A major victory has been granted to Britney Spears, whose father Jamie has been suspended from her 13-year-long conservatorship by a Los Angeles judge.
Per CBS News, Judge Brenda Perry agreed with a petition from Mathew Rosengart (Britney’s lawyer), and appointed John Zabel, a certified public accountant, to serve as a temporary manager of her finances. The judge said her father’s suspension was in Britney’s best interest and said the ruling was unable to be appealed.
“This suspension is directly what Britney wanted, she does not want Jamie in her life,” Rosengart said in court yesterday (September 29).
On November 12, an additional hearing is scheduled to determine whether to terminate the conservatorship altogether.
The judge also denied a request from Jamie’s counsel to investigate Zabel, saying the temporary appointment only requires a background check. The attorneys have a December 30 deadline to provide the judge books of records from the past 13 years.
Britney’s fiancé, Sam Asghari, celebrated the decision on Instagram with a photo of a lioness writing in an Instagram post, “The power of the lioness!!!!! #freebritney”
Outside of the courthouse, members of the #FreeBritney movement cheered as the news was announced. Her fans waved posters with her photos and the phrase “Free Britney” while singing her most popular songs.
Rosengart said removing Jamie from the arrangement would be the first step to “ending the Kafkaesque nightmare imposed upon by her father so that her dignity and basic liberties can be restored.”
A New York Times and FX documentary was at the center of Wednesday’s hearing. In the film, a former employee of the security firm Black Box alleged that Jamie “ran an intense surveillance apparatus” that secretly captured audio recordings from his daughter’s bedroom, including interactions with her boyfriend and children. Jamie’s legal team has denied the allegation.
Earlier this month, Jamie vowed to eventually step down and filed a petition to end the arrangement altogether, saying “all he wants is what is best for his daughter.” His legal team maintains Jamie has always had Britney’s interests at heart and that her estate went from being in debt to having a valuation of more than $60 million.
In June, Britney made her first public comments in court, testifying that the conservatorship was abusive and gave her father unprecedented control over her life, body, and mental health.
“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” Britney said in an emotional statement. “I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I’m happy — it’s a lie. I thought just maybe if I said that enough, maybe I might become happy because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized.”