Britney Spears is free, judge terminates conservatorship

Britney Spears is free. The conservatorship over the pop singer’s life and finances, which had been in place for over 14 years, was lifted on Friday by a Los Angeles judge.

For the first time since 2008, Spears was able to make her own medical, financial, and personal decisions after publicly demanding the end of the conservatorship, hiring her own attorney, having her father removed from power, and finally winning the freedom to make her own medical, financial, and personal decisions.

“The conservatorship of Britney Jean Spears’ person and estate is hereby dissolved as of today,” Judge Brenda Penny declared.

After the decision was announced, spectators erupted in jubilation outside the courthouse, cheering and shouting. “Britney! Britney! Britney!” screamed the crowd, while fans sung and danced to Spears’ song “Stronger.”

Spears responded to the decision with a tweet: “Oh my God, I adore my followers to the point of madness!!!” I’m pretty sure I’m going to cry for the rest of the day!!!! The best day of my life… God be praised… “Can I get a standing ovation?”

The case “helped put a light on conservatorships and guardianships from coast to coast, from California to New York,” Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, told fans and media. And it takes a lot of foresight, guts, and grace to achieve it.”

The judge’s decision was widely expected, as there was little support for keeping the legal arrangement in place. During the 30-minute session, no new arguments were presented. Spears did not show up.

It appeared as recently as late spring that the conservatorship could persist for years. Then it all came tumbling down at a breakneck pace.

Spears’ remark at a hearing in June, in which she strongly described the limits and scrutiny as “abusive” and declared, “I just want my life back,” was key to the unraveling, a line her lawyer echoed in court Friday. Spears urged that the conservatorship be terminated without a thorough assessment of her mental health.

At the time, legal experts believed it was unlikely to happen, and that it would be a deviation from standard court procedure.

However, at Wednesday’s hearing, the judge stated that California law did not oblige her to order Spears’ further evaluation if no one had requested it.

In July, the judge gave Spears permission to hire Rosengart, an attorney of her choosing. He set out to have James Spears removed as conservator of his daughter’s finances before seeking to have the conservatorship terminated entirely. At a hearing in September, the court suspended James Spears, citing the “toxic environment” he created.

Rosengart has also promised to look into James Spears’ involvement. He claimed that he and his colleagues discovered misuse of Britney Spears’ funds, implying that she may seek legal action. Her net worth is estimated to be around $60 million, according to court records.

He also stated that the findings in a New York Times video concerning a listening device installed in her bedroom should be investigated by law enforcement.

Rosengart’s allegations, according to James Spears’ lawyers, range from unfounded to impossible, and he has always behaved in his daughter’s best interests.

In some ways, the post-conservative war has already begun. James Spears has broken ways with the attorneys who assisted him in running the company, and he has engaged Alex Weingarten, a lawyer who specializes in the type of lawsuit that is certain to follow.

Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Britney Spears’ former business managers, pushed back against Rosengart’s demands for documentation detailing the firm’s involvement in the conservatorship from 2008 to 2018. The outfit also denied any involvement in or knowledge of the superstar’s spying.

Jodi Montgomery, the court-appointed conservator who began overseeing Spears’ life and medical decisions in 2019, worked with her therapists and doctors to develop a care plan to help her get through the end of the conservatorship and the aftermath.

At the court, Montgomery’s attorney, Lauriann Wright, said, “There is no reason Ms. Spears can’t lead a secure, happy, fulfilled life after this conservatorship.”

The judge temporarily extended the conservatorship to allow the accountant who took over for James Spears to put the singer’s finances in order in the coming months before returning power to her.

Britney Spears was a 26-year-old new mother at the peak of her career when her father placed her under conservatorship in February 2008, initially on a temporary basis, following a series of public mental health issues.

It ends a few weeks before her 40th birthday, with her sons in their mid-teens and her profession put on hiatus indefinitely as she prepares to marry for the second time.

Early in 2019, she made a pivotal decision by canceling a planned musical residency in Las Vegas.

Fans banded together to demand that the court #FreeBritney, believing she was sent to a mental institution without her will. They were disregarded at first as conspiracy theorists, but in 2020, the singer herself validated them in a series of court documents in which she stated that they were correct in demanding more transparency and scrutiny of her legal status.

Those documents were the first sign from Spears, who had been mute on the conservatorship for years, that she wanted big changes.

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