The more I read about Britney's dad, the more enraged I became.
In my research of domestic violence, it is very much about listening to survivor stories, finding out how abusers abuse, what are the challenges for victims, what can motivate them to leave.
One common way for abusers to abuse is financial infidelity.
I had a close friend who fell prey to one such guy, she had an accidental pregnancy with a new boyfriend and decided to keep the baby. In spite of us assuring her that being a single mom was OK, she thought it was better if she got married.
Several years into it, she got a shock, he called her to tell her that his car was repossessed, while she knew he wasn't wealthy, she's not a gold digger, she didn't know he was in huge debt either.
A debt he accumulated way before they met, money he spent partying, opening expensive bottles at clubs, treating everyone. He wanted to show the world he's the man, it was not for legitimate basic needs.
She later found out he went behind her back to redirect child government aid into his private account, she wanted to save it for her daughter's college fund, this was money that belonged to both of them.
He used it pay off his private car loans, without consulting her. He has been putting on a false front all these while.
Like sexual infidelity, this was a betrayal of trust, other survivors end up with high levels of debt on their hands after leaving, lack of finances is also the top concern for women leaving abusive men.
Some abusers take out credit cards in their names, mortgage shared property for their own aims and also monitor the victim's expenditures down to having to provide receipts for small purchases, including household expenses such as grocery runs for the family.
In Britney's case, each purchase must be reported to Jamie.
This level of access to information means they can plot better, keep tabs on all your habits, including pinpoint your movement, making it hard to ask for help or go for therapy without them knowing.
For abusers, the idea is prey on the victim's trusting nature, normalise control by increments, so that the victim doesn't notice.
First is ask how much things are for example, then shame her for spending her own money, depict her as a spendthrift, spoiled or bratty. Double down on guilt tripping, blaming and shaming her when she has pockets of down times, ignore all the good stuff she consistently brings to the table.
Weaponise her struggles to attack her, further breaking her down, scapegoating her for her normal reactions to abuse, rinse repeat.
Make it sound like she's unable to manage her finances, that she should give him the reins "for her own good", because she's unhinged.
Abusers often depict it as relieving the victim of the pressures of management, helping her, protecting her, instead of controlling her, trapping her, stifling her.
Most of the people I speak to about domestic violence see physical violence as the only form of abuse, some more educated people see emotional and psychological torture as abusive.
Most people don't know the other kinds of abuse survivors endure at the same time. All forms of violence happen at the same time, leaving the victim so overwhelmed that they don't know how to start fixing it, everything falls apart all at once.
Just grappling with how much this person doesn't care about them is hard enough, many bystanders also find it hard to believe how a family member can be so cruel.
The idea of starting over again after working so hard for years is daunting to say the least.
In a motion filed on Election Day in L.A. Superior Court, 38-year-old pop star Britney Spears is petitioning to have her father, Jamie Spears, removed from his legally mandated role as conservator of her estate, a position he’s held for a dozen years. But with $60 million at stake, it doesn’t appear Jamie will let go without a fight.
Jamie Lynn Spears already has some say over her sister's finances after being named a trustee of her estate in 2018. In a court filing in Aug 2020, she asked for control of money stored in a trust fund set up for Britney's children.
She requested the money be moved into accounts for which she is the custodian.
If approved, it would transfer the financial assets of the fund to those accounts and require a judge's approval to release them.
Within a dysfunctional family, what happens is that there will be abusers by proxy, they will triangulate the victim between them, both vying for control of the victim's finances. Leaving the victim distraught, fending off attacks from all sides, uncertain who to trust.
They could lost their entire family all at once, finding they're all against her independence, some in self denial, some helpless. Some more afraid of the abuser than them, some aren't genuine about protecting them but using them as temporary shields until it's convenient for them to throw them under the bus.
Survivors often struggle alone to speak their truth to people who do not want to admit it happened, they're constantly silenced, told to keep their family's dark secrets private, to hold it in and carry it themselves.
Abusers are often abusers for life, they often don't see anything wrong with them, stepping in for professional help isn't on the cards, some refuse to admit it happened even on their deathbeds, leaving victims with the duty to tie up loose ends.
Britney in legal docs said that on October 28 this year, her camp received a letter informing her that her business affairs were no longer being managed by the company Tristar Sports and Entertainment Group.
She subsequently asked the court that the organization Bessemer Trust Company be awarded total control of her conservatorship, stripping the power away from Jamie.
Britney told the court she had no advance notice Tristar was vacating the position, and that Jamie swooped in and put Kane in the position in an effort 'to introduce a new gatekeeper who admittedly has a major working relationship with [Jamie's] legal team.'
In Aug this year, "Britney is strongly opposed to her father continuing as the sole conservator of her estate," the filing states. "Rather, without in any way waiving her right to seek termination of this conservatorship in the future, she strongly prefers to have a qualified corporate fiduciary appointed to serve in this role."
The court documents also state that this conservatorship is "voluntary," and that Britney does not have a developmental disability, nor is she a patient in or on leave of absence from a state institution under the jurisdiction of the California Department of State Hospitals or the California Department of Developmental Services.
