Britney Spears asks court to curb her father's 12-year control over her life and career

Jamie Spears has been granted conservatorship over his superstar daughter's major life decisions since 2008

This combination photo shows Jamie Spears, left, father of Britney Spears, as he leaves the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Oct. 24, 2012, in Los Angeles and Britney Spears at the Clive Davis and The Recording Academy Pre-Grammy Gala on Feb. 11, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif.. Britney Spears is asking a court to curb her father's control over her life and career. In documents filed Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, Spears asked that her father not return to the role of conservator of her person, which gave him power over her life decisions from 2008 until 2019, when he temporarily stepped aside.  (AP Photo)
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Britney Spears has asked a court to keep her father from reasserting the broad control over her life and career that he has had for much of the past 12 years.

The conservatorship means Spears is blocked from making most major decisions about her life, career or finances, and it was put in place by a US court in 2008 after she experienced several public breakdowns.

Documents filed on Tuesday by her court-appointed lawyer give a rare public airing to the wishes of the 38-year-old pop superstar, and in them she asked that her father not return to the role. “Britney is strongly opposed to Jamie’s return as conservator of her person,” the document states. This status has given him power over her major life decisions since 2008.

In 2019, he temporarily stepped aside from the role that gave him power over life decisions, while keeping his separate role as conservator over his daughter's finances. He cited health problems as the reason for stepping back; the arrangement is now up for renewal in court.

For the first 11 years of the conservatorship, he served alongside attorney Andrew M Wallet. However, Wallet resigned from the role early last year.

Britney Spears has not had control over her major life decisions since 2008. AFP

That meant for a brief period before he stepped aside, Jamie Spears had sole power over Britney Spears's life, money and career, a situation she says she very much wants to avoid repeating as she attempts to stop his return. AP says an email seeking comment from Jamie Spears's attorney was not immediately returned.

The current conservatorship order was due for renewal earlier this year, however, a court granted an extension until Saturday, August 22 to allow those involved to "figure out what is best" for Spears.

Ahead of that hearing, documents revealed Spears wants Jodi Montgomery, who has been serving as conservator of her person temporarily, to do so permanently, but she says that doesn't mean she is waiving her right to seek an end to the entire arrangement. Montgomery is a principal at the law firm Pais Montgomery Fiduciary based in California, and has been serving as Spears’s care manager since 2018.

The documents also reveal that Britney Spears has no plans to perform again any time soon. She last performed live in October 2018, and early in 2019 she cancelled a planned Las Vegas residency.

Britney Spears has almost never spoken publicly about the conservatorship matter, and court hearings and documents in the case are shrouded in privacy, although last year she addressed the court at her request, suggesting she was seeking changes.

Britney Spears is instead seeking Jodi Montgomery, who has been serving as conservator of her person temporarily, to do so permanently.

In the papers, Spears praises the conservatorship and its work overall, saying it “rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin" and that it made her "able to regain her position as a world class entertainer".

The document was filed a day before a status hearing on the conservatorship, which is expected to be closed to the media and public.

Britney Spears's attorney said that he expects Jamie Spears will aggressively contest being marginalised, and added that Britney has suggested they retain a lawyer with expertise in complex financial court fights.

The conservatorship, known in some states as a guardianship, gave Jamie Spears power over his daughter's career choices and much of her personal life, including aspects of her relationship with her teenage sons.

Spears's ex-husband Kevin Federline has custody of the boys, but she has frequent visits with them.

Over the years, many of Spears's fans have expressed concern over the conservatorship, leading to the #FreeBritney movement on social media. Some fans believe the star is being manipulated and controlled, however sources close to the star have always maintained that the arrangement is in place to help Spears, and that she has been very much involved in business decisions.

Additional reporting by AP