Britney Spears doesn’t want to wait to kick her dad out of the conservatorship that’s controlled her life since 2008. At this point, the pop star says, it’s a matter of saving her mental health—and her finances.
On Thursday, Spears’ new attorney Mathew Rosengart asked a Los Angeles court to move up a hearing on whether to remove James Spears, Britney’s father, as conservator. That hearing is currently set for September 29, but “every day that passes is another day of avoidable harm and prejudice to Ms. Spears and the estate,” the Tuesday filing alleges.
“Although a two-month wait for a hearing on the petition may not seem significant in the context of 13 years, Ms. Spears should not be forced to continue [to] feel traumatized, lose sleep, and suffer further,” the filing reads, referring to Britney Spears’ legal petition to remove James. “Every day matters.”
But Britney Spears’ request for haste isn’t just about the pop icon’s emotional state. Rosengart also suggested in the Thursday filing that James Spears needs to be removed to save Britney Spears’ roughly $60 million estate. Not only has Britney suggested that she won’t work until James is removed, which would obviously result in lost income, but Rosengart alleges that “there been an evident dissipation of assets of Ms. Spears' estate, and that dissipation is ongoing.”
Britney Spears is apparently on the hook for paying for her father’s legal fees, which are astronomical, according to the Thursday filing: James Spears’ lawyers are asking her to pony up more than $1.3 million, including a $541,065.50 charge for something called “Media Matters.” (Rosengart dubs that amount “shocking and inexplicable.”)
James Spears is also paying himself $16,000 per month, $2,000 more than what he affords the singer, according to the filing.
At the same time, the filing accuses James Spears of trying to crack down on Britney’s spending. Rosengart says James opposed letting Britney take a late July vacation to Hawaii. The singer ultimately got to go, but, for Britney’s team, the objection itself is proof that her father needs to go as soon as possible.
Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship since 2008, when concerns swirled over her mental health and possible substance use. But earlier this summer, Spears spoke in court about her desire to see her father be removed from the conservatorship, which she says is abusive. Under the conservatorship, she said, she’s been pressured into working, as well as been forced to keep her IUD.
Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor who came on the case in mid-July, has promised to move aggressively to strip James Spears of his legal power over Britney; he filed a petition to do just that late last month.
Rosengart has asked the court to let a California certified public accountant, Jason Rubin, replace James Spears.
An attorney for James Spears didn’t immediately return a VICE News request for comment, but his legal team has previously denied all allegations of wrongdoing.