Is Britney ready to take on her life without a conservatorship? The biggest pop star of the millennium is back in the headlines after canceling her return to Las Vegas for her new show Britney: Domination and announcing an indefinite work hiatus. She checked into a mental health facility for a few weeks and rumors over her unhappiness at the continued control of her father have reignited the #FreeBritney campaign.
In 2008 Jamie Spears, Britney’s father, petitioned the court for a temporary “emergency conservatorship” following very public and prolonged erratic behavior that landed Brittany in round-the-clock supervision at a psychiatric hospital. He was given control over his daughter’s financial assets, medical treatment and Spears herself. A day after Spears was taken by ambulance to UCLA medical center commissioner Reva Goetz told a packed courtroom that conservatorship of her person was both necessary and important. "It is in the best interests of the conservatee to have conservatorship over her person." Brittany herself has admitted that her father probably saved her life by conserving her.
For the last decade Spears’ father and a lawyer, Andrew M. Wallet, have overseen her financial and personal life, including her health. A court approved conservatorship such as this one is typically used to protect people who cannot protect themselves; i.e. the elderly with cognitive decline, the mentally disabled and those with extreme illness. A young celebrity being conserved was almost unheard of before Brittany.
And what does all this mean for her?
Spears cannot make financial or personal decisions without the oversight of her father. He can stop people from visiting her in the hospital, maintain control over her medical records and cancel any contracts she may have. From her coffees at Starbucks to her sons’ rides at the amusement parks, each detail is potentially overseen by her father and reported to the court. The intention is to safeguard the large amount of money that she has earned but is not capable of managing. Her medications, and whether or not she is taking them, her treatment - all of it is under the watchful eye and legal control of her father.
The details of Britney’s conservatorship have not been made available to the public, nor has her mental condition or psychiatric evaluations. But court filings suggest an undisclosed mental illness and substance abuse as the reasons for her lengthy conservatorship.
Jamie Spears Sudden Health Decline
Jamie Spears’ sudden and serious illness this year coincided with Britney’s seeking help at a mental health facility and opting to put off her Las Vegas residency to spend time with her family. She made an appearance in court in April with her father and some say she wanted changes in the conservatorship. Fans of the #FreeBritney campaign gathered outside the court, but no new information on her conservatorship was forthcoming. However, the lawyer who shared the oversight of the conservatorship with her father, Andrew Wallet, resigned, leaving Jamie Spears as the sole conservator. The court appointed another lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, to review the actions of the conservatorship as an independent advocate for Britney. His job is to make sure that there is no abuse of power or misuse of her money.
Meanwhile on May 8 2019, former manager and insider Sam Lutfi was ordered by the court not to contact the singer or her family. The restraining order came amidst a new campaign of harassment and threats against her family.
According to court documents Lutfi texted and called Britney’s mother and posted threatening comments on social media, calling for the public to help free Britney from her conservatorship. Lutfi had been restrained before in 2008 and Britney was part of a long line of people who had asked for restraining orders against him. Sam Lutfi, or Osama Lutfi, the name listed in court documents, was issued the restraining order on the very same day that Britney was conserved in 2008. Spears’ mother Lynne stated that Lufi “essentially moved into Britney’s home and has purported to take control of her life, home and finances.”
On May 28th of this year another hearing was held after Sam Lutfi complained that his constitutional rights were being violated. Judge Brenda Penny ruled that the restraining order will stay in effect until June 13 when another hearing is scheduled that could extend the court ruling to restrain Lutfi for several years.
On May 10th, 2019 Britney appeared in court with her mother, Lynne, to attend a new status hearing on her conservatorship. The hearing was closed off to the public, as requested by Spears’ parents and attorney. According to information obtained from court documents by ET the judge in this status hearing appointed an expert to evaluate the conservatorship. The next hearing is set for September 18, and in the meantime there is speculation that a mental evaluation of Britney will take place along parameters set by her father and a court-appointed attorney.
If all that were not enough, Jamie Spears recently filed for conservatorship in Louisiana, with plans to file in Hawaii and Florida apparently in the works. Louisiana is Britney’s home state and Hawaii and Florida are states where Britney frequently vacations.
Only time will tell what happens in the Britney Spears Conservatorship Saga. In the meantime we wish her the best in a very stressful situation.
For questions about Conservatorship, including contested and litigated Conservatorships in Contra Costa or Alameda County, contact The Talbot Law Group at 925-322-1795 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.