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Britney Spears conservatorship battle returns to court

The legal battle over conservatorship of Britney Spears’ estate continued in court on Thursday.

Though the pop star was not in attendance, her father Jamie Spears attended virtually as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny heard arguments from both Spears and her father’s attorneys.

The hearing focused on the November appointment of Bessemer Trust to serve as co-conservator — along with her father — of Spears’ estate. Judge Penny ruled in favor of keeping the co-conservatorship and made no changes at Thursday’s proceedings.

Spears had previously petitioned to have her father removed as co-conservator. The latest ruling does not preclude her attorney, Samuel Ingham III, from submitting another petition for his removal.

Ingham, who also attended the hearing virtually, reiterated that his client “does not want her father as co-conservator and we recognize removal is a separate issue.”

Vivian L. Thoreen, attorney for Jamie Spears, issued a statement to CNN Thursday night.

“The Probate Court’s rulings today show the court’s confidence in our client Jamie Spears and Bessemer Trust to manage the conservatorship of Ms. Spears’ estate together. My client looks forward to working with Bessemer to continue an investment strategy in the best interests of his daughter,” Thoreen’s statement read in part.

The elder Spears was first court-appointed as conservator of his daughter’s estate, along with attorney Andrew Wallet, in 2008, following a series of personal issues that played out publicly for the singer​. ​For most of that period, he also oversaw her health and medical decisions. Jamie Spears became the sole conservator of the singer’s $60 million estate in 2019, following Wallet’s resignation.

Ingham first filed to officially remove Jamie Spears as conservator last August. Spears told CNN in December he has not spoken to his daughter since that filing.

“I love my daughter and I miss her very much,” Spears said of his daughter. “When a family member needs special care and protection, families need to step up, as I have done for the last 12-plus years, to safeguard, protect and continue to love Britney unconditionally. I have and will continue to provide unwavering love and fierce protection against those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her or my family.”

Interest in the singer’s conservatorship has heightened following the New York Times documentary, “Framing Britney Spears.” Celebrities and supporters have advocated for Spears on social media with the hashtag #FreeBritney.

Another hearing in the case is scheduled for March 17.

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