Britney Spears’ conservatorship is ending after nearly 14 years
In the end, Britney Spears has freedom. A judge in Los Angeles Superior Court ruled on Friday that the 39-year-old singer’s conservatorship can be terminated after nearly 14 years.
Court Judge Brenda J. Penny ruled, “The court finds that the conservatorship of the person and the estate of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required,”
It was only after hearing from Britney Spears’ and her father Jamie Spears’ lawyers for 30 minutes that she issued her ruling, which included a caveat allowing the temporary conservator of Britney Spears’ estate to execute trust documents, as well as a health care directive and durable power of attorney, on the starlet’s behalf
Immediately following the ruling, Britney Spears posted a video of fans’ reactions to the news.
“I love my fans so much, it’s crazy!!!,” she wrote on Twitter, adding: “Best day ever … praise the Lord … can I get an Amen.”
“History was made today,” Spears’ fiance Sam Asghari wrote on Instagram. “Britney is Free!”
There were a slew of celebrities celebrating the news on social media, including the entrepreneur and socialite Paris Hilton.
“I’m so happy that this day has finally come,” Hilton wrote. “This moment is so long overdue.”
“You’re the most resilient, kind and inspiring soul,” she added. “We all love you so so much! Your best days are yet to come!”
“Watch What Happens Live” host and “Real Housewives” producer Andy Cohen wrote: “Britney: FREE!”
“Freedom is a human right,” fashion designer Donatella Versac ewrote on Instagram. “My heart is smiling for you, Britney. Congratulations on your regained and deserved emancipation.”
“SHES FREEE, FREE, FREE,” musical icon Cher wrote on Twitter. “FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”
Cher promised to take Britney Spears to San Tropez to eat ice cream when she was “FINALLY free,” in response to a post from Spears in which she said that was one of her dreams.
Pop star Britney Spears’ conservatorship, which has been in place since February 2008, was terminated by Judge Penny in September, citing “a toxic environment” in which Spears’ estate and personal life have been controlled.
Jamie and Britney Spears’ attorneys both argued in favour of terminating the conservatorship during that hearing, but the pop star’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, argued for a 30- to 45-day extension. Forcing Jamie Spears to hand over all assets to CPA John Zabel as temporary conservator is the goal of the delay.
Singer Rosengart described it as a “a monumental day”. In addition, “It’s also a somber day for me, for Britney, and, I think, for a lot of us who have been following conservatorships and how they operate.”
“This conservatorship has been corrupted by James T. Spears,” Rosengart said of Spears’ father, adding: “Many people have asked about whether we will continue to investigate Mr. Spears. The answer ultimately is up to my client Britney.”
The singer’s estate was temporarily conserved by Zabel in late September, but her person was temporarily conserved by Jodie Montgomery. However, the judge stated that if the conservatorship was terminated before Dec. 31, both appointments would be terminated.
On Dec. 8, a judge will rule on some final accounting issues, including payments to Samuel Ingham III, a former court-appointed Spears lawyer. On top of the $3 million he has earned from working with Spears, Ingham has been allowed to bill her estate up to $10,000 a week.
This month, Lynne Spears, Britney’s mother, requested $650,000 in legal fees from Britney’s estate to be paid to her attorneys who were involved in the conservatorship case. Lynne filed the petition earlier this month. She wrote in an Instagram post that has since been deleted “Pssss my dad may have started the conservatorship 13 years ago … but what people don’t know is that my mom is the one who gave him the idea !!!! I will never get those years back.”
According to one documentary, her father had hired a security firm to monitor her while she was under conservatorship, which has been the subject of several recent documentaries in the last few months. The singer’s conservatorship paid for the surveillance of her phone calls, text messages, and emails, as well as the secret recording of audio in her bedroom.
Protesters in pink and holding signs reading “Free Britney” gathered outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles for Friday’s hearing.
In February 2008, a California judge granted her father control of her finances and personal life due to concerns about the 39-year-old singer’s mental health and possible substance abuse. The hearing is the culmination of a protracted legal battle over the conservatorship. The estimated value of Britney Spears’ estate is $60 million.
In a hearing held in June, Britney Spears, then 69, made her first public comments about the arrangement and accused her father, a retired judge, of conservator abuse. When she spoke out, she claimed that she had been forced to use a birth control device, was given bipolar disorder medication, and was compelled to work.
Once Spears was released from the court’s conservatorship, she was free to choose her own legal counsel for the first time since the hearing.
Jamie Spears has been adamant for years that the conservatorship was both voluntary and necessary for the singer’s well-being. On Sept. 7, he requested that the conservatorship be terminated by filing papers with the court.