Los Angeles: Britney Spears is freed from her father. And he could be completely freed from court control within weeks.
In a major victory for the pop star, a judge on Wednesday suspended guardianship from the singer’s father, who has controlled his life and money for 13 years, saying the arrangement “reflects a toxic environment.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penney agreed with a plea by Spears and her attorney that James Spears needed to leave his role as mentor. The decision came months after Britney Spears pleaded for her father’s removal in a dramatic court hearing, saying “I want my life back.”
After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the judge said, “The present situation is unstable. “It reflects a toxic environment that required the suspension of James Spears.”
And with no objection to ending the stereotype, Penny is likely to end it in a November 12 hearing, restoring the singer’s life and money choices after years of increasingly outspoken calls to #FreeBritney which she eventually joined.
James Spears sought conservatism in 2008 and has been its primary controller and greatest champion. He reversed course in recent weeks, asking the judge to immediately end the stereotype, arguing that his removal would be futile.
The singer and her lawyer agreed that the stereotyping should end, but argued that James Spears’ ouster was a necessary first step.
Britney Spears was not present at the hearing and did not attend in any way. Her father was connected remotely but did not speak during the proceedings. His lawyer argued that there was no justification for his removal.
Lawyer Vivian Thorin told the judge, “There is not a single piece of evidence to support the suspension.” “His record is impeccable.”
Penny said her decision was “irreparable,” but Thorin said she would explore alternatives regardless of appeals.
The singer’s lawyer, Matthew Rosengart, said after the hearing that Britney Spears suffered “a decade of nightmares, the Kafkaesque nightmare staged by her father and others.” Rosengart pledged to pursue “even more dire consequences for his misconduct”.
The lawyer said he planned to take a “top-down look” at the actions of James Spears and his representatives, and suggested that law enforcement be informed about a hearing device placed in his daughter’s bedroom in The New York Times. should be checked.
Fans were excited by the decision.
“My heart is racing out of my chest,” said Lorin Sisko of Hawaii, who flew to Los Angeles for the hearing and said she’s been in the courthouse for every proceedings for the past year. “I’m so excited for what he has to do with the rest of his life.”
Hours before the hearing, a major road outside the courthouse was closed to vehicles, allowing about 100 Spears supporters to march and host a rally, where they shouted “Hey, hey, ho, Yes, the conservatorship has to go!” And other pro-Britney chants. As the crowd grew, fans sang the hits “Toxic” and “Baby One More Time” and speakers described outrageous stereotypes that affected their families.
Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor who was granted permission to hire Britney Spears in July, was one of the few attorneys present in the courtroom and gave a lengthy, dramatic elaboration against James Spears that ended in a criminal case. It was like an argument.
She used the word “toxic” repeatedly, alluding to Spears’ 2003 hit, before the judge echoed it in her ruling.
“He’s been abusive, he’s been cruel, he’s been toxic,” Rosengart said.
The lawyer said Britney Spears sent her to court with instructions that she would do everything she could to get her father out, adding that she would be “extraordinarily distraught” if he stayed.
He said that ending the conservatism proposed by James Spears’ lawyers and entering into settlement negotiations would mean that his father would still be in power as it was dragged on.
“Britney Spears deserves to be awake tomorrow without her father as her mentor,” Rosengart said. “Can anyone really dispute that?”
Rosengart argued that James Spears wanted to end the stereotype because he did not want records of his transactions to be passed on to a successor who could investigate his “corruption”.
Thorin replied that James Spears had been subjected to the necessary court investigation over the years and that his expulsion was never sought.
“Everything Mr Spears has done for Miss Spears is in her best interest,” Thorin said. “Her best interest would be to wake up tomorrow and not be in stereotypes.”
Rosengart argued that James Spears had crossed “bottomless lines” by engaging in illegal surveillance of her, including communications with her children, her boyfriend and her lawyer, as in a documentary by the Times and FX network “Controlling Britney Spears”. ” is mentioned in. One of two dueling documentaries released on the eve of the hearing.
“He took note of some of my client’s most intimate communications,” Rosengart said.
Thorin dismissed those allegations as “rhetoric from a TV show” that “are not evidence.”
James Spears stepped aside in 2019 with control over his finances, retaining only his role as custodian of his assets, with control over his life decisions as the so-called custodian of his daughter’s person.
Penney hired John Zabel, an accountant chosen by Rosengart and Britney Spears, to serve as custodian of his finances until the end of the year, but agreed that the conservatory could be terminated before that. .
Jodie Montgomery, a court-appointed professional, now serves as Britney Spears’ persona mentor, and agrees that stereotypes can and should be ended.
The stereotype was established in 2008 when Britney Spears began having a public mental conflict as mobs of paparazzi aggressively followed her everywhere and she lost custody of her children.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton