People who believe Britney Spears’ father should not be overseeing her controversial conservatorship “have it so wrong”, according to his lawyer.
In an interview with ABC News, Vivian Thoreen called Jamie Spears “a fiercely loving, dedicated and loyal father” who had stopped her from being exploited.
Jamie Spears was made his daughter’s conservator in 2008 after concerns were raised about the star’s mental health.
A recent documentary has led to renewed scrutiny of her legal arrangements.
“I understand that every story needs a villain but people have it so wrong here,” Ms Thoreen told ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday.
She said unnamed people had been “harming and exploiting” the singer and that Mr Spears had “rescued” her from “a life-threatening situation”.
“Britney’s assets were clearly being mismanaged and she was being taken advantage of financially by some of those around her,” the lawyer continued.
She added that Mr Spears had “collaborated” with his daughter, now 39, so that she could “live her life the way she wants, like a normal person”.
A conservatorship is usually granted for people who are unable to make their own decisions, like those with dementia or other mental illnesses.
Last November the singer lost a legal attempt to remove her father’s control over her estate, currently worth around $60m (£43m), but in February this year a judge denied a request by Mr Spears to exert greater control over her finances.
According to Ms Spears’ lawyer, Britney and her father have no “viable working relationship” and have not spoken in a “long while”.
Ms Thoreen stated otherwise, claiming they had spent time together last year and she had never voiced a wish to have him removed from the conservatorship.
“Early on in the pandemic they spent two weeks with other family members, hunkered down in Louisiana, and they spent a lot of time together,” she told ABC News.
“In that time, Britney never expressed those words to her father. She’s never asked him to step aside.”
She said ABC News would have to “ask Britney” why her lawyer had stated otherwise.
Spears’ life and career has returned to the headlines due to the documentary Framing Britney Spears, which explores the celebrity and media culture at the time of her meteoric rise.
According to her lawyer Samuel D Ingham, the singer will not perform as long as her father oversees her affairs.
The singer has said she is “taking the time to learn and be a normal person” and was “simply enjoying the basics of everyday life”.
“No matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens,” she wrote on Instagram.
In a subsequent post, she said it was “so much fun” spending time with boyfriend Sam Asghari, “especially when you don’t have to do anything at all”.
The accompanying video showed Asghari, who has been dating Spears since 2016, giving her a piggy-back ride while out on a hike.
Earlier this week former child star Mara Wilson expressed solidarity with the singer, saying she was a victim of a culture that “builds girls up just to destroy them”.
Another hearing on Spears’ conservatorship is due to take place in Los Angeles next month.