On Thursday, a judge denied a request by Britney Spears' father about some of his rights over her estate. As a consequence, he will not have full power to delegate her investment.
This is just the latest installment in a lengthy legal battle between the pop star and her father, James "Jamie" Spears. Since 2007, the man has a conservatorship over her daughter and controls much of her life.
A Long Legal Battle
Last year Britney Spears' lawyer filed for removing Jamie as sole conservator for his daughter's estate. That was because, as the attorney argued, Spears is afraid of her father.
The pop star wished for a financial institution to replace her father and control her estate instead. Judge Brenda Penny denied her request but chose Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator.
Vivian Thoreen, James' attorney, asked for his client to retain the power to delegate investments. Arguing for her request, Thoreen stated:
"There's no intent or desire to create unequal power or decision-making as between the two, your honor. This is a way to make it consistent and to not take away powers that Mr. Spears as a conservator had."
The attorney proceeded to deny any possibility of James giving his rights away to a third party, declaring that he just wanted "to be able to delegate the investment decision making authority to Bessemer."
The Judge Denies Jamie's Objections
The objection, however, was rejected by the Los Angeles judge, who gave equal powers to Jamie and Bessemer. From now, the two are supposed to collaborate and make decisions on the 39-year-old singer's estate together.
After the hearing, Thoreen declared:
"My client looks forward to working with Bessemer to continue an investment strategy in the best interests of his daughter."
"My client Jamie Spears has diligently and professionally carried out his duties as one of Britney's conservators, and his love for his daughter and dedication to protecting her is clearly apparent to the court."
Framing Britney And The #FreeBritney Movement
For years, Britney Spears' fans supported the pop star with the #FreeBritney movement. Through social media and protests, the activists have been asking for the end of the conservatorship.
It has been 12 years since Jamie became her legal conservator, and things are starting to change. A new documentary by the New York Times, released last week on Hulu, looks at the story in-depth.
Framing Britney tells about the star's rise to success and her public mental health crisis in 2007. The movie includes interviews with #FreeBritney activists and the singer's former assistant.
One of her fans, Junior Olivas, joined the protest in front of the court during the hearing. In the documentary, Olivas explained:
"My heart said, 'No matter what, you're taking your butt there, and you're going to help her just the way she helped you.'"
The Documentary Stirs A New Debate
After the release of the documentary, several celebrities expressed solidarity for the pop star. Among them are Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker.
In an interview from last year with Page Six, James Spears talked about a "conspiracy". He told the tabloid:
"All these conspiracy theorists don't know anything. The world doesn't have a clue. It's up to the court of California to decide what's best for my daughter. It's no one else's business."
Britney Spears' boyfriend Sam Asghari, who has been with her since 2016, did not hide his contempt for his father-in-law. He declared:
"In my opinion, Jamie is a total d---. I won't be going into details because I've always respected our privacy, but at the same time, I didn't come to this country to not be able to express my opinion and freedom."
With another hearing coming next month, the matter is still far from settled. Whether there will be a step towards independence for Britney Spears is not yet clear.