Britney Spears ends protracted battle with her father over conservatorship legal fees

A collage showing Jamie Spears in a suit and his daughter Britney Spears in a sparkling top
Jamie Spears, left, and his daughter Britney Spears have settled their dispute over legal fees relating to her protracted conservatorship. (Associated Press)

Britney Spears and her father Jamie Spears, her former conservator, have settled their protracted legal dispute over the payment of his legal fees and how he managed her finances during her 13-year conservatorship.

The two parties settled for an undisclosed amount Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court after first filing about the issue in December 2021. The settlement helps the 42-year-old pop superstar avoid continued litigation, including a hearing that had been set for May, over her father's alleged financial misconduct during the controversial legal arrangement.

Read more: Britney Spears' highs and lows — a timeline from 'The Mickey Mouse Club' to her tell-all memoir

The infamous court-ordered guardianship, which was implemented in 2008 after Spears exhibited a spate of erratic behavior, dictated the superstar's personal and professional life, and controlled her money, for more than a decade. Jamie Spears, 71, served as the conservator of her person and estate for years before resigning as her personal conservator in 2019 over "personal health reasons." He was removed as a conservator of her estate in September 2021, and the legal arrangement was terminated altogether more than two years ago, but the fallout over accounting issues and legal fees carried on in court until last week.

"Although the conservatorship was terminated in November 2021, her wish for freedom is now truly complete," the singer's attorney, Mathew S. Rosengart, said Monday in a statement to The Times. "As she desired, her freedom now includes that she will no longer need to attend or be involved with court or entangled with legal proceedings in this matter.”

Rosengart, who changed the trajectory of the Grammy winner's situation after he was hired as her personal attorney in July 2021, said it has been an "honor and privilege to represent, protect, and defend Britney Spears in that matter."

Jamie Spears' attorney, Alex Weingarten, also confirmed that a settlement had been reached to resolve all outstanding disputes but would not comment on the specifics because the settlement is confidential.

Read more: Britney Spears' 13-year conservatorship is done. Here's how we got here

"At the insistence of counsel for Ms. Spears, the settlement is confidential and I cannot discuss it," Weingarten said Monday in an email to The Times. "Jamie has nothing to hide and would be happy to disclose everything about every aspect of the conservatorship so that the public knows the actual truth. Jamie loves his daughter very much and has always done everything he can to protect her."

Last week, Weingarten told People that Jamie Spears is also "thrilled that this is all behind him," adding that it is "unfortunate that some irresponsible people in Britney’s life chose to drag this on for as long as it has."

Jamie Spears, who had sought court approval for more than $2 million in payments to multiple law firms before officially relinquishing control of his daughter’s finances, also sought fees to be paid to his own attorneys. However, Rosengart objected to the fees, arguing that Britney Spears should not have to pay her father's legal bills because he had paid himself millions as her conservator, improperly surveilled her and engaged in financial misconduct during his tenure, the New York Times reported.

Jamie Spears has denied any wrongdoing.

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The "... Baby One More Time" and "Toxic" singer appeared to address the latest legal development on Instagram in a since-deleted post that blasted her parents.

"My family hurt me !!! There has been no justice and probably never will be !!!" she wrote, according to a screenshot of the Sunday post published by TMZ.

"The way I was brought up I was always taught the formative of right and wrong but the very two people who brought me up with that method hurt me !!! I am so lucky to be here !!!," she added.

Spears, who has long contended that she's afraid of her father, said she hasn't told her parents her thoughts face to face. The mother of two also said she misses her home in Louisiana and wishes she could visit but "they took everything."

Meanwhile, citing sources with "direct knowledge," TMZ reported Monday that Spears is in "serious danger" on both the mental and financial fronts, faring far worse than she had been when she was under the control of the conservatorship.

Rosengart and Weingarten declined to comment on the allegations.

Read more: Britney Spears' 'The Woman in Me': 8 takeaways from a book full of fury

After the conservatorship ended, the "Mickey Mouse Club" alum wrested back control of her life and narrative and has basked in her newfound freedom, including making moves that have seemingly led to new revenue streams.

In 2022, the former Las Vegas headliner landed a $15-million book deal that resulted in the publication of her bombshell memoir "The Woman in Me" last fall. The revelatory account — chronicling her early career, romances with Justin Timberlake and Kevin Federline and the conservatorship — was released to much fanfare and impressive sales. It sold more than 1.1 million copies in the United States its first week. In January, Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, announced that the book had sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. alone across multiple formats. The audiobook, recited by Oscar winner Michelle Williams, became the fastest selling in the company’s history.

Hollywood producers, including Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Reese Witherspoon, have reportedly also been looking to adapt the book for the big screen.

Although Spears has largely retreated from her live-performance career, she has been flaunting her freedom and lifestyle on Instagram, posting photos from the various destinations she has traveled to via private jet. She is also presumably enjoying the royalties from her 2022 collaboration with Elton John on "Hold Me Closer," a reimagining of his 1970s classic "Tiny Dancer."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.