Britney Spears has vowed not to work again while her father remains in control of her career after the star lost a legal battle to curb his power over her.
The singer had asked a court in Los Angeles to prevent her father from returning to his conservator role – which has given him broad control over her life and career for 12 years.
But the judge declined to suspend James Spears from arrangement, despite his daughter telling lawyers she is “afraid of her father”.
Under the conservatorship arrangement, the superstar’s father has power over her career, finances, and even her relationship with her teenage sons.
The singer entered into the agreement in 2008 after suffering serious mental struggles and public meltdowns.
Her father briefly stood aside in 2019 citing health reasons, but his daughter has been taking legal action to make that permanent.
Ms Spears’ attorney Samuel D. Ingham III told the judge: “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father.
“She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career,” he said and told the judge Ms Spears had not spoken to her father in a very long time.
ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports on the legal action taken in August:
The 38-year-old singer has been on an indefinite work hiatus since early 2019.
Lawyers for her father defended what they called a perfect record in his run as her conservator.
They argued that the disruption caused by Mr Spears’ removal would do his daughter harm, and that claims about a strained “father-daughter” relationship were”hearsay”.
Though the judge declined to remove Mr Spears’ from the conservator role, she did say she would consider future petitions for his suspension or outright removal.
Britney Spears has acknowledged that the conservatorship was necessary when it began, but remained silent both in public and in court for nearly all of its existence.
But in August she began action to change the agreement, asking for greater transparency and even declaring that she was sympathetic to fans who have increasingly demanded in protests and online posts that those in control must #FreeBritney.
Dozens of those fans protested outside the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.
Britney Spears’ mother and James Spears’ ex-wife Lynne Spears spoke through her lawyers to describe the singer’s relationship with her father as “toxic”.
She said her daughter should not be forced to obey her father’s unreasonable demands.
“It has broken Lynne’s heart that things have come to this point,” the attorney, Gladstone N. Jones, said.
Lawyers said Lynne Spears has no ill will toward her ex-husband, but she thinks it’s “time to start fresh” and remove him.