Britney Spears' Mom Lynne Has a 'Lot of Concerns with the Conservatorship,' Says Source
Britney Spears' mom Lynne feels ex-husband Jamie "has not been transparent with her" about their daughter's conservatorship, a source tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story
As Britney Spears fights for more freedom and the end of her conservatorship, sources say her mom, Lynne, will be in her corner.
While Lynne, 66, has been largely uninvolved in her daughter's conservatorship — which has been in place since 2008 — over the years, she recently decided to take a more hands-on approach after "Britney begged her for help," a Spears family source tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.
At a public court hearing last November, Lynne supported Britney's request to remove her father Jamie, whom Lynne divorced in 2002, as a conservator. Through a lawyer, she told the judge that the father-daughter duo had a "toxic" relationship.
In April, she also objected to Jamie's $890,000 attorney fees, calling them "procedurally and substantively improper." She asked that the court review the attorney costs and that a portion of them — at least $224,000 related to the law firm's communication with the press — be "immediately repaid" to Britney's estate. (In response, Jamie's lawyers claimed that Lynne has "no knowledge" about the fees related to the case.)
"Lynne feels there are a lot of concerns with the conservatorship," says the family source. "She feels Jamie has not been transparent with her and is helping Britney as much as she can."
As Britney, 39, gave an impassioned 23 minutes of testimony during a conservatorship hearing in Los Angeles court on June 23, Lynne and her lawyer listened in. The speech marked the first time Britney has spoken publicly about her conservatorship, under which her father, Jamie, and others have held the power to make her personal and financial decisions since 2008, when her erratic behavior culminated in two involuntary 5150 holds in a psychiatric hospital.
During her speech, Britney rapidly made startling allegations against her conservators, family and management team, including that they denied her the right to have more children by not letting her remove her IUD, forced her to work a grueling schedule she likened to "sex trafficking" and put her on the psychiatric drug lithium (which is commonly used to treat mood disorders, including bipolar disorder) against her wishes.
"My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a huge role in punishing me — they should be in jail," said Britney, whose longtime court-appointed lawyer Sam Ingham prefaced his client's speech by informing the judge he had "not attempted" to "filter" Britney's words. (During the hearing the star was not questioned by her conservators' lawyers, and they have not yet had a chance to respond to her allegations in court.)
RELATED VIDEO: Britney Spears Breaks Silence After Conservatorship Hearing: 'I Apologize for Pretending Like I've Been OK'
Britney's explosive court allegations followed the January 2019 cancellation of her planned Las Vegas show and her announcement of a career break in order to support Jamie as he recovered from his own health crisis, a ruptured colon.
That April, she checked into treatment at a wellness facility — a decision she claimed in court was orchestrated by her dad. "I cried on the phone for an hour, and he loved every minute of it," she said.
In August 2019, Jamie, 69, was involved in an alleged altercation with Britney's son Sean Preston, now 15. Weeks later, court documents revealed that Jamie was stepping down as his daughter's personal conservator after more than a decade.
At the time, Jodi Montgomery, Britney's longtime care manager, temporarily replaced Jamie as the conservator of her person, responsible for medical decisions. Jamie remains co-conservator of her estate, along with wealth-management company Bessemer Trust.
Since then Britney has battled in court to prevent Jamie's potential return as her personal conservato.
"Britney was close with her dad for years. It really seems that she realizes he saved her life in 2008, but she doesn't agree that the conservatorship should have continued on for all these years," says the family source. "She hasn't had contact with her dad for a long time and was beyond upset after Jamie's altercation with her son."
Jamie's lawyers declined multiple requests for comment from PEOPLE.
While Britney said in court that she wishes to have her conservatorship end without being evaluated by medical professionals, multiple legal experts say it's more complicated than that.
"You cannot end a conservatorship without a capacity declaration signed by a physician who has examined her within six months," says probate attorney David A. Esquibias, who represents actress Amanda Bynes in her own conservatorship case. "It would be highly unusual for a judge to make a decision without the opinion of an expert."
A source close to the situation previously told PEOPLE that since taking over the role, conservator Montgomery "and a team of experts have concentrated on giving Britney the tools to get better. The hope is that she can get out of the conservatorship."
In court it's now up to Britney — who sources say has no current plans to return to the stage — to file a petition to terminate the conservatorship.
"It's a complicated and complex situation," says the family source. "There are clear issues with the conservatorship. It's in place to protect Britney. Yet so many things that Britney is unhappy about are valid. She should definitely have more freedom. This is her life."
For all the details on the fight over Britney Spears' future, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
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