Britney Spears court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham III will resign from the pop star’s trusteeship case.
Ingham filed documents Tuesday, asking the Los Angeles Superior Court to revoke him as Spears’ legal representative. “Samuel D. Ingham III hereby resigns from his duties as court appointed attorney for Britney Jean Spears, attorney, effective upon the appointment of the new court appointed attorney,” the court documents read.
Ingham did not respond to Varietymany requests for additional comments on Tuesday.
Ingham has represented Spears for the entirety of his 13 years of trusteeship. In 2008, the court put the arrangement in place, with his father, Jamie Spears, as its sole curator.
Ingham and Spears’ working relationship was called into question last month when the singer gave explosive testimony, calling her guardianship “abusive” and addressing the court for the first time in her 13 years of guardianship. .
During his 24-minute court statement, Spears primarily targeted his father, but also told the judge that Ingham previously advised him not to present his allegations about his guardianship. She asked the judge for the option of choosing her own lawyer, rather than being appointed a legal representative by the court.
Spears told the judge she had formed a relationship with “Sam,” as she called her attorney at the hearing, and said they were on communication three times a week. But, Spears appeared to go rogue during his dazzling statement, and it became clear that the singer had not consulted Ingham about her testimony, as the attorney told the judge he was unaware. of what she was about to say, stating: “These are entirely his words. At the end of his testimony, Ingham declared that he would resign, if his client so wished.
“My attorney, Sam, was very scared that I would go ahead,” Spears told the judge last month. “He told me I had to keep it to myself,” she added.
Spears also told the judge that she was totally unaware that she even had the option to seek termination of her guardianship. “Madam, I didn’t know I could ask the guardianship to end it. I’m sorry for my ignorance, but honestly I didn’t know it, ”Spears told Judge Brenda Penny.
Although Ingham has not responded to any of Spears’ claims, it is the duty of a lawyer to inform his client of his rights – in this case, the right to request termination. According to a legal expert, Spears should have been regularly informed of her rights for 13 years. (Ingham did not respond to Varietycontinued requests for comment from, over the past few weeks, as Spears’ case has come under scrutiny.)
Ahead of Spears’ hearing, The New York Times published a report, citing private legal documents, showing that Spears had been trying to end his guardianship for years, citing his father’s mismanagement and the extreme legal fees he had incurred. she was forced to incur by the terms of the guardianship.
In November 2020, Ingham filed legal documents on behalf of Spears, asking the court to remove his father from guardianship, saying his pop star client was ‘scared’ of his father and would refuse to perform as long as his father was involved. . . At the time, this request was rejected by the judge. Last week, the same judge signed documents that reaffirmed the position not to dismiss Spears’ father, although the filing was not a response to something new that happened this year, but rather a response to the request that was several months old, in particular the appointment of the wealth management company Bessemer Trust, as co-custodian of the estate of Spears, alongside his father.
Since Spears’ testimony, the actors of his tutelage and his team have been on the move.
Longtime Spears manager Larry Rudolph resigned on Monday after 25 years with the Princess of Pop. In his letter, Rudolph said he had not communicated with Spears for more than two years and had no involvement in the guardianship.
Last week, Bessemer Trust, which was set to take over as co-curator of the star’s estate and work alongside his father, stepped down from guardianship, asking to step down ” due to changed circumstances “. In a legal file, Spears’ dazzling testimony was referenced, along with the firm petition that they “realized that the Tory opposes maintaining her guardianship and wishes to end the guardianship” and “respects her wishes.” .
In response to Spears’ testimony where she called her father controlling and abusive, Jamie Spears pointed out temporary curator Jodi Montgomery, filing documents with LA Superior Court stating he was “concerned.” by treating his daughter, maintaining her innocence and continuing her position of looking out for her best interests, despite her numerous claims against him. A Montgomery lawyer fiercely shot down Elder Spears’ claims.
According to an investigation by Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino in the New Yorker, Spears called 911 to report abuse of guardianship the day before his June 23 testimony.
Almost two weeks after Spears testified where she begged the judge to end her guardianship without further assessment, documents have still not been filed on her behalf to request the end of guardianship. These documents should be filed by his lawyer, so Ingham’s resignation could explain the delay.
Now, with Ingham out of the case, the next step would be for Spears to retain the services of a new lawyer, with court approval, so that she can begin the termination request process – however, despite a change of legal representation, if his father remain at the top of the guardianship and oppose the termination, the singer could be engaged in a long and continuous legal battle.