Ahead of the October 24 release of Britney Spears’ forthcoming memoir, The Woman in Me, the anticipation over what the pop icon will reveal about her life, career, and longtime conservatorship is high.
The book is being touted as Spears’ chance to finally tell her story on her terms—an opportunity that wasn’t available to her during the 13 years she spent under the conservatorship.
“The Woman in Me is a brave and astonishingly moving story about freedom, fame, motherhood, survival, faith, and hope,” the book’s website reads. “[It] reveals for the first time her incredible journey—and the strength at the core of one of the greatest performers in pop music history.”
Spears’ conservatorship was officially terminated on Nov. 12, 2021, less than five months after she testified that the legal guardianship was “abusive” and that she wanted it to end immediately. She was originally placed under the court-approved arrangement in 2008 following a series of public incidents, including shaving her head and attacking a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella, that raised concerns about her mental welfare.
The conservatorship initially gave Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, and attorney Andrew Wallet control over her finances and many facets of her personal life, with filings claiming Britney suffered from an undisclosed mental illness and substance abuse. Some aspects of the arrangement changed over the years, but Jamie remained at the center until he was suspended as conservator by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny in September 2021. According to a New York Times report published in December 2021, Jamie received an estimated $6 million over the course of the conservatorship.
In the nearly two years since the conservatorship was terminated, legal proceedings surrounding its key players have continued. Here’s where things stand today with Jamie, Britney’s former business manager Lou Taylor, and others.
Since the termination of the conservatorship, Britney’s attorney, former federal prosecutor Matthew Rosengart, has continued to pursue an investigation into Jamie’s alleged misconduct throughout the 13-year arrangement, including “conflicts of interest, conservatorship abuse, and the evident dissipation of Ms. Spears’s fortune.”
In her memoir, The Woman in Me—an excerpt of which was published by People on Oct. 17 ahead of the book’s Oct. 24 release—Britney herself details how Jamie abused his position of power over her.
“If I thought getting criticized about my body in the press was bad, it hurt even more from my own father. He repeatedly told me I looked fat and that I was going to have to do something about it,” she writes. “Feeling like you’re never good enough is a soul-crushing state of being for a child. He’d drummed that message into me as a girl, and even after I’d accomplished so much, he was continuing to do that to me.”
In July 2022, Judge Penny ruled that Jamie had to sit for a deposition and produce all documents related to electronic surveillance that were being requested by Britney’s legal team. This ruling came in the wake of the FX and New York Times documentary Controlling Britney Spears alleging that a security firm hired by Jamie bugged Britney’s home, including her bedroom, in order to monitor her private conversations during the conservatorship.
Jamie’s deposition took place on Aug. 11 2022, after Judge Penny denied his own motion to compel Britney to sit for what Rosengart referred to as a “revenge deposition.” Rosengart then filed a motion in November 2022 for Jamie to submit to further questioning in a new deposition, claiming that Jamie was generally uncooperative in answering during the first proceeding.
Rosengart also asserted that “only a small fraction” of Jamie’s “text messages were produced in such a disjointed manner that it made it impossible to discern the context of any given text or even what was being discussed, as the messages were not grouped together by conversation or even produced chronologically as required.”
A second deposition has yet to take place, with Radar Online reporting in January that Jamie is refusing to sit for a new proceeding and has asked Judge Penny to deny the motion. His attorneys also accused Britney’s legal team of engaging in “overheated and unsupported rhetoric” as part of an attempt to “drum up media and fan frenzy relating to purported wrongdoing by Jamie Spears despite offering zero evidence to prove such allegations and no legitimate justification for burdening Jamie with a second deposition.”
Jamie has requested that Britney’s estate make payments to his legal team for “ongoing fiduciary duties relating to the winding up of the Conservatorship of the Person and Estate”—an appeal that Rosengart has denounced, arguing that Jamie is the one being overly litigious, not Britney.
“Mr. Spears chose to engage in scorched earth litigation against his own daughter, filing no less than eight unnecessary motions, thereby driving up the very legal fees he improperly seeks,” Rosengart said.
Amid the ongoing legal battle, Jamie is also reportedly currently suffering from an infection stemming from a knee replacement surgery he had 16 years ago and has been in and out of the hospital for months.
