United Kingdom

Britney Spears: Father's lawyer says critics of conservatorship 'have it so wrong' 

Fans of Britney Spears who believe her father should be ousted from his role overseeing her conservatorship "have it so wrong", his lawyer said.

The pop star's finances and personal affairs have been controlled by a contentious legal agreement since she had a public breakdown in 2008.

Her father, Jamie, was appointed her conservator but Spears has recently attempted to have him removed from the role.

A court in Los Angeles heard she was "scared" of him. Amid the ongoing legal battles, Jamie's lawyer addressed the FreeBritney movement, which believes the star should be allowed to take control over her life.

During an appearance on Good Morning America, Vivian Thoreen said: "I understand that every story needs a villain, but people have it so wrong here.

"This is a story about a fiercely loving, dedicated and loyal father who rescued his daughter from a life threatening situation. People were harming her and they were exploiting her. Jamie saved Britney's life."

Ms Thoreen repeated an argument that has been advanced in court - that Jamie's shrewd handling of his daughter's estate saved her from financial ruin.

Despite her huge success in the early 2000s, it has been claimed Spears' assets were worth only $2.8 million (£1.9 million) in 2008.

Last year a court was told her estate is now worth $60 million  (£42.7 million).

Speaking on Good Morning America, Ms Thoreen added: "Britney's assets were clearly being mismanaged and she was being taken advantage of financially by some of those around her."

Despite Samuel D Ingham, Spears' lawyer, saying she will never perform again while her father oversees her life, Ms Thoreen defended his record.

She said: "He has collaborated with her to help her regain custody of her children. He has brought her finances back from disaster. And he's created a safe environment for her to live her life the way she wants, away from the media that cause her so much pain."

Ms Thoreen revealed Spears and her father spent time together last year during the pandemic and said she never voiced her wish to have him removed from the conservatorship.

She said: "Early on in the pandemic, they spent two weeks with other family members, hunkered down in Louisiana, and they spent a lot of time together.

"Britney and Jamie went on long drives together. They played and worked in the family garden. And every night, Jamie cooked Southern comfort food that the family ate and enjoyed together.

"In that time, Britney never expressed those words to her father. She's never asked him to step aside."

Spears' life and career has returned to the headlines thanks to the documentary Framing Britney Spears, which explores the celebrity and media culture at the time of her meteoric rise.

Following a backlash as a result of the programme, Justin Timberlake, who was in a high-profile relationship with Spears, issued a public apology.

Another hearing on Spears' conservatorship is due to take place in Los Angeles next month.

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