Britney Spears’ Father Is Not Her Conservator Anymore
Britney Spears is closer to being freed; her father is no longer her conservator and her life may be rid of court control altogether within a month’s time.
A major victory in the long legal battle the pop star has bought against her conservatorship came when a judge on Wednesday suspended the singer’s father from the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money for 13 years, stating that the arrangement “reflects a toxic environment.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny agreed with a petition from the musician and her attorney that James Spears needs to give up his role as conservator.
“The current situation is untenable,” said the judge upon hearing arguments from both sides. “It reflects a toxic environment which requires the suspension of James Spears.”
Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, said after the hearing that Britney Spears “has been faced with a decade-long nightmare, Kafkaesque nightmare orchestrated by her father and others.” He pledged he would pursue “even more serious ramifications for his misconduct.”
The singer was not present at the hearing and did not participate in any way. Her father had attended the hearing remotely but chose not to speak during the proceedings. His attorney argued that there was no justification for his removal.
“There is not a shred of evidence to support suspension,” his lawyer, Vivian Thoreen told the judge. “His record is impeccable.”
James Spears had sought the conservatorship in 2008 and had been its primary controller. However, he reversed course in recent weeks, asking the judge to end the conservatorship immediately, arguing that would render his removal pointless.
Rosengart, the former federal prosecutor whom Britney Spears was allowed to hire in July, delivered a long, dramatic broadside against James Spears that resembled a closing argument in a criminal case.
“Britney Spears deserves to wake up tomorrow without her father as her conservator,” Rosengart said. “Can anybody really dispute that?”
Penny said her decision was “unappealable,” but Thoreen said she would explore options for appeal regardless.
Rosengart claimed that the father had crossed “unfathomable lines,” by engaging in illegal surveillance of her, including communications with her children, her boyfriend and her lawyer, as reported in “Controlling Britney Spears,” a documentary from the Times and the FX network, one of two duelling documentaries released on the eve of the hearing.
James Spears had stepped sown as the conservator of her daughter’s person back in 2019, however, he retained control over her estate and finances.
Penny has now appointed John Zabel, an accountant chosen by Rosengart and Britney Spears, to serve as conservator of her finances through the end of the year, but agreed that the conservatorship may end before that.
Jodi Montgomery has been appointed by the court to act as conservator of Britney Spears’ person and is also in agreement that the conservatorship can and should end.
The conservatorship was established in 2008 when the pop icon began to have public mental struggles as paparazzi surrounded her constantly and aggressively. She also lost custody of her children.
The next hearing in this matter is set to November 12, where it is expected that judge Penny would terminate the conservatorship entirely.
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