Right now, it feels like all eyes are on Britney Spears and her team, waiting to see what they do next.
After Brit’s bombshell court hearing last month, the outcry of the #FreeBritney movement has reached a fever pitch. Now that she’s expressed a desire to officially end the conservatorship, we’re waiting for her lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III to file the paperwork. We’ve been waiting to see how the court addresses the alleged abuses Britney has suffered. We waited to hear how her family would respond to the accusations. And we waited to hear what would become of her life and career.
Well, we have some news regarding the latter. Larry Rudolph, who has managed the singer for almost her entire career, resigned on Monday, citing his client’s wish to retire. He made his resignation in a letter addressed to “James P Spears and Jodi Montgomery, as co-executors of the estate of Britney Spears.” (For the record, Jamie is conservator of the estate, while Jodi is only conservator of her person.)
The letter, obtained by Deadline, read:
“It has been over 2 1/2 years since Britney and I last communicated, at which time she informed me she wanted to take an indefinite work hiatus. Earlier today, I became aware that Britney had been voicing her intention to officially retire.
As you know, I have never been a part of the conservatorship nor its operations, so I am not privy to many of these details. I was originally hired at Britney’s request to help manage and assist her with her career. And as her manager, I believe it is in Britney’s best interest for me to resign from her team as my professional services are no longer needed.”
Wow. Someone listening and responding to Britney’s wishes? Willingly taking themselves off her payroll? How novel!
Also: we knew that the Crossroads actress had refused to perform as long as her dad was in charge of the conservatorship, and clearly, she has wanted a big lifestyle change. But this resignation has definitely made the retirement a lot more real. Very inneresting that Larry apparently just heard about her retirement plans on Monday, though…
The message continued:
“Please accept this letter as my formal resignation.
I will always be incredibly proud of what we accomplished over our 25 years together. I wish Britney all the health and happiness in the world, and I’ll be there for her if she ever needs me again, just as I always have been.
While Larry may have “originally” been “hired at Britney’s request” back in the ’90s, he was later brought on by Jamie after he wrested control of his daughter’s life back in 2008. The pair had parted ways for a brief period, after the Womanizer singer accused Larry of “joining with her parents to force her into rehab,” per Rolling Stone. In that same article, which preceded the Circus album, the manager was described as “uncomfortable” speaking about how Jamie’s control affected his client’s life. He told the outlet:
“I can’t talk about him, because I’m not allowed to talk about the conservatorship. The only thing I can say is, in a general sense, there’s a stability in her life right now that I think is a positive thing for her.”
While he may have collaborated with the conservators in the past, he seemed more willing to take the Mickey Mouse Club alum’s side by the time she entered her “indefinite work hiatus.” Larry shared with Variety in 2019:
“She’s putting herself ahead of everyone else, and I’m proud of her for that. If she never works again, she never works again. My role is to handle her career when she wants a career. If she comes back strong and full of desire and passion and wants to do it, great. If she takes off six months or six years, it’s totally fine. … I’ve been with her for two-thirds of her life. I look at her almost like I look at my own daughter. It’s very emotional for me … and really rough. Personally, I want for her to just find a peaceful, happy place — whatever that means for her. It’s not about a career anymore — it’s about life.”
But let’s not forget though how the pop star blasted “management” in her court hearing last month… As a little refresher, we’ve included some of what she said about her team (below):
“I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do… My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney, and by contract my own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with the tour. He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off the stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary. And with the conservatorship, I couldn’t even get my own attorney. So out of fear, I went ahead and I did the tour.
When I came off that tour, a new show in Las Vegas was supposed to take place. I started rehearsing early, but it was hard because I’d been doing Vegas for four years and I needed a break in between. But no, I was told this is the timeline and this is how it’s going to go. I rehearsed four days a week. Half of the time in the studio and a half of the other time in a Westlake studio.”
“It’s funny to hear my managers’ side of the story. They all said I wasn’t participating in rehearsals and I never agreed to take my medication — which my medication is only taken in the mornings, never at rehearsal. They don’t even see me. So why are they even claiming that? When I said no to one dance move into rehearsals, it was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere. And I said no, I don’t want to do it this way.
After that, my management, my dancers and my assistant of the new people that were supposed to do the new show all went into a room, shut the door and didn’t come out for at least 45 minutes. Ma’am, I’m not here to be anyone’s slave. I can say no to a dance move. I was told by my at-the-time therapist, Dr. Benson — who died [in 2019] — that my manager called him and then that moment and told him I wasn’t cooperating or following the guidelines in rehearsals. And he also said I wasn’t taking my medication, which is so dumb, because I’ve had the same lady every morning for the past eight years give me my same medication. And I’m nowhere near these stupid people. It made no sense at all.”
Britney was extremely explicit later on, too:
“And the reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t think how the state of California can have all this written in the court documents from the time I showed up and do absolutely nothing — just hire, with my money, another person and keep my dad on board. Ma’am, my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a huge role in punishing me when I said no — ma’am, they should be in jail.”
We imagine someone who has been on Britney’s team for more than 25 years is probably privy to a few more “details” about the conservatorship than most. In any case, with Bessemer Trust and now Larry willing to step down in respect for her wishes (after being slammed), we have some hope that more changes will be forthcoming.
[Image via STS/WENN]