LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge on Wednesday suspended from guardianship the father of Britney Spears, who has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years, saying the arrangement “reflects a toxic environment.”
Superior Court Judge Brenda Penney agreed with a plea by Spears and her attorney, Matthew Rosengart, that James Spears needs to relinquish his role as custodian. The move is a major victory for the singer, who pleaded in theatrical hearings in June and July that her father needed to be out.
“The current situation is unstable,” Penny said after hearing arguments from both sides. “It reflects a toxic environment that required the suspension of James Spears.”
James Spears sought conservatism in 2008 and has been its primary controller and greatest champion. He has reversed course in recent weeks, asking the judge to end the conservatism.
Britney Spears and Rosengart agreed that the stereotype must end and said in court documents that removing James Spears was a necessary first step.
Spears’ attorneys have been aggressively pushing for her father’s removal since she was allowed to hire Rosengart in July.
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.
“We’re making history right now,” said 27-year-old Martino Odeh, who traveled from Phoenix to the courthouse. “And the fact that we can change the life of a pop star who’s been robbed of her rights for 13 years is insane. It’s monumental.”
“We are expecting a big change today,” Odeh said.
Britney Spears and Rosengart stress the importance of removing her father in court papers, calling it a necessary first step toward her independence and “ending the Kafkaesque nightmare that was inflicted upon her.”
Rosengart said in another filing this week that James Spears “crossed bottomless lines” by engaging in her illegal surveillance, including communications with her attorney, as described in a documentary by The New York Times and the FX network “Controlling Britney.” Spears”. One of two dueling documentaries released on the eve of the hearing.
Britney Spears also got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari earlier this month, which is meant to reach a prenuptial agreement that shouldn’t involve her father, her court filing said.
In 2019 James Spears stepped aside control of 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. He and his lawyers have said that many of his daughter’s complaints about his control over her life are baseless.
Jodie Montgomery, a court-appointed professional, now serves as Britney Spears’ person mentor, and Rosengart said in court documents that Montgomery also agreed to end the stereotype, as long as it is safe and smooth. can be done accordingly.
James Spears has denied acting in anything other than his daughter’s best interest. He said in court papers that he was not aware of “reports from a single medical professional nor a probate investigator” who concluded that his presence as guardian was harming his daughter or her should be changed.
The Conservatorship was established in 2008 after Britney Spears began having a public mental conflict as mobs of paparazzi aggressively followed her everywhere and she lost custody of her children.