an objection from the singer’s mother Lynne Spears over more than $890,000 in fees charged to her daughter’s estate.

Lynne Spears took issue with fees paid to Holland & Knight, LLP, and asked that the court mandate her daughter be reimbursed for the charges to her estate. She also asked that the court review all raw records of the logged expenses in a filing last week, according to the document.

The singer’s mother alleges that some of the fees were excessive, unauthorized and “largely constituted a ‘national media tour’” for Jamie Spears’ lawyer, Vivian Thoreen, to combat negative press coverage.

“No media issues were contemplated by the Petition, and therefore, no fees or costs regarding handling or dealing with the media or responding to media outlets or media scrutiny should be compensated by the Conservatee’ s estate by order of the Court,” Lynne Spears’ objection read.

A supporter holds a fan while rallying for pop star Britney Spears during a conservatorship case hearing at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles on March 17, 2021.Mario Anzuoni / Reuters file

Jamie Spears’ legal team filed a biting response for the court on Monday, arguing that Lynne Spears “exploited her daughter’s pain and trauma for personal profit by publishing a book” and did not have Britney Spears’ best interests in mind.

“The Court should note that Lynne Spears fails to cite a single rule, statute, or case to support her fictitious argument about procedural impropriety,” his team’s response said.

The response argued that Holland & Knight was hired in part to protect the singer, including in media matters, because the subject of her conservatorship has been under “increasingly intense media scrutiny both in traditional news media as well as on social media and most recently, documentary films.”

Any decision on the objections and the other fee requests has been delayed for another hearing in July, where the judge will also review motions to seal for paperwork regarding the accounting for Britney Spears estate and conservatorship.



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