In what could be described as the boldest of bold moves, Britney Spears’ father Jamie Spears is asking that his famous daughter’s estate be required to pay all of his legal fees resulting from him being removed as conservator due to a court order, per Variety. The entire case became something of a cultural moment. The legendary pop star, who has been under a conservatorship that controlled her finances and daily life for thirteen years, recently won the right to make her own decisions in the court of law. Despite that, the elder Spears now would like Britney to provide funds to pay his attorney, who reportedly charges something in the neighborhood of $1,200 an hour.
The controversial conservatorship of Britney Spears was an enormous topic of cultural conversation this last year, inspiring three separate documentaries from Netflix, FX and CNN. Initially beginning as a grassroots fan movement eventually known as #FreeBritney, the growing awareness of the unusual nature of the pop star’s managerial circumstances grew from a mocked conspiracy theory to a full-blown legal case. Jamie Spears, who had orchestrated virtually every aspect of Britney’s affairs along with a managerial team, was suspended from the conservatorship in September.
As it turns out, during the course of Britney Spears’ legal battle, she not only had to pay for her own attorneys, but also those of the very people who were arguing that she should not be allowed to make her own financial decisions. Now that she has won the ability to make those decisions, Jamie Spears’ petition states, “Prompt payment on account of Jamie’s attorneys’ fees is necessary to ensure the Conservatorship can be wound up quickly and efficiently to allow Britney to take control of her life as she and Jamie desire,” per Variety. That is to say, if Britney Spears would like to get this all over and done with as quickly as possible, she had better make sure her opposition doesn’t have to pay their attorneys themselves. So far, Jamie Spears has filed his petition. The court has yet to rule on the issue.
Britney Spears’ conservatorship was considered unusual in many regards, not least of which was the fact that Jamie Spears initially petitioned for a “temporary” conservatorship in the light of her well-publicized mid-00s erratic behavior. However, when that temporary conservatorship extended into over a decade of extensive tours, Las Vegas residences and the release of a number of platinum-selling albums, fans began to vocally question its appropriateness.
The release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears ignited a wider public interest in her case, and after a number of back and forth court decisions, the conservatorship has been officially terminated. And while Jamie Spears has reportedly already earned millions in his role as the paid conservator of her estate, he’s still asking for yet more of her earnings. Britney’s attorneys are already objecting to the petition in strong terms. They’ve called his petition an “abomination” and “shameful”. Meanwhile, the singer herself is apparently looking forward to a future more on her own terms. The results of the petition are yet to be determined.