Jamie Spears says that Britney Spears’ personal conservator, Jodi Montgomery, told him that his daughter is “mentally sick” and wanted to place her under a 5150 psychiatric hold.
Now, in a statement obtained by Variety, Montgomery is pushing back on Mr. Spears claims — and, once again, asking him to step down from his daughter’s conservatorship.
“Ms. Montgomery implores Mr. Spears to stop the attacks,” Montgomery’s statement says, in part. “It does no good; it only does harm. We all need to focus on one thing, and one thing only — the health, well-being and best interests of Britney Spears.”
Spears’ father is the conservator of her estate, managing all financial decisions, while Montgomery is the singer’s conservator of her person, managing all personal and medical decisions.
In new court documents, filed on Friday morning with the Los Angeles Superior Court, Spears’ father alleged that Montgomery called him last month to say that she is concerned about his daughter’s behavior and mental health and believes she might need to be placed under a 5150 psychiatric hold.
“On July 9, 2021, I received a phone call from Ms. Montgomery,” Mr. Spears says in the docs. “During our call, Ms. Montgomery sounded very distraught and expressed how concerned she was about my daughter’s recent behavior and overall mental health. Ms. Montgomery explained that my daughter was not timely or properly taking her medications, was not listening to the recommendations of her medical team and refused to even see some of her doctors.”
Spears’ father says that Montgomery asked for his help in addressing these issues, as she was “very worried” about the “direction my daughter was heading in.”
In response, an attorney for Montgomery, Laurieann Wright, tells Variety: “Ms. Montgomery does have concerns about Ms. Spears’ ‘recent behavior and overall mental health,’ as set forth in Jamie Spears’ Declaration dated August 6, 2021. Due to medical privacy, Ms. Montgomery cannot go into those concerns with any further detail except to say that having her father Jamie Spears continuing to serve as her Conservator instead of a neutral professional fiduciary is having a serious impact on Ms. Spears’ mental health.”
“Notably, Jamie Spears has yet to resign as Ms. Spears’ Conservator of the Person, which is why Ms. Montgomery continues to serve as Temporary Conservator of the Person,” the statement continues. “It is in Ms. Spears’ best interests that her father step down as her Conservator, so he can go back to just being Ms. Spears’ father, and working on a healthy, supportive father-daughter relationship.”
Montgomery denies Mr. Spears’ claim that she suggested the singer be placed under a psychiatric hold.
“Mr. Spears’ declaration misrepresents what Ms. Montgomery said to him in relation to a potential 5150 psychiatric hold for Ms. Spears,” the statement says. “At no time did Ms. Montgomery express to Mr. Spears that Ms. Spears would currently qualify for such a hold. The concern that Ms. Montgomery did raise to Mr. Spears during their telephone call is that forcing Ms. Spears to take the stand to testify or to have her evaluated would move the needle in the wrong direction for her mental health.”
Spears’ father also alleges that Montgomery acknowledged that “many of my daughter’s statements at the last hearing were not true and attributed her statements to the fact that my daughter is ‘mentally sick.’”
The hearing Spears’ father is referring to is when the superstar told the judge in mid-July that she wants to “press charges” for “conservatorship abuse.” She has made allegations of being controlled by her father to the point of not being able to choose what she wants to drink, not being able to drive in a car with her boyfriend and not being allowed to have another child or get married, as she claims her conservators will not allow her to remove her IUD birth control device. (In the past, attorneys for Mr. Spears have denied all wrongdoing.)
Spears’ father says that his “sole motivation has been his unconditional love for his daughter and a fierce desire to protect her from those trying to take advantage of her.”
Despite Spears’ father’s stating he is working in the best interest of his daughter, Montgomery appears to be in line with the pop star, who told Judge Brenda Penny earlier this summer that she wants to keep Montgomery on her case and wants her father removed and put in jail. Ms. Spears said that she wants Montgomery to help her acclimate back into the real world, and Montgomery has said that she is working towards the eventual goal of getting Spears out of her conservatorship.
