Britney Spears' Lawyer Told Her To Stay Quiet – And A Judge Said NOT To Advise Her Of Her Rights?!
Back in 2008, when Britney Spears was first placed under a conservatorship at the petition of her father, Jamie Spears, the judge ruled she was not capable of hiring her own counsel.
So for the past 13 years she has been advised by the same man, Samuel D. Ingham III. But has this attorney, who was not chosen by her, had her best interests at heart?
More importantly, has he been fulfilling his duty to his client? And does he even consider Britney to be his client??
These are some of the questions now being raised by Britney’s bombshell testimony at Wednesday’s conservatorship hearing, in which she said her father had used the conservatorship to keep her on drugs, to force her to keep performing when she wanted to stop, and even to put and keep her on birth control, forcing her to have an IUD in her body to prevent her from having more children. Shocking stuff which many, including Britney herself, have likened to human trafficking.
What hasn’t been as widely covered in the news is how her lawyer told the court before the speech that he was not aware or in control of what she was going to say.
And it showed.
The Toxic singer told the judge:
“I didn’t know I could petition the conservatorship to be ended. I’m sorry for my ignorance, but I honestly didn’t know that. My attorney says I can’t — it’s not good, I can’t let the public know anything they did to me. He told me I should keep it to myself, really.”
We know part of the reason she never came forward is that she was afraid no one would believe her because of who she is; during the hearing she compared her situation to friend Paris Hilton‘s description of abuse at boarding school.
What we didn’t know was that her own freakin’ lawyer was telling her to keep quiet — and NOT advising her of her right to petition to end the conservatorship, which she has wanted to do for years.
The New York Times spoke to several legal experts about the situation. Trusts and estate lawyer Sarah J. Wentz told the paper she “can’t even fathom” why Mr. Ingham hadn’t filed to terminate the conservatorship before now, given he should have known for years everything we’ve just learned:
“If he knew what she was saying, he should have been prepared. If he did what a lawyer is supposed to do, he would have met and found out she wants to terminate.”
Why didn’t he? It’s a damn good question.
We don’t know if he’s doing what a lawyer should do, but he’s certainly getting paid enough to. He makes $475 per hour and in 2019 alone took home $373,000 from Britney’s estate. (Defending his billing in March of this year, he reportedly said his current billing would total $154,850 — but he “voluntarily reduced my fees to $153,782.50.” A savings of about 0.7%. Amazing.) Since 2008, reports the Times, he’s made nearly $3 MILLION from her.
But who is Ingham really working for?
The Times got their hands on court records which seem to suggest, to a reader’s untrained eye anyway, that he was serving mostly to speak to Britney about her concerns and then report back to those in charge of the conservatorship on her. In a 2014 closed-door hearing, Ingham raised “six points Ms. Spears had asked him to bring up,” per the report — but also highlighted that she had been “hostile, aggressive, and extremely threatening toward the conservatorship” and had *GASP* even used expletives. That last aspect, he said, he informed her father’s lawyers of “so he can take whatever steps are necessary to protect the children.”
Remember, Jamie Spears was in charge of how much she got to visit her boys.
Her FATHER was in charge of how SHE could be a MOTHER. If that doesn’t scream patriarchy…
And it sounds like her interactions with her own lawyer were being used against her in that regard.
Perhaps even more shocking from that 2014 meeting? Ingham informed the court — again, behind closed doors — that Britney believed the conservatorship prevented her from retiring, from getting married, and from having more children. Hmm, wonder where she got that impression…
The judge at the time, Reva G. Goetz, reportedly told the lawyer:
“I don’t recall that we made any orders about the right to marry, but you may not want to tell her that.”
What. The. Frock.
Judges are supposed to be servants of the law and the people. How could one be telling this lawyer NOT to inform his client of all her rights??
For his part, Ingham seemed to shrug off the idea of informing Britney, responding:
“Somehow that did not come up in the conversation.”
How long did it somehow not come up? Because from what we’ve heard, Britney and BF Sam Asghari may be ready to say their I Do’s.
Photos: Britney Spears & Sam Asghari’s ADORABLE Relationship Timeline
During that hearing, Ingham also gave a pretty good illustration of how little he had been meeting with Britney over his at-the-time SIX YEARS working on the case, saying a recent 90-minute meeting was “at least three times longer than any session I’ve ever had with my client.”
We will say it again, we are NOT lawyers. We never even saw an episode of Suits until Meghan started dating Harry.
But this really implies to us that Ingham has not been an agent of Britney’s, advocating for her and keeping her apprised of all her rights in an effort to someday lift the conservatorship — as she was years removed from the involuntary psych eval and substance abuse concerns. Heck, she’s a 39-year-old woman now! The idea all these people — lawyers, judges, her father — were just trying to keep the status quo and not questioning what was best for Britney? Presumably because of how lucrative a situation it was for them?? It’s disgusting.
What do YOU think, Perezcious legal experts??
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