The pop star’s lawyer described Jamie Spears as a ‘cruel, toxic, and abusive man’
After 13 long years, Britney Spears is finally free from her father’s control, as he’s been removed as her conservator, effective immediately.
Yesterday (September 29), a judge ruled that Jamie Spears should be suspended from the role, which has given him complete control over Britney’s personal life and finances for over a decade.
According to Page Six, the pop star “burst into tears upon hearing the judge’s decision”. The source told the publication: “For the longest time, she had begun to think that she would never see the day that her father’s domineering control over every single aspect of her life would end, but it finally happened. She’s in shock and at a loss for words, but literally jumping for joy. She hasn’t felt joy like this in 13 years.”
In what seems like a reference to her father’s removal, Britney wrote on Instagram: “On cloud nine right now!!!!” The caption was shared alongside a video of the singer flying a plane. She added: “First time flying a plane and first time in a prop plane!!! Geez I was scared!!! Pssss bringing the ship home, JL… Stay classy beautiful people!!!! New pics coming soon!!!!”
The long-awaited move follows a petition filed by the pop star’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, which called for the immediate removal of Jamie as Britney’s conservator. “This man does not belong in her life,” Rosengart told the court, describing Jamie as a “cruel, toxic, and abusive man”.
“Britney deserves to wake up tomorrow without her father as her conservator,” the lawyer continued. “It is what my client wants, it is what my client needs, it is what my client deserves.”
Rosengart also referenced a recent investigation in The New York Times’ documentary, Controlling Britney Spears (a follow-up to this year’s Framing Britney Spears doc), which saw a former security employee allege that Jamie secretly recorded Britney in her bedroom and during meetings with her lawyers.
“Mr Spears has crossed unfathomable lines,” Rosengart said in the petition. “While they are not evidence, the allegations warrant serious investigation.” Sources reportedly told Deadline that the FBI is looking into the accusations.
Judge Brenda Penny said the evidence given “reflects a toxic environment which requires the suspension of Jamie Spears effective today”, adding that it was in the “best interest of the conservatee to put a stop to the current arrangement”, which she described as “untenable”.
Accountant John Zabel – who was chosen by Rosengart – has been appointed as the temporary conservator of Britney’s finances, while Jodi Montgomery will remain as the conservator of the pop star’s personal affairs.
Speaking outside of the court, Rosengart said that the “support of the (fan-started) #FreeBritney movement has been instrumental” in removing Jamie, “to the extent that it allowed my firm to carry the ball across the finish line”.
Before his removal, Jamie filed to end the conservatorship completely, stating earlier this month: “Ms Spears has told this court that she wants control of her life back without the safety rails of a conservatorship. She wants to be able to make decisions regarding her own medical care, deciding when, where and how often to get therapy. She wants to control the money she has made from her career and spend it without supervision or oversight. She wants to be able to get married and have a baby, if she so chooses. In short, she wants to live her life as she chooses without the constraints of a conservator or court proceeding.” A hearing to terminate the conservatorship will be held on November 12.
Answering a question from TMZ outside court, Rosengart said Britney should “absolutely” sue her father if it’s confirmed that he misappropriated money, adding that “the ramifications are going to be more severe than just civil litigation against Mr Spears, based upon my present understanding of what happened here”.
Meanwhile, a slew of documentaries about Britney’s life and conservatorship have dropped, including Netflix’s Britney vs Spears, CNN’s Toxic: Britney Spears’ Battle for Freedom, and NYT’s Controlling Britney Spears. Earlier this week, the singer took to Instagram to share her thoughts on one of them (she didn’t confirm which), writing: “I must say I scratched my head a couple of times. I really try to disassociate myself from the drama.”
“Number one... that’s the past!!!” Britney continued. “Number two... can the dialogue get any classier??? Number three... wow they used the most beautiful footage of me in the world!!! What can I say... the EFFORT on their part.”
Watch the trailer for Britney vs Spears below, and look back at Dazed’s investigation into what conservatorships are like for everyday people here.