Attorneys for Spears’ father continue to maintain his innocence and point the finger at Montgomery. The elder Spears had previously used this tactic, and Friday’s filing indicates a continuation of that same strategy. Following his daughter’s first explosive testimony in court on June 23 where she initially broke her silence with blistering accusations against her father, he had said that he has nothing to do with any personal or medical decisions, which he says are in Montgomery’s purview.
Today, Spears’ father says that Montgomery, along with his daughter’s former court-appointed attorney Samuel D. Ingham, who has since resigned, is the one who admitted the pop star to a facility in early 2019 and has “continued to have control of my daughter’s medical treatment and personal life ever since.”
Montgomery strongly denies this accusation, with her attorney telling Variety that she did not admit her to any facility, and she would not even have the power to make such a decision.
“As Case Manager, Ms. Montgomery worked under the sole direction and control of Jamie Spears,” Montgomery’s lawyer says in a statement. “She had no power or authority to place Britney Spears in any facility as a Case Manager — only Jamie Spears had that power in March 2019.”
The statement continues: “It is unequivocally not true that it was Ms. Montgomery and Sam Ingham ‘who admitted Ms. Spears to a facility in early 2019.’ In fact, that would have been impossible. Neither a Case Manager nor a Court Appointed Counsel could have had that power, either working alone or together. Only the Conservator of the Person would have had that power (with the Conservatee’s consent) – and, again, that was Jamie Spears in March 2019.”
Montgomery’s lawyer says that while she may have signed “routine paperwork” for the facility, she only did so “at the direction of Jamie Spears.” She says that the decision to place the singer in a facility in March 2019 was made by the singer’s treating psychiatrist at the time, Dr. Timothy Benson.
Montgomery has also appeared to align herself with the interests of Spears’ new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart. In a recent filing, Montgomery agreed with Rosengart in wanting to remove Mr. Spears from the conservatorship, and also claimed that Spears’ own doctors agree that he should be removed from the position. (Rosengart is currently working towards the removal and suspension of Spears’ father, having filed paperwork in a matter of weeks after he began working with the singer.)
In the new documents, filed by Spears’ father on Friday, he also takes aim at his daughter’s attorney and objects to moving the hearing regarding the petition to remove him from the conservatorship. Yesterday, Rosengart filed to speed up the hearing, stating it would be in the best interest of the conservatee. (As of now, the hearing is set for Sept. 29.)
“A conservatorship should be a last resort, designed to benefit the conservatee rather than a mechanism designed to serve as a tool for the enrichment of third parties,” Rosengart’s latest filing stated, once again, alleging that Spears’ father has dissipated her multi-million fortune. Yesterday’s documents said: “Mr. Spears has also enriched himself at the expense of his daughter, reaping millions of dollars from her services as a performer, in addition to paying himself $16,000 per month from Ms. Spears’ estate, $2,000 more than he has allotted to Ms. Spears, plus $2,000 per month for office expenses.”
Yesterday, Rosengart’s filing included an allegation that the elder Spears had opposed his daughter going on vacation to Maui, Hawaii. In today’s filing, Mr. Spears fights back, saying that Rosengart has made “unsubstantiated, vague accusations” and a “false statement” about the Hawaii trip.
Rosengart says that Spears’ father has exerted “absolutely microscopic control” over her life since her childhood and continues to do so today, as conservator of her estate. As an example, Rosengart claims that Spears’ father objected to his 39-year-old daughter take a vacation in Maui this past summer, but “ultimately relented.”
“Mr. Spears objected to his daughter’s wish in late July to take a short vacation, disapproving of the expenditure that would have come from his daughter’s own, hard-earned money,” Rosengart’s filing stated yesterday. “The mere objection to his adult daughter taking a brief, well-earned vacation at this point in her life, while other funds are lavishly expended, underscores why suspension, and ultimately removal, should not wait.”
Variety has reached out to Rosengart for comment regarding Mr. Spears’ new filing.
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