What's Next For Britney Spears After That Explosive Testimony?

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What's Next For Britney Spears After That Explosive Testimony?

Actions have consequences, but does alleged conservatorship abuse? Following Britney Spears' devastating testimony on Wednesday, June 24, in which she described her conservatorship as "abusive," fans are demanding justice. But what does justice look like after over a decade of conservatorship? Sadly, what's next for Britney Spears and Jamie Spears is still completely dependent on the courts.

Before anything can be really done about Jamie Spears' alleged abuse of his daughter, a court must either terminate the conservatorship or remove him as conservator for good. And that begins with petitioning the court to end the conservatorship, as Judge Brenda Penny noted on Wednesday. If Spears is able to file a petition the court to end her conservatorship, then a new court date will likely be set to hear that case. According to the California Legislative Information website, a petition to end a conservatorship requires "facts showing that the limited conservatorship is no longer required." In Spears' case, it seems likely that this will include financial statements proving she can take care of her own finances and earn money to support herself, and, based on the events that led to her conservatorship in the first place, proof that she is willing and able to care for her mental health.

And that's only the beginning. Once a petition is filed, anyone close to the conservatorship — including Spears' family, her boyfriend, and, yes, her father — can object to the filing. As Spears herself said in court, "considering my family has lived off my conservatorship for years, I won't be surprised if one of them has something to say going forward, and say, 'We don't think this should end.'"

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Conservatorships are generally very difficult to get out of. If you search how to end a conservatorship, the first thing that come up is generally "death of the conservatee." This is because a traditional view of conservatorships is that they are used to keep elderly people with dementia or other health issues that impair cognitive ability, safe. (Though as many activists will tell you, this is not necessarily the case.) There truly has been no conservatorship case like Spears', so it's hard to say what could happen to her, her father, or anyone else involved in the highly controversial legal battle.

Family members of the rich and famous have been sued for stealing from their loved ones, but I wasn't able to find a case similar to Spears', where this would occur after a guardianship or conservatorship was put in place. Like the case of Brooke Astor, a philanthropist and New York City socialite, whose son, Anthony Marshall, was accused of taking advantage of Astor's dementia and, essentially, re-writing her will in his favor to the tune of millions. He was eventually found guilty of grand larceny, fraud, and other charges, all related to his changes to his mother's will. However, these charges were only brought up after his son, Phillip Marshall, filed for guardianship over his grandmother.

I'm not a legal expert, but I have to assume that the burden of proof in any case against Jamie Spears would be exceedingly high. Spears has, in the past, for example, complained to the court about how much money Jamie Spears spent on a new business manager, Michael Kane, without her knowledge. When she asked the court to remove her father as conservator, she reportedly specifically cited this expense, but Jamie was able to claim that this was a reasonable expense, and the court agreed with him, extending the conservatorship into this year.

If the past has taught us anything, it's that Spears will continue to face an uphill battle in the courts. And the first hurdle is to eliminate the conservatorship. Depending on how that shakes out, it's likely we'll have a better view of what could happen to Jamie — if anything at all.


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Image: Britney Spears/YouTube

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