From glam to guardianship: A tale of two celebrity conservatorships

From glam to guardianship: A tale of two celebrity conservatorships

If you've been tuning in to our blog, you're probably no stranger to the world of conservatorship, a legal rollercoaster we've explored before, especially in the captivating saga of pop icon Britney Spears. Her case was a page-turner in the legal history books. Personally, we don’t understand why Ms. Spears was put under a conservatorship for what seemed like an eternity.

Because of Britney's case, public perception of conservatorship may have taken a negative turn. Despite the challenges it poses for all parties involved, there are instances where conservatorship is justified. If you're yearning for more legal tales, along with their legal implications in matters such as divorce, you're in for a treat.

In this post, we tackle two cases: one featuring a bona fide celebrity and the other, the offspring of one.

Amanda Bynes: From comedic force to conservatee

In case you didn't know, former child star Amanda Bynes, like her peer Britney, was put under a conservatorship. Ms. Bynes’ story reads like a Hollywood saga, complete with a meteoric rise, shocking turns, and a triumphant comeback. You may remember her as a comedic force in her roles on Nickelodeon’s All That and The Amanda Show, charming audiences with her wacky characters. But in the early 2010s, things took a darker turn. Publicly erratic behavior, legal troubles, and mental health struggles led her parents to file for a conservatorship in 2013.

Now, a conservatorship sounds serious, and it is. It's a legal arrangement meant to protect individuals deemed incapable of managing their own affairs (financial, medical, or both). In Bynes' case, it stemmed from concerns about her mental well-being and alleged substance abuse.

Under the conservatorship, Bynes' parents controlled her finances, medical decisions, and even some aspects of her daily life. It was a restrictive period, marked by legal battles and public scrutiny. But it also provided her with a safe space to work on her mental health.

Fast forward to 2022, and the headline became "Amanda Bynes is free!" After successfully demonstrating improved mental health and regaining control of her life, the conservatorship was terminated.

While both Amanda Bynes and Britney Spears faced conservatorships under intense public scrutiny, their experiences differed in key ways. Bynes' story, marked by a relatively swift termination and subsequent focus on personal growth, offers distinct insights into the evolving legal landscape surrounding conservatorships.

Cher’s conservatorship conundrum

Did you know that Cher has a son named Elijah Blue Allman? Elijah, the less famous offspring of the Goddess of Pop, often finds himself living in the shadows of his superstar mother. He is the offspring of Cher and her ex, Gregg Allman, and he once walked red carpets with his famous mom, looking like picture-perfect rock royalty.

But fast forward to 2024, and Cher's filed for a temporary conservatorship over Elijah's finances. This case sets itself apart from the narratives of Britney and Amanda, as Cher takes on the role of the guardian. With Cher steering the ship of your life, rest assured, you're in capable hands.

Family law seems to work in mysterious ways, particularly so for celebrities. However, it's important to note that Cher is not Jamie Spears, Britney’s dad, who faced public scrutiny following revelations in Britney's case and the subsequent termination of her guardianship. Cher is not snatching away his son’s trust fund. She claims it's all out of love and worry, citing "severe mental health and substance abuse issues" that leave him "unable to manage his assets."

So, is Cher just trying to protect her boy, or is this a case of helicopter parenting taken to the extreme? Elijah, to his credit, isn't taking this lying down.

Following his mother's filing to become the sole conservator of his estate, Elijah recently requested the dismissal of his divorce. Documents reveal that Cher claimed he is "substantially unable to manage his financial resources" due to severe mental health and substance abuse issues. With assets due from a trust by year-end, a conservator is deemed urgently necessary to safeguard Elijah's property, as his estranged wife, Marieangela King, is considered unfit due to their history of drug addiction and mental health crises.

So, can Mr. Allman reclaim control of his finances, or will he remain entangled in the legal net?

One thing's for sure: this isn’t your run-of-the-mill conservatorship case because we're talking Cher — the woman who changed her name, donned feathers, and defied convention every step of the way. Could she be doing the same here, challenging the legal status quo while fighting for her son?

Ending a conservatorship can seem like mission impossible

The most compelling aspect of these cases revolves around the termination of a conservatorship. Ending such an arrangement is frequently depicted as an uphill battle, often proving more challenging than the initial establishment process. Securing a conservatorship typically requires demonstrating an individual's need for financial or personal management assistance. Conversely, bringing an end to it demands showcasing a regained "capacity" — essentially persuading the court that the individual can now effectively manage their own affairs.

An individual who was put under a conservatorship has to prove "capacity," which basically means showing the judge you're no longer lost in the legal labyrinth and can navigate life's financial jungle solo. It's not impossible, but it takes grit, determination, and a lawyer who can hold your hand throughout the entire process.

If you need legal representation for your divorce, child custody, or other family law case in the Evergreen State, we’re the team to call. Visit our Renton law offices or leave us a message.