Britney Spears celebrates a win with the right to choose lawyer amid abuse row #FREEBRITNEY
Britney Spears won the right to choose her own lawyer to help to end the 13-year-long conservatorship that controls her personal and business affairs.
The ruling by a judge in Los Angeles came after a hearing in which the 39-year-old singer accused her father of abuse and said the conservatorship had allowed him to “ruin my life.”
“I’m here to press charges. I’m angry and I will go there,” Britney said over a lawyer’s phone on Wednesday.
Her emotional statement came as a Los Angeles judge ruled Spears can choose her own lawyer in her fight to end the controversial legal arrangement.
A conservatorship is granted by a court for individuals who are unable to make their own decisions.
Conservatorship abuse can involve financially exploiting or imposing excessive personal restrictions on someone in your care. If a court rules that abuse has taken place, the appointed conservator could be removed/suspended and may face financial penalties such as reimbursement payments and legal costs.
Following the ruling, an elated Britney Spears posted an Instagram video of herself doing cartwheels in celebration with a caption thanking her fans and adding “#FreeBritney”.
It is the first time she has used the hashtag, which has been used by her supporters to campaign against the conservatorship she has been subject to since 2008.
This week’s hearing saw Spears address a court for the second time in less than a month.
In court last month, she made a dramatic plea to demand that her father be removed from the legal agreement that has controlled her affairs for years.
“You’re allowing my dad to ruin my life,” she reiterated on Wednesday. “I have to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse.”
The conservatorship was put in place in 2008, when concerns over Spears’ mental health prompted her father to petition the court for legal authority over his daughter’s life.
Wednesday’s court ruling paves the way for Spears’ lawyer of choice, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, to take charge of the complex legal battle. He will replace Samuel Ingham, the court-appointed lawyer who had been representing Spears since 2008 before stepping down last week.
During the hearing, Mr Ingham interrupted the court to say Spears was texting him. The singer wanted to address the court again, he said. The judge officially accepted Mr Ingham’s resignation before inviting Spears to speak.
Mr Rosengart, the high-powered Hollywood lawyer who has previously represented Steven Spielberg and Sean Penn, was also in court.
A tearful Spears told the court that under the conservatorship, her hair vitamins and coffee had been confiscated.
“Ma’am, that’s not abuse, that’s just [expletive] cruelty,” she told Judge Penny. “Excuse my language, but it’s the truth.”
The singer said her top priority was removing her father from his role in the legal arrangement that governs her personal and financial affairs.
She said she did not wish to submit to a “stupid” medical assessment and would be “happy” for co-conservator Jodi Montgomery to remain.
Spears continued: “I just want you to understand how much of my time they have taken by forcing me to do these psyche tests and nothing comes of it.”
She said she has “extreme abandonment issues” because of her father.
The singer also told the court she was “extremely scared of my dad”, who is a recovering alcoholic, and feared he was always going to “show up drunk somewhere and embarrass me”.
Jamie Spears is currently the sole person in charge of his daughter’ $60m (£43m) estate.
Let’s hope Britney gets the freedom and happiness she deserves!
Stay safe & take care,