Britney Spears’ lawyer, Sam Ingham, has made some shock claims about the pop icon’s mental state, which he compared with that of a ‘comatose patient’.
He also stated that the 38-year-old ‘lacks the mental capacity’ to sign a sworn declaration in her ongoing conservatorship legal battle with her father, Jamie Spears.
According to reports by TMZ, Mr Ingham made the claims on Wednesday during yet another court proceeding in which he declared that Britney no longer wanted to perform and revive her music career despite her father’s wishes.
When questioned by the judge as to why Britney herself had yet to provide first-hand evidence of her career decision, Mr Ingham claimed that his client did not possess the mental clarity to sign legally-binding documents.
He went on to explain that while the mother-of-two is not physically comatose, he feels she must be treated as such which gives him as her lawyer the right to sign documents on her behalf.
Jamie and his legal team then argued that Britney herself should appear in court to avoid accusations of ‘hearsay,’ however, Mr Ingham’s position was firm.
“I am the exclusive source of information in public pleadings as to what my client wants,” he told the court.
The #FreeBritney movement
Britney has been under the conservatorship of Jamie since 2008 following her 'breakdown' in 2007 when she was famously seen shaving her head.
In California where Britney’s guardianship was decided upon, a conservatorship is a legal guardianship where a representative is appointed when a court agrees that an individual cannot make their own decisions.
In Britney's case, it was her father who initially took over her financial assets, her estate and career negotiations. He can even decide who she can and cannot spend time with.
As of the last court review, the date on Britney's conservatorship has been extended until at least August 22, 2020, however, Jamie has attempted to make the conservatorship permanent, saying he believes his daughter suffers from early-onset dementia.
The conservatorship has been a controversial topic amongst Britney fans who believe it's being used to control her behaviour. Last year, a social media campaign kicked off using the hashtag #FreeBritney to draw attention to the singer’s current situation.
In August 2020, Britney started making legal moves to remove her father as the sole conservator and make her current stand-in conservator, Jodi Montgomery, permanent.