Britney Spears' father 'to step down' as estate conservator: US media

Britney Spears was placed under a legal guardianship largely governed by her father after she suffered a highly public breakdown in 2007.
Britney Spears was placed under a legal guardianship largely governed by her father after she suffered a highly public breakdown in 2007.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Britney Spears' father is to step down as conservator of her estate, US media reported on Thursday (Aug 12), seemingly ending a bitter legal battle with his daughter.

Britney, 39, last month launched a bid to remove him from the controversial guardianship role that she said amounted to "abuse."

Jamie Spears' lawyer said at the time he would fight the move, disputing his daughter's account.

But TMZ and Variety cited legal documents in which he said he would step back from the role.

"There are, in fact, no actual grounds for suspending or removing Mr Spears as the conservator of the estate... and it is highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms Spears' best interests," TMZ quoted the documents as saying.

"Nevertheless... 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."

Variety magazine reported a statement issued by Britney's lawyer, Mr Mathew Rosengart, welcoming the move and calling it "vindication".

"We are pleased that Mr Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney," the statement said.

"We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter's estate, and I look forward to taking Mr Spears' sworn deposition in the near future."

There was no immediate response from either lawyer to AFP requests for comment.

Britney Spears was placed under the unusual legal guardianship largely governed by her father after she suffered a highly public breakdown in 2007.

But the Toxic singer became increasingly vocal and public in opposing the conservatorship. In emotional court testimonies and social media posts, she slammed the arrangement as "cruelty" and accused her father and others of profiting from the system.

Britney alleged in court that she had been prevented from having a contraceptive IUD removed, despite wanting more children, and was forcefully put on medication that made her feel "drunk".