Britney Spears' conservatorship timeline: How struggles led to 13 years of control

By Molly Pike

Britney Spears' father has filed for her conservatorship to be terminated after 13 long years.

Since 2008, Jamie Spears has had control over his daughters' financial and personal affairs, but recently agreed to step down from the order.

Fans of the Baby One More Time singer, 39, have long campaigned for her to be released from the conservatorship in what has become known as the Free Britney movement.

Last month Britney finally had her say about the order, saying her father and everyone else involved with the conservatorship should be in jail.

Here we take a look at the timeline of the conservatorship and how it came to be put in place, as Britney is given fresh hope that it soon will come to an end...

Britney Spears shaved her head in 2007 (X17Online.com)
Britney and Kevin Federline (WireImage)

February 2007

In February 2007, Britney walks into a hair salon in California and asks the hairdresser to shave her head, but when they refuse, she grabs the clippers and does it herself.

The paparazzi who follow Britney's every move capture the whole incident.

She later says that she was going through a difficult time as her marriage to Kevin Federline had recently ended.

Just days later Britney attacks a paparazzo's car with an umbrella.

September 2007

That September, her ex-husband Kevin is given full custody of their two children, Sean, now 15, and 14-year-old Jayden.

The judge cite what they calle Britney's "habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol" as their reason for the decision.

January 2008

The following January Britney refused to hand her children over after the end of her scheduled visitation.

She reportedly locked herself in a room with Jayden, who was one-year-old at the time, before police were called.

She was taken to UCLA Medical Center and placed on a psychiatric hold for mental evaluation, known as a 5150 hold.

A few weeks later Britney returned to the hospital under the same 5150 psychiatric hold.

The hospitalisation sees her custody rights fully revoked.

February 2008

A day after she was taken to hospital for the second time, Jamie asks the Los Angeles Country Supreme Court to put Britney into an emergency temporary conservatorship.

A conservatorship is granted by a court for people who are unable to make their own decisions, and usually, the order is granted for individuals suffering from mental illnesses or from deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour due to syndromes such as dementia.

Britney and her dad Jamie Spears, pictured in 2008 (FilmMagic)
Britney and her sons Sean and Jayden in 2013 (WireImage)

Jamie is named conservator of her person, while he and attorney Andrew Wallet are named co-conservators of her estate.

Britney's parents, Jamie and Lynn Spears release a joint statement, saying: "We are deeply concerned about our daughter's safety and vulnerability and we believe her life is presently at risk.

"There are conservatorship orders in place created to protect our daughter that are being blatantly disregarded.

"We ask only that the court's orders be enforced so that a tragedy may be averted."

July 2008

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz extends Jamie's control of Britney's financial and personal affairs through to the end of 2008.

At this time, she is allowed to see her children again.

October 2008

Judge Goetz extends Britney's temporary conservatorship indefinitely.

The judge cites the complexity of the singer's financial and business dealings as a reason for the extension.

She also says Britney was "susceptible to undue influence".

The judge says: "The conservatorship is necessary and appropriate for the complexity of financial and business entities and her being susceptible to undue influence."

Britney's father Jamie in 2008 (Getty)
Britney remained silent on the conservatorship for a long time (AFP/Getty Images)

November 2008

Britney speaks about her conservatorship for the first time in MTV documentary Britney: For the Record.

The documentary marks the release of her album Circus and explores Britney's struggles with her mental health and her personal life.

She says: "If I wasn't under the restraints I'm under right now, with all the lawyers and doctors and people analysing me every day, if that wasn't there, I'd feel so liberated.

"When I tell them the way I feel, it's like they hear, but they're really not listening."

April 2012

Britney's then-fiancé and former agent Jason Trawick is appointed a co-conservator.

She requested that he join her court conservatorship months after their engagement in December 2011.

He gains control over several decision-making aspects of her personal life but not her financial affairs.

September 2016

Britney reportedly addresses her conservatorship when she she films her appearance on The Jonathan Ross show to promote her album Glory in 2016.

She allegedly says: "OK, so I have this conservatorship.

"I've been under this conservatorship for three years and I felt like a lot of decisions were made for me, so I wanted [ Glory ] to be my baby and I've been really strategic about it."

The comments are not included when the programme aired on TV.

Free Britney activists protesting outside court (Getty)

January 2019

Britney announces that she is pulling out of her Las Vegas residency and would be going on hiatus after her father became ill.

She says in a statement posted to Instagram : "A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalised and almost died.

"We're all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him.

"I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand."

March 2019

Wallet, who was the co-conservator, voluntarily resigns from the position, leaving Jamie as the sole conservator.

According to court documents, Wallet's lawyer says: "The conservatorship is engaged in numerous ongoing business activities requiring immediate attention and it therefore is in the best interest of the conservatee that the acceptance of Wallet's resignation and the issuance of amended letters of conservatorship of the estate occur immediately and without delay."

April 2019

Britney reportedly checks in to a mental health facility for a 30-day treatment programme.

Fans believe she has been held in the facility against her will and even protest outside the premises.

She responds to their claims on Instagram, writing: "I wanted to say hi, because things that are being said have just gotten out of control!!! Wow!!!

"There's rumours, death threats to my family and my team, and just so many things crazy things being said.

Britney with her sons Sean and Jayden earlier this year (Instagram/Britney Spears)

"I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that’s happening is just making it harder for me.

"Don't believe everything you read and hear," she continues. "You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want!

"Your love and dedication is amazing, but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way. If you could do that, I would be forever grateful."

September 2019

Britney's ex Kevin Federline obtains a restraining order against her dad Jamie, stopping him from going near their sons.

The order is obtained after a physical altercation allegedly occurred between Sean, then 13, and Jamie in August.

