Britney Spears‘ former estate manager Andrew Wallet spoke out for the first time amid the pop star’s conservatorship battle, suggesting that she may have her financial and personal affairs monitored for the rest of her life.
“The most important question is whether the conservatorship is in her best interests. That’s what you always have to ask yourself and I absolutely still believe that the conservatorship is in her best interests,” Wallet told the Daily Mail on Monday, October 5. “It is not in Britney’s best interests to be outside the conservatorship but there’s a lot of politics involved. … Protecting her assets is very important and for that the conservatorship has to stay in place because she is susceptible to undue influences.”
Us Weekly confirmed in March 2019 that Wallet abruptly stepped down as co-conservator for Spears after taking on the role with her dad, Jamie Spears, in 2008. Several months later, Jamie filed to “temporarily relinquish the powers of conservatorship” due to “personal health reasons.” (The “Toxic” singer’s care manager, Jodi Montgomery, took over the role.) While Britney has since requested to permanently remove Jamie as her co-conservator, he filed in August for Wallet to resume the role alongside him. However, Us confirmed on Monday that Wallet filed docs to withdraw the petition the same day his Daily Mail interview was published.
“The conservatorship isn’t in place to make her do things she doesn’t want to do,” Wallet told the outlet. “It’s in place to protect her. If she doesn’t want to work she doesn’t have to work. No one can force her. I have had people in conservatorship who have got themselves right and it has been terminated but you don’t see that because they’re not people in the public eye. Other people can be in a conservatorship their whole lives. I’m not saying that’s going to be Britney but it could happen to her.”
Wallet also slammed #FreeBritney, a social media movement hoping to seek the truth about Britney’s conservatorship.
“This movement on social media has definitely complicated matters. There are people lurking in the shadows pushing an agenda,” he said. “I can’t say who but it is hurting Britney, she’s the only one who gets hurt by all this.”
Britney, for her part, expressed gratitude for the social media movement in court docs last month.
“[Britney] is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy [and] welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans,” her attorney said in the paperwork. The singer’s team has also previously claimed that Wallet is “uniquely unsuitable to fill that role” and “had little or no direct contact” with Britney over the years.
Us has reached out to Britney’s rep for comment.
Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!