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'People Have It So Wrong Here:' Lawyer For Britney Spears’ Dad Says He's No ‘Villain’
"This is a story about a fiercely loyal, loving, and dedicated father who rescued his daughter from a life-threatening situation," Vivian Thoreen told "Good Morning America" amid ongoing criticism from the "#FreeBritney" camp.
Britney Spears’ father is speaking out, through his lawyer, following the release of a documentary that questions the control he maintains over the pop icon's life through a court-imposed conservatorship.
"I understand that every story needs a villain but people have it so wrong here," Jamie Spears’ attorney Vivian Thoreen told "Good Morning America” on Thursday. "This is a story about a fiercely loyal, loving, and dedicated father who rescued his daughter from a life-threatening situation. People were harming her and they were exploiting her."
“Framing Britney," questions whether the 39-year-old still needs to be under the legal conservatorship, largely maintained by her father. A court instituted the arrangement in 2008, not long after Spears endured what appeared to be a very public mental health crisis. Under it, Jamie Spears plays a key role in Britney's finances, business dealings and other legal matters. Conservatorships are typically employed for people who are deemed unable to make key decisions for themselves, yet the fact that Britney has never really stopped working, including spearheading an enormously successful multi-year Las Vegas residency, has fans crying foul at the constraints she's been placed under. That's led to the "#FreeBritney" movement, which has become increasingly critical of Jamie Spears' role in his daughter's life.
Despite those criticisms, Thoreen maintains in the new interview that Jamie "saved" his daughter’s life and has "worked tirelessly to protect her.”
"He has collaborated with her to help her regain custody of her children. He has brought her finances back from disaster," she said. "And he's created a safe environment for her to live her life the way she wants, away from the media that caused her so much pain."
The lawyer claims that before the conservatorship, Spears had reportedly been making $40 million a year, yet had just $2.8 million in assets to her name. She credits her client for restoring the "Toxic" singer's financial health.
"Thanks to Jamie's efforts, Britney's estate is now capable of taking care of Britney and her children for the rest of their lives, as long as no one is permitted to exploit or take advantage of her again,” the lawyer said.
Thoreen also said that Britney has never asked her father to “step aside” as conservator and that she has the ability to petition to for an end to the conservatorship whenever she wants.
However, the burden of proof would be on Britney to demonstrate the arrangement is no longer necessary and in “Framing Britney,” Thoreen acknowledged that she has never been involved in a case in which the subject of a conservatorship has successfully terminated one.
Meanwhile, pop icon's legal team has made it clear that she doesn't want her dad in control of her finances or anything else.
“My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III told the judge last year, the Associated Press reported. Earlier this month, that judge sided with Britney, granting a third party financial institution, Bessemer Trust, an equal share of control over her finances as Jamie Spears.
Following the release of “Framing Britney,” Spears’ current boyfriend Sam Asghari, 27, called Jamie “a total dick” in an Instagram story. Asghari, who was born in Iran, went on to state, "I won't be going into details because I've always respected our privacy but at the same time, I didn't come to this country to not be able to express my opinion and freedom.”