The conditions of the order prohibit Jamie from coming near his grandsons for three years.

Jamie also temporarily steps down as conservator this same month, citing "personal health reasons".

He relinquishes control to Britney's caretaker Jodi Montgomery, who is given the ability to restrict and limit visitors, except for Britney's court-appointed lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III.

July 2020

Britney's brother Bryan speaks out about the conservatorship on the As NOT Seen on TV Podcast, saying: "She's always wanted to get out of it. It's very frustrating to have...

"Whether someone's coming in peace to help or coming in with an attitude, having someone constantly tell you to do something has got to be frustrating. She's wanted to get out of it for quite some time."

August 2020

Britney's lawyer files a motion to have her father removed as conservator, preferring to make Montgomery, who was still temporary, her permanent one.

He remains as co-conservator.

Two days later a judge rules that conservatorship should be extended until February 1, 2021.

September 2020

Britney files to have the details of her conservatorship and her court hearings made public.

It is the first time she has acknowledged the Free Britney movement.

The ruling states: "Britney's conservatorship has attracted an unprecedented level of scrutiny from mainstream media and social media alike.

"Far from being a conspiracy theory or a 'joke' as James reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of James' aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimise the amount of meaningful information made available to the public....

"Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans."

October 2020

Britney's lawyer Ingham tells a court that she lacks the capacity to sign a declaration seeking to end the conservatorship, comparing her to a "comatose" person.

It is revealed that the conservatorship is voluntary and Ingham can file the paperwork to end it whenever she pleases

But Ingham questions whether she has the capacity to make that decision.

November 2020

Britney requests the immediate removal of Jamie from being co-conservator of her financial affairs.

In court papers, her lawyer says Britney is afraid of her father and claims that Jamie staying in his position will cause Britney to "suffer loss and injury."

"My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father," Ingham tells the judge. "She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career."

At her request, the Bessemer Trust is appointed her co-conservator, but her request to have her dad removed is denied, and he stays on as the other co-conservator.

Just weeks later, the conservatorship is reportedly extended through to September 2021.

February 2021

The release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears sparks public outrage and a huge new wave of support for the Free Britney movement.

Sam Asghari, Spears’ current boyfriend, writes about Jamie in an Instagram post, saying: "Now it's important for people to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way.

"In my opinion, Jamie is a total d**k. I won't be going into details because I've always respected our privacy but at the same time, I didn't come to this country [from Iran] to not be able to express my opinion and freedom."

March 2021

Britney requests Montgomery permanently replaces Jamie.

The petition also states that Spears "expressly reserves the right to petition for termination of this conservatorship."

She also posts a lengthy Instagram statement about Framing Britney, saying it makes her cry as she was "embarrassed" by it.

That same month, Jamie's attorney Vivian L. Thoreen says that Jamie wants the conservatorship to come to an end.

She tells CNN that "[Jamie] would love nothing more than to see Britney not need a conservatorship. Whether or not there is an end to the conservatorship really depends on Britney.

"If she wants to end her conservatorship, she can file a petition to end it."

Britney and her boyfriend Sam Asghari (Britney Spears/Instagram)

June 2021

Britney finally has her say in a 24-minute passionate statement given in court.

She calls herself "traumatised" by the conservatorship and makes a string of shocking claims.

The Stronger singer calls for her father to "be in jail" for the part he as played in the conservatorship and says she wants to sue her family for standing by him.

She claims she has been forced to have an IUD fitted so she can't get pregnant again, and banned from marrying Sam.

Britney says she had been put on lithium against her will and forced to perform.

Britney says: "I've told the world I'm happy and OK. I lied. I am not happy, I can't sleep. I’m so angry, it's insane. And I'm depressed."

She continues: "Ma'am, I am not here to be anyone's slave. I can say no to a dance move."

"I just want my life back. It's enough," she later says.

Jamie's laywer said at the time: "He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr Spears loves his daughter very much."

July 2021

The Bessemer Trust requests to resign from the conservatorship, saying in court documents: "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."

Britney's manager of over 25 years Larry Rudolph resigns.

Ingham also requests to resign after she expressed a desire to choose her own lawyer.

Britney hires her own laywer, Mathew Rosengart, and says in court that she wants her father to be charged with conservatorship abuse.

She also calls out her dad and sister Jamie Lynn Spears publicly, criticising Jamie for dictating what she "wears, says, does, or thinks!!!!" and hitting out at Jamie for once performing her songs.

Rosengart files to end the conservatorship, calling it a "Kafkaesque nightmare" in the court document and requests that an accountant be brought in as co-conservator.

Including in the filing was a declaration from Britney's mum Lynne, who says that Jamie is "incapable" of putting their daughter's interests ahead of his own, and alleges that a "physical altercation" between her ex-husband and the pop star's two sons "destroyed whatever was left" of the father-daughter relationship.

August 2021

Jamie hits back at the request to remove him as conservator in filing saying there are "no grounds whatsoever" for his removal.

The filing says he has "dutifully and faithfully served as the conservator of his daughter's estate without any blemishes on his record."

But he then agrees to step down, with his lawyer saying in the filing: "Even as Mr. Spears is the unremitting target of unjustified attacks, he does not believe that a public battle with his daughter over his continuing service as her conservator would be in her best interests.

"So even though he must contest this unjustified Petition for his removal, Mr. Spears intends to work with the Court and his daughter's new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator.

September 2021

Jamie files to end the conservatorship in a petition to Los Angeles Superior Court.

He states that his daughter "is entitled to have this Court now seriously consider whether this conservatorship is no longer required."

NBC reports that the filing continues to say that the singer's circumstances have changed "to such an extent that grounds for establishment of a conservatorship may no longer exist".


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