The judge overseeing the conservatorship of Britney Spears issued a bombshell ruling on Wednesday – suspending the singer’s father as one of her conservators, members of the media present in the courtroom reported.
The pop star’s lawyer, Matthew Rosengart, on Wednesday asked Judge Brenda Penny to immediately remove her father, Jamie Spears, as a conservator and replace him with a new one, accusing him of “unfathomable” abuse toward his daughter, including eavesdropping on her private conversations.
Jamie Spears’ legal team, meanwhile, called for the immediate suspension of the 13-year-long conservatorship all together. Rosengart pushed back on that, calling for a separate hearing on that matter in several weeks’ time.
Key to Rosengart’s strategy is that in the event of her father’s replacement, several private documents about the nature of the conservatorship would be handed over to the new conservator, potentially exposing the full scale of Jamie Spears’ treatment of his daughter.
Rosengart, whom Britney Spears hired in July, has also accused her father of trying to extort $2 million from his daughter in exchange for stepping down from the conservatorship.
Up until recently, Jamie Spears maintained that the conservatorship was necessary to protect his “mentally sick” daughter. Rosengart has said he believes his client’s father changed his tune in order to “avoid accountability and justice” regarding the extortion claims.
Britney Spears has been under the control of a conservatorship since 2008 after she was hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation, but many details of the arrangement have remained under wraps until recently. In June, she spoke before the court in an effort to end the conservatorship, which she says allows her father and other conservators complete control over her career, personal decisions and finances.
“I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized,” she said. “You know, fake it till you make it. But now I’m telling you the truth, OK? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
In her 24-minute testimony, she alleged that her conservators blocked her from marrying her boyfriend and forced her to get an IUD, upending her wishes to have another child. She also alleges that they had her put on lithium, a strong mood-stabilizing drug, when they deemed her uncooperative at rehearsals for a series of Las Vegas shows that, by her telling, her conservators forced her to agree to.
The pop icon has also reportedly paid out millions in salaries, office space and other costs for the conservators.