Sets Nov. 12 hearing on ending conservatorship
A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday suspended Britney’s Spear’s father, Jamie Spears, from the conservatorship that has controlled the finances and much of the pop star’s life for the past 13 years.
“The current situation is not tenable. It reflects a toxic environment which requires the suspension of Jamie Spears, effective today,” the superior court judge, Brenda Penny, said during a three-hour hearing at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles.
Penny also set a hearing on Nov. 12 about whether to terminate the conservatorship.
An accountant, John Zabel, will replace Jamie Spears on a temporary basis, Penny said.
Fans of Britney Spears cheered outside the court upon learning about the ruling.
Pop singer Cher wrote on Twitter, “I’m more than thrilled 4 her. Bless our super star.”
The decision comes months after Britney Spears sought for her father’s removal, saying in a June court hearing, “I want my life back.”
Jamie Spears had put in place the conservatorship in 2008 after Britney Spears suffered a mental breakdown in 2007.
In 2019, he stepped down as conservator over his daughter’s personal affairs, which included control over her life decisions. The role was given to Jodi Montgomery, a court-appointed professional.
Jamie Spears maintained his role as conservator of his daughter’s estate, with control over her finances. In August, he agreed to eventually step down from the role of conservator of his daughter’s estate.
But in early September, he filed a petition to end the conservatorship and argued that that would render his removal pointless and that he should remain in the role to help wrap up arrangements.
“As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” his lawyer, Vivian Lee Thoreen, wrote in a filing in early September. “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.”
Britney Spears had previously called the conservatorship “abusive.” At a June court hearing, she said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested.”
During the Wednesday proceedings, her father connected remotely but did not speak. His attorney argued that there was no justification for his removal.
“There is not a shred of evidence to support suspension,” lawyer Vivian Thoreen told the judge Wednesday. “His record is impeccable.”
The 39-year-old singer was not present at the latest court hearing but was represented by her attorney, Mathew Rosengart, whom she allowed to hire in July.
Rosengart argued that Jamie Spears wanted to terminate the conservatorship because he did not want the records of his dealings turned over to a successor who could examine his “corruption.”
After the hearing, Rosengart said he would pursue “even more serious ramifications for [Jamie Spears’] misconduct,” including scrutinizing Jamie Spears and his representatives’ actions. Rosengart also suggested that law enforcement should probe a news report alleging that a listening device was placed in Britney Spears’ bedroom.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.