An attorney representing Britney Spears at the Conservatory, who has overseen her life for the past 13 years, moved on Tuesday to be allowed to resign and be the last party to resign from the agreement after Ms. Spears did so at a hearing at the labeled abusive last month.
Samuel D. Ingham III, a veteran of the California probate system, has represented Ms. Spears since 2008 when a Los Angeles court granted preservation powers to the singer’s father and a probate attorney given her mental health and substance abuse concerns. Mr Ingham was appointed by the court after it was found that Mrs Spears, who was hospitalized at the time, was unable to hire her own lawyer.
At a June 23 hearing, Ms. Spears vehemently criticized the conservatory, claiming she had been forced to perform, take debilitating drugs, and remain under birth control.
The singer also asked questions about Mr. Ingham’s advocacy on her behalf, partly because she told the court that she didn’t know how to end the deal. Ms. Spears informed the judge that she wanted to hire her own lawyer.
“I didn’t know I could move to quit the conservatory,” Ms. Spears, 39, said in court. “I’m sorry for my ignorance, but to be honest, I didn’t know that.” She added, “My lawyer says I can’t – it’s not good, I can’t tell the public what they did to me.”
“He told me to really keep it to myself,” said the singer.
It is not known what private discussions Mr. Ingham and Mrs. Spears have had about whether or how they might move to terminate the Conservatories. Last year, Mr. Ingham began looking for significant setup changes on behalf of Ms. Spears, including attempts to remove power from her father, James P. Spears, who maintains control of the singer’s $ 60 million fortune.
Mr. Ingham’s total income from Ms. Spears’ conservatory since 2008 is nearly $ 3 million; Ms. Spears is responsible for paying attorneys on both sides of the case, including those who argue against her will.
Mr Ingham did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On his file, he asked the court to assign a new lawyer to Ms. Spears, but did not address his reasons for withdrawing. The filing also included the letter of termination from the law firm Loeb & Loeb, whom Mr. Ingham had recently called in to help.
Mr Ingham said he would stay in office until the court appoints a new attorney for Ms. Spears, but it is not clear how a new attorney will be selected or whether Ms. Spears would have a say on the matter.
Filing comes a day after Ms. Spears’ longtime manager Larry Rudolph also resigned. In a letter to Mrs. Spears’ co-restorers, Mr. Spears and Jodi Montgomery, who is responsible for the personal care of the singer, Mr. Rudolph said he learned that Ms. Spears had expressed intentions to officially retire.
Ms. Spears has not played or released any new music since 2018. In January 2019, she announced an “indefinite break from work,” canceled an upcoming residency in Las Vegas, and announced her father’s health.
Last month, Ms. Spears said in court that she had been pressured into these scheduled performances and an earlier tour. She described being forced into weeks of involuntary medical examinations and rehab after speaking out against choreography in rehearsals. “I’m not here to be anyone’s slave,” said Ms. Spears. “I can say no to a dance step.”
She told the judge, “My father and everyone involved in this conservatory organization and my management who played a huge role in the punishment when I said no – ma’am, you should be in jail.”
Last week, an asset management firm that was to take over as co-manager of the singer’s estate also moved to resign, citing the “changed circumstances” following public criticism from Ms. Spears. The company, Bessemer Trust, said in a judicial file that it believed conservation was voluntary and that Ms. Spears had agreed to allow the company to co-restorer alongside her father.