Britney Spears has reached new ground in her ongoing fight to regain independence after being placed under a conservatorship in 2008.
Judge Brenda Penny, who is overseeing Spears’ case, has granted the 39-year-old entertainer the right to appoint her own attorney in the legal battle. Spears’ longtime court-appointed attorney resigned earlier in July. Spears will now be represented by former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart. Rosengart currently represents many celebrities, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Keanu Reeves, and Steven Spielberg.
Spears gave unexpected testimony at the hearing on Wednesday where the ruling was decided. The singer expressed a desire to press charges against her father, Jamie Spears, for his handling of the conservatorship, if and when she is able to end it: “I want to get rid of my dad and charge him for conservatorship abuse, I want an investigation on my dad. I’m here to press charges … I’m angry, and I will go there.”
Rosengart also commented on Spears’ fathers role in her conservatorship: “I don’t know why Jamie Spears doesn’t resign today. He purports to love his daughter and his daughter has repeatedly asked him to step down. So I’m going to give him the opportunity right now to voluntarily resign.
“Does anybody really believe Mr. Spears’ continued involvement is in the best interest of Britney Spears?” The singer’s net worth was estimated to be approximately $60 million as of last month.
Spears took to Instagram after the hearing to show her excitement for the future of the case, thanking her fans for the support and using the hashtag #FreeBritney for the first time in her own post.
How #FreeBritney is trying to help Britney Spears
Spears’ fanbase became aware of the conservatorship after a former member of her legal team left a voicemail on a Spears’ centered podcast in 2019. The individual, who chose to remain anonymous, described turmoil within the Spears family after Spears’ father had become ill with a colon sickness and had sent Spears to a psychiatric facility involuntarily.
Since the revelation of Spears’ conservatorship became public – a decade after it was instated – her devoted fans, other celebrities and the general public have spoken out in favor of ending the conservatorship, under the banner of the #FreeBritney movement.
In February of 2021, The New York Times released a documentary on the movement as well as the events that led to the conservatorship, called “Framing Britney Spears.” Spears was reportedly emotional and distraught by the documentary and the light it cast on her private life.
In November of 2020, Spears’ court appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, filed for her father to be removed from the conservatorship. This request was denied this week by a judge in Los Angeles. This denial is not a response, however, to a 24-minute testimony Spears gave at a hearing last week, where the anguished star passionately described the pain her conservatorship has caused her over the past thirteen years.
Spears lamented the suffocating restrictions she faces under the conservatorship, as well as the infuriating lack of control she has in some of the most personal aspects of her own life.
Britney Spears has yet to file a petition to formally end the conservatorship, but has expressed her dissatisfaction with the arrangement for years to her attorney. Spears said that she was not aware that she could file a petition to end the conservatorship in its entirety.