Britney Spears' father Jamie Spears has agreed to step down as conservator of her estate. The news arrives just weeks after the singer's new legal team filed a petition to remove him and replace him with a CPA.
For about the last 13 years, Britney Spears' father has been her conservator (which is a status typically granted when someone elderly or unable to care for themselves requires legal support).
As a result he has had control of her person and estate, namely most of her finances and elements of her personal life, including her relationships and even when she could see her two children.
The circumstances surrounding Britney's conservatorship have significant;y in the past two months.
Last June, she spoke out in court and gave more than 20 minutes of moving testimony.
She said that the conservatorship is abusive and has left her traumatised.
"All I want is to own my money, for this to end," she said. "And I would honestly like to sue my family."
She also said of her father and the management team who had intimidated her, "they should be in jail."
She added: "I’ve lied and told the whole world “I’m OK and I’m happy.” It’s a lie… I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized… I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day."
Later that month, Spears' legal team filed a petition seeking to appoint Jason Rubin as the successor to the conservator of Spears’ estate, and join Jodi Montgomery, who says Britney Spears has asked her to stay on as conservator of her person.
Jamie Spears' attorney Vivian Thoreen on Thursday filed a response to the petition for his removal. It pushes back on many of the allegations of wrongdoing, and says there are “no factual grounds” for suspending or removing him.
At the same time, it looks like he has accepted the time has come to step away.
The filing from Thoreen reads: "It is highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms. Spears’ best interests.
"Nevertheless, 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.
"As the Court has likely surmised, before Ms. Spears’ new attorney arrived, Mr. Spears had already been working on such a transition with Ms. Spears’ former court-appointed counsel, Sam Ingham."
The filing says that Jamie hopes to work with Britney Spears' new legal team to finalise the pending accounting paperwork and ensure a smooth transition.
"When these matters are resolved, Mr. Spears will be in a position to step aside. But there are no urgent circumstances justifying Mr. Spears’ immediate suspension," writes Thoreen.
"Regardless of his formal title, Mr. Spears will always be Ms. Spears’ father, he will always love her unconditionally, and he will always look out for her best interests."
Rosengart has issued a statement describing Jamie’s decision to step away as "a major victory for Britney Spears and another step toward justice."
But he also notes that the legal battle isn't over.
"We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed," he said. "We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others.
"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’s sworn deposition in the near future.
"In the interim, rather than making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr. Spears should remain silent and step aside immediately."
The hearing on the petition to remove Jamie Spears as conservator to Britney - to which his lawyer's filing is functionally an opposition to remove him - is scheduled for September 29.