Jamie Spears responds to suspension as Britney Spears' conservator

The singer's attorney faced off with her father's legal team on Wednesday.

September 30, 2021, 9:07 AM

Britney Spears' father, Jamie Spears, was suspended from her conservatorship Wednesday.

Certified public accountant John Zabel has been appointed as the temporary conservator of her estate, as requested by Britney Spears' attorney, Mathew Rosengart.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny said that the immediate suspension was necessitated by a "toxic environment."

Penny added that the suspension is "in the best interest of Britney Spears."

Jamie Spears had overseen his daughter's finances since the conservatorship was put into place in 2008. He also controlled her personal affairs until 2019, when he stepped down from that role, citing health issues. At that point, professional fiduciary Jodi Montgomery assumed the role.

In response to his suspension from his daughter's conservatorship, Jamie Spears issued a statement via his attorney, Vivian Thoreen, on Thursday. saying he loves his daughter "unconditionally" and has "tried to do what is in her best interests" for the past 13 years, "whether as a conservator or her father."

"For anyone who has tried to help a family member dealing with mental health issues, they can appreciate the tremendous amount of daily worry and work this required," the statement continued, alleging Jamie Spears helped Britney Spears "revive her career and re-establish a relationship with her children."

"For Mr. Spears, this also meant biting his tongue and not responding to all the false, speculative, and unsubstantiated attacks on him by certain members of the public, media, or more recently, Britney's own attorney," the statement read.

The statement said the outcome of Wednesday's hearing is "disappointing, and frankly, a loss for Britney," adding that the court was "wrong to suspend Mr. Spears, put a stranger in his place to manage Britney's estate, and extend the very conservatorship that Britney begged the court to terminate earlier this summer."

"Again, it was Mr. Spears who took the initiative to file the petition to terminate the conservatorship when neither Britney's former court-appointed counsel nor her new privately-retained attorney would do so," the statement continued. "It was Mr. Spears who asked the court at yesterday's hearing to immediately terminate the conservatorship while Britney's own attorney argued against it."

Jamie Spears' statement concluded: "Despite the suspension, Mr. Spears will continue to look out for the best interests of his daughter and work in good faith towards a positive resolution of all matters."

Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor, filed in July to remove Jamie Spears from the conservatorship, calling the current arrangement a "Kafkaesque nightmare" that has "grown increasingly toxic and is simply no longer tenable."

Meanwhile, Jamie Spears filed earlier this month to end the conservatorship altogether. "If Ms. [Britney] Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance," a recent filing reads.

Rosengart has called Jamie Spears' actions "a desperate effort to deflect attention from his egregious incompetence [and] gross misconduct including dissipation of funds." He also criticized Jamie Spears for using what he believes are stall tactics.

However, both sides are aligned in their want to ultimately end the conservatorship. Rosengart said in a recent court filing that he and his team want the conservatorship terminated in its entirety "this fall" and "formally wound down," but he has not filed paperwork to do that just yet.

The next hearing will be Nov. 12. At that time, the court is expected to make a decision about the termination of the conservatorship. There will be another hearing on Dec. 13 pertaining to a litany of financial and accounting matters.

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