Britney Spears' father intends to stand down.
Jamie Spears, 69, agreed to remove himself as conservator of her estate "when the time is right," after holding the position since her conservatorship began in 2008.
According to his Aug. 12 court filing obtained by E! News, Jamie's legal team says there are "no actual grounds for suspending or removing Mr. Spears," but he is willing to step aside in the future to avoid a "battle" with Britney.
"It is highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms. Spears' best interests," his response reads. "Nevertheless, even as Mr. Spears is the unremitting target of unjustified attacks, he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests."
It continues, "So even though he must contest this unjustified Petition for his removal, Mr. Spears intends to work with the Court and his daughter's new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator."
The matter is expected to be discussed and potentially finalized at her Sept. 29 court hearing.
With the help of her new lawyer, the 39-year-old pop star would be free of Jamie's legal control over her career. Jamie served as both a conservator of her estate and person for more than a decade, but, in 2019, he temporarily stepped down as manager of her person due to his own health issues. Jodi Montgomery took his place for the past two years in a temporary capacity, and she's currently approved in her role through Oct. 8.
Last month, Britney told a judge in court that her dad was "ruining" her life. "I'm here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse," she said in her testimony. "I want him investigated…This conservatorship has allowed my dad to ruin my life." Her former lawyer, Sam Ingham, has previously said Britney is afraid of her father and refused to perform while he managed her finances.
On July 26, just days after a judge granted her permission to hire a new lawyer, attorney Mathew Rosengart filed the official court petition to request that Jamie be removed as conservator of her estate. Britney nominated professional fiduciary and certified public accountant Jason Rubin to take his place.
After Jamie announced his intention to step down, Britney's lawyer released a statement on Aug. 12, reading, "I announced in Court on July 14 that, after 13 years of the status quo, it was time for Mr. Spears to be suspended or removed as conservator and that my firm and I would move aggressively and expeditiously for that outcome. "
He said he filed papers to suspend Jamie "based on strong, insurmountable legal grounds, which were unequivocally supported by the law and all parties involved, including Jodi Montgomery, Britney Spears, and her medical team."
Mathew added, "We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney. We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others."
In Jamie's response to the petition, his team writes that Britney was "in crisis" and "desperately in need of help" when the conservatorship began. "Not only was she suffering mentally and emotionally, she was also being manipulated by predators and in financial distress. Mr. Spears came to his daughter's rescue to protect her," it reads. "Mr. Spears has always done what he believes was in his daughter's best interests."
He says the conservatorship saved the "Toxic" artist from "disaster," but "recently much has changed" as she has "vocalized a desire to end the Conservatorship."
The document states that Jamie should not be suspended or removed "and certainly not based on false allegations." Instead, he is "willing to step down when the time is right." It notes, "the transition needs to be orderly and include a resolution of matters pending before the Court," and he asks the judge to deny Britney's petition to remove him. Jamie previously requested the court to investigate her allegations.
If Jamie is out, there would be a vacancy in the conservator of her estate. Britney expressed in court that if she couldn't end the conservatorship altogether, she at least wanted to remove her father.
Jamie's lawyer, Vivian Thoreen, acknowledged Britney's "suffering" during a court statement in June, saying he is "sorry" to see her "in so much pain" as he "loves his daughter."
Editor's Note (Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 at 4:15 p.m. PST): This article has been updated to clarify that the court documents filed by Jamie Spears' legal team indicated he is "willing" to step down.