Bessemer Trust, a professional wealth management firm that was poised to take over as co-conservator of Britney Spears’ estate and work with her father, has asked to resign from the arrangement, according to a court document filed Thursday (July 1) that was cited by the New York Times.
The company, which manages more than $100 billion in assets, said it was requesting to withdraw “due to changed circumstances.” In the filing, the firm said it had been told the singer’s conservatorship was voluntary and under her consent, but in her blistering, 24-minute statement against the conservatorship in court last week made clear that she is opposed to it, or at least her father, Jamie Spears continuing as her conservator. She has said multiple times that wants him removed as her conservator; her most recent request, which pre-dated last week’s statement, was denied by Judge Brenda Penny on Wednesday.
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“As a result of the conservatee’s testimony at the June 23 hearing, however, Petitioner has become aware that the Conservatee objects to the continuance of her Conservatorship and desires to terminate the conservatorship. Petitioner has heard the Conservatee and respects her wishes,” the court filing states, according to the Times. Bessemer Trust was approved by the court to be added as co-conservator of Spears’ estate last fall, but had not taken any action or payment as co-conservator and had not received any of the assets of her nearly $60 million estate.
On Wednesday, Variety reported that Spears’ father attorney filed paperwork on his behalf, pointing the finger at Montgomery with the father’s perspective being that he loves his daughter, is very concerned and has done nothing wrong.
Last week, Spears gave her 24-minute testimony, marking the first time she had publicly addressed the court in her 13-year conservatorship. While speaking to the judge, Spears said that her dad enjoys controlling her life, and stated that she believes her conservators, including her father, should be in jail, and that she wants to sue her family.
Spears’ case has garnered an enormous amount of global attention, with pressure mounting to support the pop star and remove her father from the conservatorship.
Wednesday’s court filing states that the court found Spears to be “substantially unable to manage his or her financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence.”
Spears’ father has been her co-conservator since 2008, when the singer suffered a very public breakdown. He became sole conservator in 2019 after attorney Andrew Wallet resigned from co-conservatorship. In September 2019, he temporarily relinquished his powers and Jodi Montgomery became the conservator of her person, meaning she is responsible for Spears’ medical and personal well-being. Spears’ father remains the sole conservator of her estate, managing all of her finances — while making a hefty sum of of her annual multi-million dollar earnings, given that Spears has continued to record music and perform regularly at her residence in Las Vegas, while under her restrictive conservatorship.
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