The financial management firm that was supposed to take over Britney Spears
' widely criticized conservatorship
father filed a request to resign on Thursday, putting the arrangement's future in doubt.
According to Stardia, Bessemer Trust
cited "changed circumstances" in its request to be released
from the singer's financial situation, claiming that it had been under the impression that Spears had voluntarily submitted to the conservatorship.
Last week, when she spoke openly about the conservatorship for the first time, the pop star sharply rebuked her father, Jamie Spears
, as well as other family
members and the lawyers appointed to represent her.
“I’ve told the world I’m happy and OK. It’s a lie,” Spears said remotely in a Los Angeles
courtroom, “but now I’m telling you the truth, OK? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep
. I’m so angry it’s insane, and I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
According to the Times, Bessemer’s court filing resulted from Spears’ court appearance. “Petitioner has become aware that the Conservatee objects to the continuation of her Conservatorship and desires to terminate the conservatorship,” it stated. “Petitioner has heard the Conservatee and respects her wishes.”
Spears' attorney, Samuel Ingham, filed a request in November 2020 to remove her father from the conservatorship, which Judge Brenda Penny
denied on Wednesday. Penny previously indicated she would allow Bessemer Trust to sign on as co-conservator.
According to the company's website, Bessemer Trust manages approximately $100 billion in assets across 11,000 trusts.
A conservatorship is a court-ordered arrangement that places an individual's finances in the hands of others when that individual is deemed unable to care for herself. Spears' conservatorship was established by her family in 2008, following a series of public mental health
crises that led to her hospitalization on an involuntary psychiatric hold.
Last week, the pop star admitted that she did not realize she could petition the court to end the conservatorship, apologizing for her "ignorance." She argued that if she was well enough to work
and employ all of the people
who told her what she could do with her money
, she was well enough to manage her estate.
Spears claimed she wanted to marry her boyfriend
, Sam Asghari
, and remove an IUD that was preventing her from having more children
, but her conservators told her she couldn't. (Planned Parenthood President
Alexis McGill Johnson called the claim "reproductive coercion.")
Spears stated, "I deserve to have a life."
Spears has yet to file paperwork formally requesting that the conservatorship be dissolved, despite the fact that she explicitly stated her desire to do so in her stunning courtroom remarks, which triggered a worldwide outpouring of support. Fans
who started the movement to remove Spears from her conservatorship using the hashtag #FreeBritney saw the 20-minute speech as a step toward victory.
Jamie Spears reportedly claimed in court documents that he is not the villain fans have made him out to be and that he has not been involved in decisions about his daughter's life for the past two years.
However, stories from others in Britney Spears' orbit have helped to illustrate the effect of the conservatorship, with singer Iggy Azalea
saying in a statement of solidarity that she witnessed its effects firsthand while working with Spears in 2015.
Azalea wrote, "She is not exaggerating or lying."
The White House
has also weighed in on Spears' situation, with press secretary Jen Psaki
stating that she was keeping a close eye on the situation.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren
(D-Mass.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) wrote a letter demanding data on conservatorships held across the country on Thursday, saying Spears' case “has shed light on longstanding concerns from advocates who have highlighted the potential for financial and civil rights
abuses of individuals placed under guardianship or conservatorship.”