- BBC News World
Despite the fact that she has been off the stage for years and without releasing an album, the media focus these days strongly points to Britney Spears.
The controversy surrounding the legal guardianship that her father exercises over her for 13 years it seems to have no end.
Fans of the 39-year-old pop star claim that she must be “released”, but the official version says it is a “protection” measure.
Since 2008, James Parnell Spears manages your daughter’s finances with a wealth management firm, Bessemer Trust, that he also controls other private aspects of his life and that this Thursday, in a new development of events, he asked to resign from guardianship.
The resignation of the company comes days after some explosive statements by Britney Spears in a public hearing in Los Angeles, in which she assured that the guardianship that “controls her life” is “abusive.”
However, the law follows from Britney’s father. This week a court ruling denied the singer’s request for her father to stop being her legal guardian.
But who is Jamie Spears and how did he become the person who controls all of Britney’s estate?
“Saved my life”
In 1998, Britney Spears rose to fame. His hit “Baby One More Time” went around the world. The media named her “princess of pop”.
Successes followed and in 2002 she was named the “most powerful celebrity in Hollywood” by Forbes magazine.
That was also the year that his parents, Jamie and Lynne, They got divorced after 27 years of marriage.
But Jamie, now 68, remained in Britney’s life long after her split from Lynne.
In fact, from February 2008, would play a crucial role, as your legal guardian.
Britney was 27 years old and the nervous breakdowns she had suffered in public evidenced her mental health problems. Medical reports say that she tried to commit suicide and had to be transferred to a psychiatric hospital.
Jamie Spears went on to become her agent, manager, and caretaker (until 2019). And in the administrator of all your finances (until today).
“My father saved my life. I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him.“he declared in September 2008.
Years later, the singer assures that her father should be in jail and that he has enjoyed making him suffer.
A multi-million dollar heritage
Uninterruptedly for all these years, Jamie Spears has been in charge of deciding How, when and where his daughter’s money is spent, whose estate is currently valued at about US$60 millones.
There is not much data on Jamie Spears’ working life before assuming guardianship of her daughter.
According to the memoirs of his ex-wife Lynne Spears, Britney’s father was a welder by trade and spent a few months working in oil refineries and construction sites, but did not earn much money: “We owed more than we earned,” wrote Britney.
Her daughter’s fame solved all her financial problems. And so was guardianship, which turned Jamie Spears into a full-time, pay-as-you-go job.
In total, he has raised at least US$5 millones for legal fees, according to Forbes.
According to the economic magazine, which would have had access to court documents, Jamie Spears has received since February 2009 a monthly amount of US $ 16,000.
In addition, a report from the New York Times He noted that he collected part of the singer’s touring income and earned commissions from ticket sales, raising at least $ 500,000.
In 13 years, Britney Spears has had no control over the money her work generates.
In August 2020, Britney began a process to prevent her father from continuing to manage her finances.
Jamie Spears then said that Britney’s guardianship “It’s nobody else’s business” and that the #FreeBritney movement (“Free Britney, driven by the singer’s fans),” is a sham. “” All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything. The world has no idea“he told the publication Page Six.
“It is a matter for the California Court to decide what is best for my daughter. It is nobody else’s business.”
In November 2020, a judge agreed that the guardianship would remain in effect. And this week a judge upheld Jamie’s role as the artist’s legal guardian.
But the controversy continues.
BBC journalist Mobeen Azhar shows in BBC Three documentary The battle for Britney (“The Battle for Britney”) guardianship documents saying the singer has dementia (or is being treated for it).
“There are only two options: that Britney actually has dementia […] or a more sinister reality: that the guardians suggested that he has it to promote guardianship. If that’s the case, then it’s terrifying, “the journalist said.
Jamie Spears has not commented on those allegations, but has said in the past that he works in the best interest of your daughter and that he is dedicated to “protecting” her.
Instead, Britney’s attorney, Samuel Ingham, has said that the singer “he is afraid of his father”.
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