Britney Spears’ court-appointed lawyer offers to resign
Britney Spears’ court-appointed lawyer has asked to resign from his role, as the fallout from the pop star’s dramatic court testimony continues.
Samuel Ingham has represented the singer since she was placed under a conservatorship in 2008.
But in a public statement to the court last month, Spears said he discouraged her from speaking out, and that she wanted to chose her own legal team.
Mr Ingham’s announcement came after Spears’ manager also stepped down.
The lawyer revealed his desire to resign in court papers filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“Samuel D Ingham III hereby resigns as court-appointed counsel for Britney Jean Spears, conservatee, effective upon the appointment of new court-appointed counsel,” the request said.
Loeb and Loeb, a law firm brought in to help Mr Ingham, also offered its resignation in the filing.
Neither party explained why they wanted to step down, but the move came less than two weeks after Spears described her conservatorship, a legal guardianship arrangement, as “abusive” and said she was “traumatised”.
In a 23-minute statement to the court last month, the singer claimed she had been drugged, forced to perform against her will and prevented from having children, and asked the court to end the conservatorship that has governed her life for the last 13 years.
Although she had “built a relationship” with Mr Ingham in that time, she said he had been “scared for me to go forward” with her testimony.
“He told me I should keep it to myself,” she said, adding that she would like the opportunity “to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself”.
Mr Ingham appeared to be taken aback by the star’s statement – telling the court he was unaware of its contents before she spoke. He added that he would step aside as her representative if asked.
According to the most recent accounting available, in 2019 Mr Ingham was paid about $373,000 (£270,000) for working with the singer. Spears pays the legal costs for both sides in her conservatorship case.
He is the third party involved in Spears’ conservatorship to step aside in the past week.
The star’s long-time manager Larry Rudolph resigned earlier this week, saying he had been informed of her “intention to officially retire” from the music industry.
Mr Rudolph had worked with Spears since her breakthrough with …Baby One More Time in 1998 – although he said he had not been in contact with her for the last two-and-a-half years due to her work hiatus.
And last week, financial management firm the Bessemer Trust, which was appointed to help oversee Spears’ financial affairs, requested to resign from that role, citing her desire for the conservatorship to stop.
Spears has not yet made a formal request for the court to review the arrangement. The next hearing is scheduled for 14 July. – bbc.com