Bessemer Trust Requests to Withdraw From Britney Spears' Conservatorship

·4 min read
Bessemer Trust Requests to Withdraw From Britney Spears' Conservatorship

Britney Spears' new co-conservator has asked to resign, according to the ex parte application filed in court on Thursday, July 1, and obtained by E! News.

Bessemer Trust, a wealth management group, requested that a judge remove it from its role as co-conservator of her estate, "due to changed circumstances" when Britney "claimed irreparable harm to her interests" in court last week.

The company shares the position with her father, Jamie Spears. If the resignation is approved, it would leave Jamie as sole conservator of the pop star's estate and manager Jodi Montgomery as conservator of her person.

Bessemer Trust, which manages more than $100 billion per The New York Times, said in the court filing that it thought Britney's conservatorship was voluntary and that she wanted the company to be her co-conservator.

As fans heard in a public court hearing on June 23, Britney said she wanted the conservatorship to end without a medical evaluation, calling the arrangement "abusive."

"As a result of the conservatee's testimony at the June 23 hearing," Bessemer's filing reads, "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 Spears Through the Years

The group later added that it "has made this decision to resign only after thoughtful deliberation, keeping the Conservatee's expressed wishes in mind."

The financial company told the judge it "has taken no actions as Conservator" since being appointed, explaining that it has not made any decisions, received any assets of her estate and taken no fees.

Britney Spears, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Premiere, 2019, Through the Years
Britney Spears, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Premiere, 2019, Through the Years

Britney's lawyer originally requested to appoint the Bessemer Trust Company as conservator of her estate via court documents filed in Los Angeles last August and obtained by E! News. Britney signed a nomination of conservator, dated Aug. 27. The request explained that the singer did not want her father in charge of her career.

"Conservatee's father, James P. Spears, is serving alone as conservator of Britney's estate. Britney is strongly opposed to her father continuing as sole conservator of her estate," the document read. "Rather, without in any way waiving her right to seek termination of this conservatorship in the future, she strongly prefers to have a qualified corporate fiduciary appointed to serve in this role."

At a hearing in November 2020, the judge decided that Jamie would not be removed, but the family agreed to add Bessemer Trust Company as co-conservator as well.

That decision appeared to move forward on Wednesday, June 30, when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge formally denied her lawyer's request to have Jamie removed as co-conservator, according to the court order obtained by E! News.

"The conservator's request to suspend James P. Spears immediately upon the appointment of Bessemer Trust Company of California, N.A. as sole conservator of estate is denied without prejudice," per the order.

Though the order was signed on June 30, Bessemer said in the resignation that it has not yet been issued Letters of Conservatorship, so it is not "currently authorized" to act as co-conservator.

The ex parte hearing date is planned for Friday, July 2.

Britney Spears, Jamie Spears Instagram
Britney Spears, Jamie Spears Instagram

Britney was first placed under a conservatorship in her dad's care in 2008, though he partially stepped aside (only from being conservator of her person) due to his own medical issues in 2019. Jodi was named Britney's temporary conservator of her person, and her lawyer requested in March 2021 that Jodi remain in that role permanently.

Last week, Britney broke her silence on her 13-year conservatorship, saying, "I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated." The mother of two added during her public testimony, "It's not OK to force me to do anything I don't want to do."

She testified that she is prohibited from removing her IUD birth control and from having any more children under the conservatorship.

Jamie's attorney read a statement in court to acknowledge her pain: "Mr. Spears is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much."

He filed a petition in court on Tuesday, June 29, to request that a judge "investigate" the allegations she made during her testimony. The 68 year old said he is "concerned about the management and care of his daughter," as he has not been in charge of her personal or medical affairs since 2019.

Jodi's lawyer issued a statement to E! News on Wednesday, June 30, to defend her treatment of the "Circus" artist.

"I can state unequivocally that Jodi Montgomery has been a tireless advocate for Britney and for her well-being. While she does not control Britney's financial assets, she is responsible for her personal care, and if Britney wants any issue brought up to the Court, Ms. Montgomery is and has always been ready, willing, and able to do so," the statement explained. "From the very beginning of her appointment in September 2019, Ms. Montgomery and the medical team that she assembled have had one primary goal—to assist and encourage Britney in her path to no longer needing a conservatorship of the person."