Britney Spears’ father has defended his role as the singer’s legal guardian, telling CNN he is “protecting” her from “those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her”.
Jamie Spears has been his daughter’s conservator for 12 years, due to concerns about her mental health.
Last month, she lost a legal attempt to remove his control over her estate.
Jamie Spears said he had been on “good terms” with his daughter until August, but had not spoken to her since.
“I love my daughter and I miss her very much,” he said in a statement to CNN.
“When a family member needs special care and protection, families need to step up, as I have done for the last 12-plus years, to safeguard, protect and continue to love Britney unconditionally.
“I have and will continue to provide unwavering love and fierce protection against those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her or my family.”
Some of the pop star’s fans believe she was forced into the arrangement, and have been running a #FreeBritney campaign to protest against it.
In 2019, Jamie Spears temporarily stepped aside from the conservator role, citing his own health problems.
This August, court documents said Britney wanted her manager Jodi Montgomery, who stepped in for her father during his absence, to permanently oversee her personal affairs.
Britney’s lawyer Samuel Ingham said she was “afraid” of her father and would not perform so long as he remained in the role.
Mr Ingham told a court in November that she and her father had no “viable working relationship” and had not spoken in a “long while”.
But Vivian Thoreen, Jamie Spears’ lawyer, argued that the reason they hadn’t spoken was because Mr Ingham had advised Britney against it.
That outcome of that hearing was that the judge rejected the singer’s attempt to have her father removed as her conservator.
What is the conservatorship and why was it set up?
Britney Spears has not controlled her financial affairs or many of her career decisions since 2008 under the court-enacted agreement. A conservatorship is usually granted for individuals who are unable to make their own decisions, like those with dementia or other mental illnesses.
Since 2008, her father and lawyer have managed her assets and personal life – including being able to restrict her visitors and communicate with doctors about her treatment.
The conservatorship was set up after the hugely successful pop star began behaving erratically in 2007, after her divorce from Kevin Federline was finalised and she lost custody of their two children.
Many of her alleged mental breakdowns took place in the public eye – she made headlines for shaving her head and was photographed hitting a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella – and went to rehab facilities several times.
She was placed in psychiatric care after refusing to surrender her sons in a stand-off with the police, and the conservatorship was put in place in early 2008.
In the years under the conservatorship, Spears has not been short on work: she has released three albums, held a Las Vegas residency, and made numerous television appearances.