Britney Spears' father, James Spears, has agreed to eventually step down as conservator of her estate, according to new legal documents filed Thursday in Los Angeles, although he contested any need for his immediate removal.
The move seemed to be an about face for the elder Spears, better known as Jamie, whose lawyers had repeatedly said there was no reason for his removal -- something his daughter has asked for in powerful courtroom testimony -- and that he would fight a motion for his dismissal.
Spears' filing said he had in fact begun working on such a transition with Britney Spears' previous lawyer, Sam Ingham.
In the filing Jamie Spears again defended his controversial role in his daughter's life during the last 13 years, saying he saved her and again said there was no legal reason for him to be removed.
He attacked the veracity of claims made by his daughter, her mother Lynne Spears, and Britney Spears' conservator of the person, Jodi Montgomery.
He also addressed the public outcry against the conservatorship.
"If the public knew all the facts of Ms. Spears’ personal life, not only her highs but also her lows, all of the addiction and mental health issues that she has struggled with, and all of the challenges of the Conservatorship, they would praise Mr. Spears for the job he has done, not vilify him," the filing said near its conclusion. "But the public does not know all the facts, and they have no right to know, so there will be no public redemption for Mr. Spears."
He also insisted that his knowledge and expertise is needed by any future conservator and that he should be able to provide information to a new selection and that he would only step aside when he felt all matters had been attended to.
Britney's attorney has filed a petition to replace her father with Jason Rubin, a certified public accountant.
Britney Spears' recently selected lawyer, Matthew Rosengart, welcomed the news of Jamie Spears' filing, but also said his firm would continue to examine how the conservatorship was handled.
"We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed. It is vindication for Britney. We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms. Spears and others," Rosengart said in a statement.
"We look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter’s estate, and I look forward to taking Mr. Spears’s sworn deposition in the near future," he continued.
"In the interim, rather than making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr. Spears should remain silent and step aside immediately."
Rosengart argued in an earlier filing that Britney Spears continues to feel "traumatized" and is losing sleep because of her father's continued control over her estate.
He also alleged that Jamie Spears has "dissipated" Spears' wealth.
Jamie Spears has repeatedly denied any mishandling of his daughter's estate, and has insisted he has always acted in her best interests, as he continued to do in Thursday's filing.
Following Britney Spears' much-publicized testimony in open court on June 23, when she alleged abusive treatment under the conservatorship and vowed to sue her family, Jamie Spears' attorneys filed documents seeking a court investigation into the allegations to determine if "corrective actions" are needed.
Britney Spears has been living under the conservatorship for 13 years. During her June court appearance, she made it clear that she wants the conservatorship to end.