Britney Spears’ lawyer says she fears her father and will not resume her career while he has power over it.
This week, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny decided not to suspend James Spears from his central role in the legal conservatorship that has controlled his daughter’s life and career for 12 years.
However, the judge said she would consider future petitions for his suspension or outright removal, which the pop singer’s lawyer, Samuel Ingham, plans to bring to court in the future.
“My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” Mr Ingham told the judge.
“She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”
Spears has been on an indefinite work hiatus since early 2019.
Mr Spears’ attorney, Vivian Lee Thoreen, defended what she said was a perfect record in his role as manager of her finances and personal affairs.
Under his management, she said he paid off his daughter’s debts and grew her net worth to more than $60 million.
Ms Thoreen argued that the disruption caused by his removal would impact negatively on Spears.
“I don’t believe there is a shred of evidence to support my client’s suspension,” she said.
Ms Thoreen also objected to Mr Ingham’s statements about the tense family relationship as inadmissible hearsay.
Mr Spears stepped down temporarily from that role last year, citing health reasons, and his daughter has requested that his temporary replacement, Jodi Montgomery, be made permanent.
The judge did approve one of Spears’ requests, appointing corporate trust management company the Bessemer Trust to serve as co-conservator over her estate along with her father.
But, in documents requesting Mr Spears’ suspension, Spears said her father had no intention of working with the Bessemer Trust as co-conservator and that he meant “to retain full functional control of her assets, books and records in the face of Britney’s objections”.
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Mr Spears’ attorneys said his “sole motivation has been his unconditional love for his daughter and a fierce desire to protect her from those trying to take advantage of her”.