After condemning her father’s handling of the conservatorship while addressing an open court for the first time in June 2021, Britney turned to social media to call out her mother, Lynne Spears, and former business manager, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group owner Lou Taylor, for their roles in the arrangement.
“My dad may have started the conservatorship 13 years ago… but what people don’t know is that my mom is the one who gave him the idea,” she wrote in a since-deleted Instagram caption. “I will never get those years back … she secretly ruined my life … and yes I will call her and Lou Taylor out on it…. So take your whole ‘I have NO IDEA what’s going on’ attitude and go f––k yourself!!!! You know exactly what you did… my dad is not smart enough to ever think of a conservatorship… but tonight I will smile knowing I have a new life ahead of me!!!”
Now, Tri Star’s involvement in establishing the conservatorship, the firm’s alleged surveillance of Britney through Taylor’s associate Robin Greenhill, and the reported $18 million that Tri-Star obtained from Britney’s estate over the course of the arrangement are being investigated by Britney’s legal team.
Rosengart has alleged that Taylor played a direct role in the creation of the conservatorship in 2008, with Jamie accepting a $40,000 loan from Tri Sports before establishing the guardianship and then hiring the firm to manage Britney’s affairs.
“Tri Star, Lou Taylor and Robin Greenhill have all denied that Tri Star was involved in the creation of the Conservatorship, no doubt aware that such involvement—shortly after it extended the generous loan to Mr. Spears—would call into question not just the exorbitant fees paid to Tri Star over the years but also the motives for placing Ms. Spears into a 13-year conservatorship in the first place,” Rosengart said in a July 2022 filing.
Tri Star attorney Scott Edelman called Rosengart’s filing “materially misleading.”
“As all the evidence makes abundantly clear, the conservatorship was set up on the recommendation of legal counsel, not Tri Star, and approved by the Court for more than 12 years,” he said.
Although she has previously criticized her mother’s involvement in the conservatorship, Britney appears to have reconciled with Lynne in recent months.
In May, Britney shared a post on Instagram in which she spoke about meeting with Lynne for the first time in three years and healing their relationship.
“My sweet mama showed up at my door step yesterday after 3 years…it’s been such a long time,” she wrote. “With family there’s always things that need to be worked out … but time heals all wounds !!! And after being able to communicate what I’ve held in for an extremely long time, I feel so blessed we were able to try to make things RIGHT !!! I love you so much !!!”
On the legal side of things, at an October 2022 hearing in Britney’s case, Judge Penny denied a request from Lynne that Britney’s estate pay for more than $660,000 in legal fees incurred by Lynne during the conservatorship.
“The fees and costs at issue cannot be hoisted onto Britney Spears, who already has paid many millions for court-appointed counsel, counsel for the conservator of the estate, counsel for the conservator of the person, and others, all while very generously providing a beautiful home for her mother and paying for all associated expenses,” Rosengart said in his objection to the motion.
Jamie Lynn Spears
Britney’s relationship with her younger sister, Jamie Lynn, has appeared complicated over the years, with Britney accusing Jamie Lynn of being complicit in the conservatorship at various points in time. The January 2022 release of Jamie Lynn’s own memoir, Things I Should Have Said, seemed to cause particular strife between the two, with Rosengart sending a cease and desist letter threatening Jamie Lynn with legal action over her “ill-timed book.”
“Although Britney has not read and does not intend to read your book, she and millions of her fans were shocked to see how you have exploited her for monetary gain,” the letter read. “She will not tolerate it, nor should she.”
But, like with her mother, Britney recently seems to have been open to making amends with Jamie Lynn. “It was nice to visit my sister on set last week !!!” Britney wrote on Instagram June 20. “I’ve missed you guys so much!!! Loyal girls stay home but it’s so nice to visit family!!!”
Still, Britney’s relationships with her mom and sister remain on shaky ground amid her recently announced divorce from husband Sam Asghari, according to Page Six.
“Her meeting with her mom [in May] went OK, but there’s still a lot of hurt there, so they haven’t quite reconciled,” a source close to Britney reportedly told the publication. “Britney is still very angry with [her sister] Jamie Lynn, too.”