LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A financial management company that came on as a co-conservator for the estate of singer Britney Spears has asked the court to to end its role in response to her explosive court testimony last week.
Bessemer Trust Co. was appointed in November to act as co-conservator of Spears’ estate, along with the singer’s father, Jamie.
On Thursday, Bessemer filed court papers saying it wanted out of the arrangement, citing Britney Spears’ clear statements in open court last week that she was in the conservatorship involuntarily. According to the court papers, the company originally agreed to taking a role as co-conservator with the understanding that Spears consented to the move.
“As a result of the conservatee’s (Spears’) testimony at the June 23 hearing, however, petitioner (Bessemer) has become aware that the conservatee objects to the continuance of her conservatorship and desires to terminate the conservatorship,” according to the court document.
The company “respects her wishes” and asked to withdraw from its role, according to the document.
A hearing on the company’s request could happen as early as Friday morning.
In her virtual testimony last week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the 39-year-old singer lashed out at everyone involved in her conservatorship, accusing them of abusive treatment, forcing her to perform against her will and requiring her to take medications she did not want and undergo intensive therapy sessions.
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Speaking by phone, Spears referred to the conservatorship as “abusive” and said, “The only thing comparable is sex trafficking,” according to the court transcript.
Although Bessemer was technically appointed in November, the court papers making Bessemer a co-conservator weren’t officially signed until Wednesday. This means the company has never actively been involved in the case and also means Jamie Spears has essentially been acting as the sole conservator of his daughter’s estate.
With Bessemer’s withdrawal, he will continue in that role — despite Britney Spears’ vehement remarks in court last week lambasting her father, saying she planned so sue him and other members of her family for their role in the conservatorship. Britney Spears said she believed her father relished the power he wielded over his multimillionaire daughter. She has repeatedly stated through attorneys that she did not want her father involved in her affairs.
Late Tuesday, Jamie Spears filed court papers saying that in light of his daughter’s allegations of abusive treatment by the conservatorship, he wants the court to conduct an investigation into her comments and determine what “corrective actions” may be needed.
In her testimony last week, Spears called for an end to the conservatorship, although her attorneys have not yet filed any petitions with the court to do so.
The flurry of activity in the case comes amid a backdrop of a vocal, fan-orchestrated ” FreeBritney” movement pushing for an end to the conservatorship that has been in place since 2008, when the singer exhibited a series of bizarre behavioral breakdowns, including one in which she shaved her head.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)