Britney Spears has something to say.
After years of relative silence regarding the court-approved conservatory that has controlled much of her life since 2008, an attorney for the pop singer moved Tuesday to allow Spears to speak at a hearing soon.
“The Conservate asked me to apply for a status hearing in the court where she can go directly to the court,” said Samuel D. Ingham III, the court-appointed attorney who represents Spears at her Conservatory, the judge who monitored the case. He suggested that the hearing be “expedited”, preferably within 30 days.
Judge Brenda Penny agreed and set the Conservatory Status hearing for June 23rd. An additional hearing in this case was planned for July.
The request on behalf of Spears came during a remote virtual meeting in the case that it was mainly housekeeping between lawyers. But the possibility that the quintessentially disguised pop star would approach the court meant a postponement for Spears, who has rarely commented on the case for more than a decade.
It would be the first time Spears has done this in court since seeking significant changes at the Conservatory, including removing her father, Jamie Spears, from one of the leading roles on the agreement.
For years, fans and watchers have wondered why the singer was in a conservatory, sometimes referred to as guardianship, arguing that she was detained or exploited against her will. Conservatories are usually reserved for the very sick, old, or sick, but Spears continued to perform and grossed millions of dollars.
The conversation about Spears’ situation – fueled in part by fans calling themselves the #FreeBritney movement – began earlier this year following the release of Framing Britney Spears, a television documentary by the New York Times.
Spears has been in a conservatory for 13 years after a long public breakdown and multiple hospital stays. Your exact medical diagnosis is unknown.
Outside of the courtroom, Spears only pointed out her legal situation at an angle and assured fans worried about her welfare that she was “completely fine”.
“I’m very happy, I have a nice home, nice kids,” Spears said on Instagram this month. “I’m taking a break right now because I’m enjoying myself.”
It was more controversial in court records when Ingham said Spears was “strongly against” her father returning as her personal curator.
Jamie Spears is currently co-curator of his daughter’s estate and helps oversee her finances alongside Bessemer Trust, a corporate trustee. Prior to this, Jamie also served as Britney’s personal curator, helping organize their medical and mental health care, safety, and more. He stepped down from that role in September 2019, citing health issues.
The singer had asked that Jodi Montgomery, a licensed professional restorer, remain in the role she has temporarily held since 2019. Ingham said Spears was “afraid of her father” and would not perform if he kept command.
Spears’ mother, Lynne, has also raised questions about $ 890,000 in legal fees for Jamie Spears, which her lawyers have labeled “improper” and “absolutely excessive”. (Jamie Spears’ attorneys responded, “She was not involved with her daughter’s conservatory until recently and is now objecting to fees on matters she is unaware of.”)
Vivian Lee Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears, said the singer’s father “was diligent and professional in his duties,” and that his daughter’s safety was his number one priority.
Jamie Spears “would do nothing better than to see that Britney doesn’t need a conservatory,” Thoreen said in March.
“Whether or not the Conservatory comes to an end really depends on Britney,” she added. “If she wants to finish her conservatory, she can petition to end it.”
Louis Keene and Samantha Stark contributed to the coverage.