Britney Spears’ scathing deposition before Los Angeles circuit judge Brenda Parker in June marked a new chapter in the contentious dispute over who should be her conservator, as she painted a heartbreaking picture of the past 13 years of her life.
The biological father of pop star Britney Spears, James “Jamie” Spears, has held the position of conservator since 2008.
While Spears had a rough 2008 that culminated in an involuntary psychiatric hold under section 5150, the conservatorship helped get her career back on track, and she has since released hit albums, toured the world, and even starred in a Las Vegas residency.
According to Spears, her father and the people she paid to oversee her professional and personal life forced her to work around the clock, every day of the week. She even compared her schedule, in which she rarely took time off to that of a sex slave.
See If It Adds Up In The Official Report
Recently discovered court records reveal that Ms. Spears questioned his qualifications for the position. In a 2014 closed session, Ms. Spears’ court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, stated that Ms. Spears was interested in exploring the possibility of replacing her father as guardian due to a “shopping list” of problems, including her father’s alcoholism.
Last year, Mr. Ingham testified before a judge that Ms. Spears was “afraid of her father,” who is still in charge of managing her nearly $60 million fortune.
Ms. Spears has asked for a speedy hearing and plans to appear in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday to make her case. It is assumed that her relationship with her father will be the primary focus of her statements; however, whether or not they will be made public is currently unknown.
Representatives for Mr. Spears (then 68) remained silent, citing an impending court date. However, they have previously stated that Mr. Spears was a caring and responsible parent, and that the conservatorship was necessary to protect Ms. Spears from harm.
Defense attorney Vivian Lee Thoreen told People earlier this year, “Any time Britney wishes to stop her guardianship, she can call her attorney to submit an application to end it; she was given this power but in thirteen years never has exercised it.”
Whether or not a conservatorship is in place, “Britney understands that my Father loves her,” and “he is going to be there whenever so if she wants him, just like he always has.”
“Britney & Jamie”
The conservatorship battle, as the court records show, has its origins in the dysfunction of the family as a whole.
He had a “very traumatic upbringing,” according to Debbie Sanders Crosse, Mr. Spears’ first wife and a friend to this day. She reasoned that this must be why he acts so guarded around Britney.
Mr. Spears grew up in the sleepy Louisiana town of Kentwood, where he starred as quarterback for the school’s football team. His father was a tough, demanding boilermaker. James Spears “loved them and respected him” despite his father’s harsh treatment, as noted by Elton Shaw, Mr. Spears’ former coach.
Mr. Spears’s early life was marred by tragedy: when he was 13 years old, his mother reportedly committed suicide at the graves of her young son.
Four years after the car accident that killed Mr. Spears’ football teammate, Mr. Spears himself was involved in a similar crash. According to a news article, he was arrested for drug possession and driving under the influence when he was just 22 years old.
In 1980, when he was married to Britney’s mother Lynne Spears, she filed for divorce and asked the court to issue a restraining order against him because she was afraid he would “become angry after being served with these papers” and harass or harm her, “especially if he had been having a drink alcoholic drinks, as he has done in the past.”
The Spears family claims that even though the couple reconciled, Ms. Spears’ childhood was difficult due to her father’s mental illness. Years of “verbal abuse,” “abandonment,” and “erratic behavior” were detailed in Lynne’s 2008 memoir.
There Was Some Uncertainty About Her Father’s Authority On Her Part
Court documents reveal Ms. Spears’s concerns that her father was not the right person to be making and enforcing the rules for her life.
During her first tour under conservatorship, The Ring Starring Britney Spears, cast and crew members reportedly were not allowed to consume alcoholic beverages or energy drinks within close proximity to Ms. Spears.
In a legal letter sent in 2010, Ms. Spears’ ex-babysitter and housekeeper accused Mr. Spears of “verbal abuse, tirades, inappropriate behavior, and drunken relapses” during their time working together.
In a closed session with the judge in 2014, Mr. Ingham reportedly claimed that Ms. Spears believed her father was under the influence of alcohol. The attorneys handling Mr. Spears’ conservatorship petition said that he has willingly submitted to and passed all of his random alcohol testing.
Mr. Spears’ attorney said that his client took one random test but refused to take any more because he found them to be intrusive.
Britney Spears’ father recently sold the house where she grew up. His daughter’s megawatt career memorabilia is stored in a facility on the outskirts of town, down a winding country road, where he has been parking his RV.