LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Los Angeles Superior Court judge today formally
ended the conservatorship that has controlled Britney Spears’ life for nearly
The decision by Judge Brenda Penny marks a major victory for the pop
star, who has lashed out at those involved in the oversight of her multimillion-
dollar fortune and personal life — most notably her father, who until recently
served as conservator of her estate.
Accountant John Zabel will remain in place as a temporary conservator
of Spears’ estate, primarily to wrap up financial issues. Zabel was put in the
position in September when Penny suspended Spears’ father, Jamie, from the role
that he held for the entirety of the conservatorship.
Penny’s ruling brought roars from dozens of people who gathered
outside the downtown Los Angeles courthouse as part of the #FreeBritney
movement that evolved in an effort to end the conservatorship. Spears herself,
along with her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, posted photos of themselves Friday on
Instagram sporting #FreeBritney T-shirts.
The motion to end the conservatorship was surprising filed in
September by Jamie Spears, who was removed from the conservator role following
an array of accusations by the singer’s lawyer, including allegations that the
singer’s father arranged to have listening devices secretly installed in
Britney Spears’ bedroom.
In court papers filed earlier this month, the 39-year-old
entertainer’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, formally backed the proposal to end
the 13-year conservatorship, while also suggesting the entertainer’s father
supported the move solely to avoid answering questions about his work as
conservator of his daughter’s estate.
Rosengart wrote that all interested parties consent to ending the
conservatorship, including Jamie Spears. In the documents, Rosengart quotes an
Oct. 22 email from Jamie Spears’ attorney saying the conservatorship “can be
Rosengart added it is “of no moment, presently, whether Mr. Spears’
reversal was motivated by a desire to bolster his reputation or to avoid his
deposition or responding to the outstanding discovery served on him in
Attached to the document were copies of earlier filings outlining
deposition questions for Jamie Spears and requests for information and other
documents. Among the demands are for Jamie Spears to produce all documents and
communications regarding “any recording or listening device in the home or
bedroom of Britney Jean Spears,” including all information “relating to the
decision to place any such recording or listening device and the records of any
Rosengart also demanded any documents regarding “the electronic
surveillance, monitoring, cloning or recording of the activity of Britney Jean
Spears’ personal telephone, including but not limited to the surveillance,
monitoring, cloning, icloud mirroring or recording of calls, e-mails, text
messages, internet browser use or history and social media use or direct
messages on social media.”
Jamie Spears had been overseeing his daughter’s estate since the
conservatorship began 13 years ago, and the singer repeatedly demanded his
removal from the role. During an emotional court appearance earlier this year,
the singer accused her father and others involved in the conservatorship of
abusive and restrictive behavior that included limiting her movements, forcing
her into unwanted therapy sessions and giving her unneeded medications.
Jamie Spears’ attorney has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing by the
singer’s father, including allegations that listening devices were planted in
the singer’s home.
The Britney Spears case has led to widespread questions about the
conservatorship system and how it is applied — particularly in the case of a
wildly popular singer who continued to perform and generate millions of dollars
for her estate, even while under court oversight.
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