'Victory for Britney:' Pop star's father agrees to step down from her conservatorship
Only days after asserting in court documents that there are "no grounds whatsoever" to fire him as Britney Spears' conservator, her father, Jamie Spears, agreed to step down in her "best interests," according to a document Jamie is filing with the court and obtained by USA TODAY.
"Even as Mr. Spears is the unremitting target of unjustified attacks, he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests," reads the document.
"So, even though he must contest this unjustified Petition for his removal, Mr. Spears intends to work with the Court and his daughter's new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator."
Britney's lawyer also confirmed to USA TODAY Jamie Spears will step down from his role.
Even though his 13-year role in control of his daughter's finances and intimate life choices is ending, he will always be her father, Jamie Spears asserted in the document.
"He will always love her unconditionally, and he will always look out for her best interests," the document said.
Jamie Spears' lawyer, Vivian Thoreen, did not return a message from USA TODAY.
The decision, if affirmed by the Los Angeles probate court Judge Brenda Penny, is a "major victory and another step towards justice" for Britney, according to her new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart.
"We are pleased but not necessarily surprised that Mr. Spears and his lawyer finally recognize that he must be removed," Rosengart said in a statement to USA TODAY. "We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others."
He vowed to continue his "vigorous investigation" into Jamie Spears' conduct as conservator while he "reaped millions of dollars" from his daughter's estate.
"I look forward to taking Mr. Spears's sworn deposition in the near future," he said in the statement. "In the interim, rather than making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr. Spears should step aside immediately."
Earlier this week Rosengart failed to persuade Judge Penny to move up a September hearing to discuss the conservatorship and dropping Jamie Spears from his role. He also failed to persuade Penny to immediately suspend Jamie Spears and install his chosen professional conservator, Jason Rubin, as a temporary replacement.
Jamie Spears dismisses ex-wife Lynne's claims
Jamie Spears' decision to step down was contained in a 15-page document that featured a fair amount of reputation management for Jamie by his lawyer. The document continued to lay out all the reasons why Jamie should not be forcibly removed as conservator, including that his conservator role saved his daughter from "disaster" starting in 2008.
"For over a decade, the Conservatorship functioned the way it was intended, but recently much has changed. Ms. Spears has vocalized a desire to end the
Conservatorship, many of the professionals who were providing her support have resigned, including her former court-appointed counsel, and she has found new counsel."
The document asserts that Rosengart filed to get rid of Jamie "precipitously without adequate investigation, and based on unsubstantiated allegations and improper opinions."
"The interests of (Britney) are never well served by false allegations that will only mislead the Court and (Britney) herself regarding the true state of affairs," the document says.
The document also attacks Britney's mother, Jamie's ex-wife Lynne Spears, who is an interested party in the case but does not have a role in the conservatorship. Through her lawyer she recently filed documents with the court calling for Jamie to be removed.
"The Court cannot rely on the unsupported claims and speculations of someone whom Ms. Spears has avoided speaking with for most of her adult life," the new document from Jamie Spears says. "The Court must question Lynne’s testimony based on how little involvement she has had throughout the Conservatorship and her lack of direct knowledge on many of these issues."
So why has Jamie Spears acted now?
“Jamie Spears is resigning to avoid being removed by the court," says Christopher Melcher, a Los Angeles family-law attorney. "The evidence was mounting against him that he had abused his role as conservator, and (his) holding on to power was harming Britney."