By Jill Serjeant, Reuters, Los Angeles, September 1 :
The father of Britney Spears should step down immediately and without conditions from his role as conservator of her estate, the singer’s lawyer said in court documents.
Mathew Rosengart, the pop star’s lawyer, accused Jamie Spears of trying to link his departure from his 13-year-long role with payment of some $2 million in fees to his attorneys and for experts handling the media.
“Britney Spears will not be extorted,” Rosengart said in documents filed with Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday.
“Mr. Spears blatant attempt to barter (his) suspension and removal in exchange for approximately $2 million in payments, on top of the millions already reaped from Ms. Spears’s estate by Mr. Spears and his associates, is a non-starter,” Rosengart said.
Jamie Spears said for the first time earlier this month that he would relinquish control of his daughter’s $60 million estate because he did not believe that a public would be in her best interests.
But he gave no date for his departure and said he first wanted to get the latest bills for work by his attorneys approved by the court. Under conservatorship rules, Britney Spears pays for all costs incurred by her and others.
“Having finally acknowledged that his time as conservator should end, Mr. Spears is obligated to step down without condition and without seeking to extract anything further from his daughter. Indeed, Mr. Spears should resign now and if he does not, this Court must suspend him on September 29th,” Rosengart said in the filing.
The next court hearing in the increasingly contentious case is set for Sept. 29.
Jamie Spears has controlled much of his daughter’s life since 2008 when she suffered a mental health breakdown. The “Toxic” pop star, now 39, has been trying for more than a year to remove her father from the conservatorship and has refused to perform again while he remains in place.
Lawyers for Jamie Spears did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest filing. Jamie Spears has repeatedly said that he has acted only in his daughter’s interests, to rebuild her finances and protect her from people trying to exploit her.