Britney Spears's lawyer resigns as conservatorship fallout continues

The singer's explosive appeal in June has put the 13-year arrangement in disarray

TOPSHOT - A life-size cardboard cutout of Britney Spears in seen as fans and supporters gather outside the County Courthouse in Los Angeles, California on June 23, 2021, during a scheduled hearing in Spears' conservatorship case.  Pop singer Britney Spears urged a US judge on June 23, to end a controversial guardianship that has given her father control over her affairs since 2008.
"I just want my life back. It's been 13 years and it's enough," she told a court hearing in Los Angeles during an emotional 20-minute address via videolink.
 / AFP / Frederic J. BROWN

The fallout from Britney Spears’s emotional testimony at her conservatorship hearing in June continues.

One day after the pop star’s manager of 25 years, Larry Rudolph, said he was resigning, Spears’s court-appointed lawyer is also asking to be let go.

In papers filed on Tuesday, Samuel Ingham III said he intended to resign as soon as a court can appoint another lawyer. The law firm, Loeb & Loeb, which has been working with Ingham, also filed a resignation.

Spears’s conservatorship, which has been in place since 2008, has given the singer’s father and other parties authority over her career, finances, personal life and even medical care for 13 years.

TOPSHOT - Supporters of the FreeBritney movement rally in support of musician Britney Spears following a conservatorship court hearing in Los Angeles, California on March 17, 2021. Free Britney supporters of fans of Spears have closely followed her conservatorship case and rallied that the pop singer should be legally allowed to decide her own affairs. / AFP / Patrick T. FALLON

Ingham’s fees, which have amounted to $3 million since the conservatorship began, are paid for by Spears’s estate, according to The New York Times.

Spears spoke publicly in court for the first time on June 23 in a hearing about the conservatorship. She called the arrangement abusive and said it controlled all aspects of her life, including her reproductive rights.

The singer also said she didn’t know she could file a petition to terminate the conservatorship, prompting questions about Ingham’s intentions.

“My lawyer, Sam, has been very scared for me to go forward,” Spears told the judge. “He told me I should keep it to myself."

Spears is yet to officially file papers to end the conservatorship.

'In Britney's best interest'

Ingham’s resignation comes a day after Spears’s long-time manager, credited with her early success as a pop star, filed his resignation.

Rudolph said he has not been in communication with Spears for more than two years and had no involvement with the conservatorship.

“As her manager, I believe it is in Britney's best interest for me to resign from her team as my professional services are no longer needed," Rudolph said in the letter, which was sent to Spears's father, Jamie Spears, and co-conservator, Jodi Montgomery, the licensed fiduciary temporarily appointed to oversee Britney’s personal affairs.

Last week, Bessemer Trust, which was appointed co-conservator of Spears's estate, requested to withdraw from the arrangement following her testimony.

In a petition, the financial firm asked the judge to approve its resignation from the case, citing "changed circumstances" including "the fact that Britney claimed irreparable harm to her interests".

Jamie Spears has in turn filed papers in court, in which he said he was "greatly saddened to hear of his daughter's difficulties and suffering" and "believes there must be an investigation into those claims".

Jamie said he stepped down from the joint conservatorship role in September 2019 and Montgomery was appointed temporary conservator of personal affairs. He said he had no intention of trying to reclaim the position and was not involved in her "personal care or medical or reproductive issues".

"Mr Spears has been unable to hear and address his daughter's concerns directly because he has been cut-off from communicating with her," the filing in Los Angeles Superior Court said.

Celebrity support for Britney Spears

The campaign of support for Spears continues, with more famous names publicly backing the singer since her June testimony.

The singer's ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, tweeted: "What's happening to her is just not right”.

"After what we saw today, we should all be supporting Britney at this time. Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was … what’s happening to her is just not right. No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body," Timberlake wrote on Twitter.

Mariah Carey also showed her solidarity, writing: "We love you Britney! Stay strong.”

Actor and activist Rose McGowan tweeted a link to a Hollywood Reporter story, with the caption: "Britney Spears has every right to be angry. How would you feel if your life was stolen, dissected, mocked? I pray she gets to live her life on her terms. Stop controlling women. #FreeBritney."

Singer Brandy also took to Twitter to send a message of support, tweeting: "Sending all my love and support to Britney Spears and her fans."

Miley Cyrus used a recent stint on stage to publicly back Britney.

The singer, who performed at a Las Vegas event last Sunday, stopped halfway through her hit track, Party in the USA – which references Britney to chant, "Free Britney, free Britney!”

Jamie Lynn Spears, the actress and younger sister of Britney Spears, also said she's proud of the pop superstar for speaking out about her life under the conservatorship.

In a video posted on her Instagram Stories last week, Jamie Lynn said she felt she can now comment publicly about the situation because her sister testified about it in court.

"Since the day I was born, I've only loved adored and supported my sister," Jamie Lynn said.

"I'm so proud of her for using her voice," she said. "I am only concerned about her happiness" and "have nothing to gain or lose either way".

Updated: July 7th 2021, 9:00 AM
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