Britney Spears Gets Her Own Lawyer, And Maybe Her Own Life Back Soon
Sometimes nice things happen! Like today — or yesterday, really — when Britney Spears finally persuaded the court to let her choose her own lawyer, after 13 years and millions of dollars paid out to counsel who seem not to have given the singer the representation she deserved.
Three weeks ago, the 39-year-old singer was finally allowed to address the court and the public, thanks to COVID protocols. In a tearful, 24-minute speech, she called the conservatorship abusive, alleging that her father and her lawyer worked her to exhaustion for their own economic benefit, forcing her to take lithium when she refused to perform and not allowing her to remove her IUD so that she could have another child.
But my precious body, who has worked for my dad for the past fucking 13 years, trying to be so good and pretty. So perfect. When he works me so hard. When I do everything I'm told and the state of California allowed my father — ignorant father — to take his own daughter, who only has a role with me if I work with him, they've set back the whole course and allowed him to do that to me. That's given these people I've worked for way too much control. They also threaten me and said, if I don't go, then I have to go to court. And it will be more embarrassing to me if the judge publicly makes the evidence we have.
The fallout was immediate. Bessemer Trust, which was set to assist her father Jamie Spears in administering the singer's finances, moved to withdraw. And Samuel Ingham III, who was appointed as Spears's lawyer in 2008 and appears to have done nothing to help her get out from under it in the intervening 13 years, requested to resign on July 6. That would be three days after the New Yorker ran a piece by Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino revealed a grossly exploitative arrangement where Spears, whose own living expenses in 2019 totaled just $438,360, paid Ingham $520,000 per year for his services.
It also contained this stomach-churning anecdote about Jamie Spears from Jacqueline Butcher, a former friend of the family who testified in favor of the conservatorship back in 2008.
Butcher remembers sitting in Spears's home office on one of the first days after she was released from the hospital. Butcher, Lynne, and Spears were on the floor, Spears on her knees; Jamie was sitting at a desk. A flat-screen TV was playing nearby. "Jamie said, 'Baby,' " Butcher recalled, "and I thought he was going to say, 'We love you, but you need help.' But what he said was 'You're fat. Daddy's gonna get you on a diet and a trainer, and you're gonna get back in shape.' " Butcher felt sick. Jamie pointed at the TV and said, "You see that TV over there? You know what it's going to say in eight weeks? That's gonna be you on there, and they're gonna say, 'She's back.' "
And since then "Daddy" has been getting a $16,000 per month salary, plus $2,000 for office space, plus a percentage of everything she earns. Which is why the singer has refused to work since 2019 until the conservatorship is over.
It also contained this perfect quote from her former manager Sam Lutfi.
Over coffee at a Los Angeles restaurant this spring, he said that Spears took to him in part because he told her that she didn't have to work nearly as hard as she was. "She'd always believed there were massive consequences if she didn't work, that she'd lose so much, and it blew her mind that she could just call the shots," he said. "You want to cancel that meeting? Cancel it. You're gonna lose five grand? Lose it. She'd walk into a car dealership, say she wanted something. I'd say, 'Buy it.' Her parents would say, 'Why would you let her do that?' But it's an eighty-thousand-dollar car, not a yacht, and she just got fifteen million from Estée Lauder. Anyway, she's an adult. I'm not gonna tell her that she can't buy a fucking yacht."
Buy the fucking yacht, Britney.
Because none of us has an obligation to be the best version of ourselves and earn the most money and invest it wisely and date the right men and live up to everyone else's expectations. It's not illegal for grown adults to be a hot mess. And no one gives a shit if male artists spend the money they earn on hookers and blow, much less cars and ponies.
Yesterday, the singer was back in court represented by her new attorney, Matthew Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor now at the prestigious firm Greenberg Traurig, who has vowed to help his client get out from under her father's control.
"We will be moving promptly and aggressively for his removal. The question remains, why is he involved? He should step down voluntarily because that's what's in the best interest of the conservatee," Rosengart said outside the courthouse.
Spears was likewise persuasive in her testimony inside the building.
"I would like to charge my father with conservatorship abuse," she said, as reported by CNN, calling the conservatorship "fucking cruelty."
"If this is not abuse, I don't know what is," she added later.
Which is all very moving, and management deeply regrets having to drop this turd in your punchbowl just as the party music is starting, but ...
“One thing we can all agree on is that Jamie Spears is a dick.” — Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) outside Britney Spears' c… https://t.co/mTUvKCzAX3— The Recount (@The Recount) 1626296524.0
What the hell is Matt Gaetz, a congressman from the Florida panhandle, doing outside a Los Angeles courthouse? Oh, right, there was a vulnerable woman to exploit, so of course he showed up.
Well, fuck that guy. Let's end with something nice.
"Coming along, folks ... coming along 🖕🏻!!!!!," Spears posted on her Instagram account. "New with real representation today ... I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED !!!! Thank you to my fans who are supporting me ... You have no idea what it means to me be supported by such awesome fans !!!! God bless you all !!!!! Pssss this is me celebrating by horseback riding and doing cartwheels today."
She should only ride that horse off into the happy sunset. Bless.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.