Britney Spears spoke critically of the legal arrangement that gives others control over her personal finances in a California courtroom Wednesday afternoon, asking a judge to put a stop to it.
Since 2008, the pop star has been under a conservatorship, a formerly little-known legal tool to protect the finances of a person deemed mentally unfit to handle them. In recent years, public awareness and criticism of the arrangement have mounted, with fans asking why a successful professional woman should not be allowed to control the money she makes.
Spears’ estate has instead been placed in the hands of her father, Jamie Spears, who serves as joint conservator alongside an attorney. The singer wants the court to permanently remove her father from the conservatorship, leaving her attorney Jodi Montgomery at the helm. Her mother, Lynn Spears, supports the change.
The extent of the restrictions on Spears’ life was laid bare this week in The New York Times, which reported that her father has the final say even over minute details, such as whether she can paint her kitchen cabinets. Jamie Spears reportedly referred to his daughter as “a racehorse who has to be handled like one.”
For Britney Spears, the road to the conservatorship began with a series of mental health crises in the mid-2000s. Spears was involuntarily hospitalized twice in January 2008 following a difficult custody dispute over her two children with ex-husband Kevin Federline, who was granted sole custody by a judge. Since then, she has embarked on four worldwide tours and completed a residency in Las Vegas, where fans bought 900,000 tickets for nearly 250 performances.
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