Jamie Spears is again defending his role of conservator for daughter Britney as congressional Republicans call for a hearing on court-ordered conservatorships.
“Any time Britney wants to end her conservatorship, she can ask her lawyer to file a petition to terminate it; she has always had this right, but in 13 years has never exercised it,” Vivian L. Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears, said this week. “Britney knows that her daddy loves her, and that he will be there for her whenever and if she needs him, just as he always has been — conservatorship or not."
The pop star has been under a legal conservatorship for more than a decade and has essentially had a court-appointed guardian — her father — after a public breakdown in 2007. In 2020, she petitioned to have her father removed from her conservatorship, with her attorney saying Britney Spears was “afraid” of Jamie Spears.
The move renewed interest in the conservatorship, and the court proceedings made national headlines and fueled fan backlash to the family's handling of the estate. Criticism of the conservatorship — and specifically of Jamie Spears as sole conservator — escalated following the release this year of the New York Times documentary, "Framing Britney Spears."
This week, Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio requested the House Judiciary Committee hold a hearing on court-ordered conservatorships, specifically referring to the #FreeBritney movement.
"In recent years, there has been growing public concern about the use of conservatorships to effectively deprive individuals of personal freedoms at the behest of others through the manipulation of the courts," they wrote in requesting the hearing.
"The most striking example is perhaps the case of multi-platinum performing artist Britney Spears," the letter said.
But Thoreen cited Jamie Spears’ conservator role as a way in which his daughter was able to regain custody of her children, bring her finances back from disaster and create an environment for her to live away from the media.
Jamie Spears’ goal “has always been to do what's best for Britney,” Thoreen said, adding that when Jamie Spears stepped in as conservator in 2008, court records show, the star’s assets were worth $2.8 million and she was in debt, but that today she has assets of nearly $60 million.
Spears' manager, publicist and attorney did not immediately return requests for comment Wednesday.
Her father has “has fulfilled his duties as Britney's conservator with the kind of dedication and diligence that only a family member — that only a parent who loves his daughter unconditionally — can,” Thoreen said.
Jamie Spears was appointed his daughter’s sole conservator in 2019 after the resignation of his former co-conservator Andrew Wallet. Britney Spears’ attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, argued last year that the singer was afraid of her father and would rather a professional financial institution take over her estate.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny denied the petition, but appointed financial firm Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator along with James Spears. Penny also confirmed the ruling last month in a hearing where she ordered both Bessemer Trust and Jamie Spears to work together to create a budget plan for the singer.
“The court put the conservatorship in place precisely because Britney’s life and health were at risk and people were taking advantage of her financially," Thoreen said. "Thanks to Jamie's efforts Britney's estate is now capable of taking care of Britney and her children for the rest of their lives, as long as no one is permitted to exploit or take advantage of her again.”
Ingham reiterated to the court last month that it was “no secret” that Britney Spears did not want her father as her conservator.
A court hearing on the conservatorship is set for March 17.
This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.