The wealth management firm that was set to take over as the co-conservator of Britney Spears’ estate, alongside her father, has requested to resign from the arrangement, according to a document filed in court today, throwing her conservatorship into greater turmoil.
Bessemer Trust, a professional wealth management firm that manages more than $100 billion in assets, said in a court filing that it wanted to resign “due to changed circumstances,” citing Spears’ recent public criticisms of the conservatorship.
The firm said in its filing that it had been told that Spears’ conservatorship was voluntary and that she had consented to the company acting as co-conservator. But in a court hearing on June 23, Spears excoriated the conservatorship and demanded that it end.
“As a result of the conservatee’s testimony at the June 23 hearing, however, Petitioner has become aware that the Conservatee objects to the continuance of her Conservatorship and desires to terminate the conservatorship,” the firm said in the court filing. “Petitioner has heard the Conservatee and respects her wishes.”
If the judge approves Bessemer’s request to resign, it is unclear if Spears’ father will serve as the sole conservator of the singer’s nearly $60 million estate.
For 13 years, Spears has lived under a system that restricts her control over her life and finances. She called the conservatorship “abusive” last week at the hearing, and pleaded with the court to let her out of the arrangement without a medical evaluation.
Her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, has not yet filed a formal request to terminate the conservatorship with the court.
Spears’ father and others involved in the conservatorship have defended the arrangement and said that it rescued her from a low point, and that she could move to end it whenever she wanted. But confidential court records obtained by The New York Times showed how Spears, 39, has objected to the conservatorship for years.
Last fall, Ingham had requested that the singer’s father, James P. Spears, known as Jamie, be suspended as conservator of the estate immediately, claiming Spears was “afraid of her father,” but the judge declined that request.