The 38-year-old singer, who is currently fighting to have her dad removed from her 12-year conservatorship, had a small victory on Wednesday when her petition request was granted that would allow her to expand her legal team. Britney was not present for the latest hearing, though her mother, Lynne Spears, her attorney, Samuel Ingham, and her dad were present.
Just prior to the hearing, Jamie's lawyer, Geraldine Wyle, made one last attempt to block Britney from being granted permission to expand her legal counsel. In those docs, it was noted that the singer's father and Bessemer Trust Company, who Britney wants to be her sole conservator, are trying to come to a solution. According to the legal papers, Jamie isn't opposed to the trust company, so long as it is a co-conservator with him.
So basically he is using her money to fight against her, while taking a salary from her at the same time. He is blocking her requests down the line, working against her. Just like a typical abuser, he has convinced himself that Britney fans are the troublemakers, she's also troublemaking by standing up for herself. That he is the only saintly capable overlord who can be both caring and competent enough to oversee her affairs.
It's important that as a woman, you be in charge of your own finances, gain financial literary and not leave it up to the people around you. Open seperate bank accounts even if you're married, even if it's your parents or siblings, keeping finances separate will ensure there're less disagreements, relationships tend to fare better when there's transparency.
“All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything. The world don’t have a clue,” he told Page Six. “It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business. I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year. How the hell would I steal something?”
Jamie Spears also spoke out about the aggressive behavior of some fans. “People are being stalked and targeted with death threats,” he said. “It’s horrible. We don’t want those kinds of fans. I love my daughter. I love all my kids. But this is our business. It’s private.”
Us Weekly reports there was a September 2 court filing, which the outlet obtained, and in it Britney’s lawyer claims that #FreeBritney is “far from a conspiracy theory” and that she welcomes the support. “Britney herself is vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret,” her attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, said in the document (according to Us Weekly), requesting her case be open to the public.
Like other forms of intimate partner violence, financial abuse is highly gendered, with the majority of victim-survivors being women. However, financial abuse can occur in any relationship, regardless of the gender of the people in that relationship. Women with disabilities are at a higher risk of experiencing financial abuse. Financial abuse, like other forms of family violence, is a pattern of behaviour used to control the life of the victim-survivor.
Triangulation can happen between family members and outside help as well, in Britney's case, her former account manager Lou Taylor was allegedly claiming excessive fees and even billed Britney’s estate for unauthorised legal fees to sue a #FreeBritney supporter, according to her new lawyer.
Lou Taylor is from Tristar Sports and Entertainment Group, she has since resigned.
Photo found here
Third parties can be incentivised to go along with financial abuse, further draining the victim's assets, by equipping yourself with more information, you can indeed save yourself from financial ruin, don't wait around for someone to manage it for you.
While I can't verify if these allegations are all true, it serves as a tale of caution to make sure we're in charge of our finances, to avoid an escalation of control.
If someone isn't up to no good, they shouldn't be afraid of public scrutiny. While I'm very against threatening anyone, I do think fans have a right to care about Britney and that's none of Jamie's business.
I also haven't seen any evidence of fans threatening Jamie or otherwise. Lou Taylor's claims of threats are also dubious to me, I won't be changing my mind until I get more evidence about that.
In a leaked email from Britney's mom to Jamie, she mentioned him getting payment for selling stories. Lawyers for Britney on twitter verified this when TMZ published an article from Jamie's side, before the information was made public.
Smear campaigns are popular manipulative techniques that abusers deploy to discredit the victim, by fostering reasonable doubt inside the victim, divide and conquer family members. In this case is demonise her as an unhinged individual to the public, so public opinion serve as a shield for him, he need not do all the dirty work himself, he can depend on other abusers to accuse her, to discredit her and to ruin her reputation.
"See, no one cares about you, only daddy".
Abusers use the public as pawns to achieve their aims, to further fear monger to her, to create the false idea that dad is the only one who will ever love her, she isn't worthy enough to be loved by others.
Eroding her worthiness, abusers tear down strong people's self esteem for years and shift blame back to suddenly make it a matter of personal failing when she finally hits a wall.
This legitimatises his conservatorship, as well as psychologically justifies his behaviour to himself. He can continue to see himself as the benevolent knight in shining armour who saves the day, the man's man, "protecting" his daughter, from herself and other so called lesser men AKA healthy men.
This is so they have plausible deniability when they're exposed, "it's her, not me", boys will be boys. "Look, she has a history of issues, she needs help. I'm just trying to be the good dad here!"
Jamie is also trying to appoint Micheal Jackson's ex attorney, the one right before his death. Abusers get the most violent when exposed and victims have to ensure their safety by having a well crafted exit plan, with the help of domestic violence professionals, trusted friends, engage the police if required.
You can find them at a women's shelter, you can call their hotlines, enquire with your therapist and also hire your own security guards or get a restraining order.
Britney fans have been protesting globally, it's an awesome movement with many people who genuinely care about her.
They have been doing it since the late 2000s so for it to pick up and take effect now is definitely a hard won battle.
So thankful they're shining a light on such an important topic.
I made a video about Mariah Carey going through a similar ordeal here.
I also posted about Britney on my IG.
I write loads about abuse on Quora so take a look!
Eshet chayil, God is a She.
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