Britney Spears’ father on Thursday said he’s “willing to step down” as his daughter’s conservator, but argues there is no justification for him to immediately be replaced or resign from the position he’s held for more than 13 years.
In a response to a petition to replace him, James “Jamie” Spears’ legal team argued that he stepped in to his daughter’s life in 2008 through the conservatorship because she was “desperately in need of help.” Britney Spears was suffering emotionally and being “manipulated by predators,” the filing said.
“Mr. Spears continues to serve dutifully, and he should not be suspended or removed, and certainly not based on false allegations,” the filing on Thursday said. “Mr. Spears is willing to step down when the time is right, but the transition needs to be orderly and include a resolution of matters pending before the Court.”
The filing argued that the petition filed to remove him by Britney Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, was based on falsehoods and that he has been the subject of “unremitting target of unjustified attacks.”
The filing led to some confusion Thursday as some outlets reported he filed his resignation, but Jamie Spears’ legal team confirmed to NBC News that he was not stepping aside at this time.
Jamie Spears’ filing instead points out that there are several matters pending in the conservatorship that must be settled before he could conceivably be removed.
“When these matters are resolved, Mr. Spears will be in a position to step aside,” the motion said. “But there are no urgent circumstances justifying Mr. Spears’ immediate suspension.”
Rosengart, who was appointed to the singer’s case on July 14, filed a petition requesting the court remove Jamie Spears as conservator and be replaced with professional accountant Jason Rubin. The court is expected to decide on the request during a hearing next month.
Los Angeles Superior Judge Brenda Penny rejected the petition to advance the hearing to remove Jamie Spears as conservator in a new filing on Monday.
Rosengart argued that Britney Spears’ mental health was being negatively affected by her father’s control over her life. The July filing included a declaration from conservator-of-the person Jodi Montgomery that alleged the current father-daughter dynamic was “not psychologically healthy” for Britney Spears.
Jamie Spears’ response on Thursday specifically addressed allegations made by his ex-wife, Lynne Spears, who also provided a declaration that said she did not believe he was acting in the best interests of his daughter. She said that Jamie Spears’ “absolutely microscopic control” through threats and coercion has reduced his relationship with his daughter to nothing more than “fear and hatred.”
Lynne Spears noted that she became involved in her daughter’s case during a “time of crisis” that began in 2018 and continued into the next year. She said that in that period Britney Spears was being treated by a “sports enhancement” doctor hired by Jamie Spears who was “prescribing what I and many others thought to be entirely inappropriate medicine to my daughter, who did not want to take the medicine.”
Jamie Spears refuted the allegation, saying that Lynne Spears “has not accepted the full extent” of the level of care and treatment their daughter needed for her mental health. The filing also argued that the doctor was a Harvard-trained psychiatrist approved of by Britney Spears after an interview.
He also denied having coerced his daughter to “do anything,” including forced inpatient facility treatment.
“If the public knew all the facts of Ms. Spears’ personal life, not only her highs but also her lows, all of the addiction and mental health issues that she has struggled with, and all of the challenges of the Conservatorship, they would praise Mr. Spears for the job he has done, not vilify him,” the filing said.
“But the public does not know all the facts, and they have no right to know, so there will be no public redemption for Mr. Spears.”
Lynne Spears’ attorney, Gladstone N. Jones, III, said in a statement on Thursday that she is “pleased Jamie has agreed to step down.”
“Lynne entered into this conservatorship to protect her daughter almost 3 years ago,” Jones said. “She has accomplished what she set out to do. She will have no further comment.”
In a statement following the new filing, Rosengart on Thursday said his team was pleased that Jamie Spears “conceded in a filing that he must be removed.”
“We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter’s estate, and I look forward to taking Mr. Spears’s sworn deposition in the near future,” Rosengart said.