2:35 PM PDT, September 30, 2021
Britney Spears is celebrating a big court victory in her conservatorship case. And while she’s still not in full control of her affairs, she’s flying high.
“On cloud 9 right now. First time flying a plane!!!!” the pop star wrote on Instagram shortly after Judge Brenda Penny granted a petition by Spears’ attorney Matthew Rosengart to remove the singer’s father, Jamie Spears, as her conservator.
After the Wednesday night ruling, “Free Britney” supporters broke out in cheers and tears. Britney herself also reportedly broke out in tears.
Rosengart was also delighted with the outcome.
“It is vindication,” he told Inside Edition.
The suspension came after Penny heard from both sides.
“This man does not belong in her life, your honor, for another day,” Rosengart, who joined the case in July, said on behalf of Britney Spears. “Please hear the plea of my client.”
The court named John Zabel, a California accountant, as temporary conservator of the singer’s finances, a move which Rosengart requested.
Rosengart asked that a termination hearing be set for 30 to 45 days from now, the New York Times reported.
Jamie Spears’ attorney, Vivian Lee Thoreen, sought to end the conservatorship rather than see her client suspended. Rosengart asked the judge to wait so he could further investigate Jamie Spears’ conduct as conservator, the Times reported. The request was a drastic departure from previous positions Thoreen and her client had once taken towards the conservatorship, which had been in place since 2008, when Jamie Spears took control of his daughter’s life and estate, now worth $60 million, citing at the time her alleged mental health struggles and substance abuse.
Earlier this month, Jamie Spears filed a court petition to dissolve a controversial conservatorship that has ruled virtually every aspect of the celebrity’s life for the past 13 years. Jamie Spears asked Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny to end the conservatorship, based on recent events that demonstrate his daughter “should get that chance” to control her own affairs.
Those events include emotional testimony from the pop star over the summer, in which she said her father “loved the control, to hurt his own daughter.” In July, she told the court via phone testimony that she feared her father.
“I’m here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she said. Breaking down in tears, Spears said she wanted her father investigated and said, “this conservatorship has allowed my dad to ruin my life.”
She also said she had been forced to work 70 hours per week and that every part of her life was controlled, including what she was allowed to eat.
In the Sept. 7 court filing, Thoreen wrote, “As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter. If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.”
The petition also stated, “Ms. Spears has told this Court that she wants control of her life back without the safety rails of a conservatorship. She wants to be able to make decisions regarding her own medical care, deciding when, where and how often to get therapy.”
“She wants to control the money she has made from her career and spend it without supervision or oversight. She wants to be able to get married and have a baby, if she so chooses. In short, she wants to live her life as she chooses without the constraints of a conservator or court proceeding,” the lawyer stated.
“This filing represents a massive legal victory for Britney Spears, as well as vindication,” Rosengart said in a statement after Jamie Spears’ filing.
“To the extent Mr. Spears believes he can try to avoid accountability and justice, including sitting for a sworn deposition and answering other discovery under oath, he is incorrect and our investigation into financial mismanagement and other issues will continue,” her attorney said.
In a new New York Times documentary, “Controlling Britney Spears,” Alex Vlasov, a former employee of the security firm Black Box, said that Britney Spears’ father hired the security firm to monitor his daughter, including bugging her room and keeping tabs on her cellphone use.
The documentary, which aired on FX and is now streaming on Hulu, claims a listening device was placed in the pop star’s bedroom without her knowledge and captured her most intimate moments. More than 180 hours of private audio were reportedly recorded between Spears and her boyfriend.
Vlasov says in the documentary that all aspects of the singer’s life were monitored. “You would be able to see all messages, all FaceTime calls, notes, browser history, photographs. They would also monitor conversations with her friends,” Vlasov said.
It’s unclear if the court supervising the conservatorship controlling Spears’ life knew about or approved the surveillance. Jamie Spears says his actions were done with the consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney and/or the court. Black Box, the security company, says they always acted ethically and legally.