Britney Spears lawyer credits ‘instrumental’ #FreeBritney movement in conservatorship victory

Fans ‘allowed my firm to carry the ball across the finish line’, says Mathew Rosengart

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Thursday 30 September 2021 16:34
Britney Spears' father suspended from conservatorship
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Britney Spears’ attorney Mathew Rosengart says the #FreeBritney movement has been “instrumental” in the singer’s efforts to end her conservatorship.

Rosengart spoke at a news conference on Wednesday (30 September) after a judge suspended Spears’ father from the conservatorship during a landmark court hearing.

Once a niche rallying cry for super-fans of the singer, #FreeBritney gained momentum, both as a movement and a slogan, around 2019. It has earned additional mainstream interest with the release of a series of documentaries about the singer.

Addressing supporters after the hearing, Rosengart said: “I’ve only been on this matter for a couple of months, but I’m proud to say that [Spears and I] have gotten to know each other very well. And she’s so pleased and she’s so thankful to all of you, and I am as well.”

He added: “I think the support of the #FreeBritney movement has been instrumental, and to the extent that it allowed my firm to carry the ball across the finish line, I thank them as well.”

Fans react after hearing news that Britney Spears’s father has been removed by a judge as conservator of her estate on 29 September 2021 in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny on Wednesday suspended Britney Spears’ father James Spears from the conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and finances for 13 years.

The conservatorship is a two-part arrangement. James Spears had stepped aside in 2019 as the so-called conservator of his daughter’s person. He had remained a conservator on the financial side.

Another hearing has been scheduled for 12 November, at which point Penny is likely to end the conservatorship altogether. For now, the judge has appointed John Zabel, an accountant chosen by Rosengart and Britney Spears, to serve as the conservator of her finances.

Jodi Montgomery, a court-appointed professional, now acts as conservator on the personal side. Montgomery has agreed the conservatorship can and should end.

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James Spears, who initially sought the conservatorship in 2008, had filed a petition asking Penny to end the system immediately.

“There is not a shred of evidence to support suspension,” his lawyer Vivian Thoreen told Penny. “His record is impeccable.”

Penny said her decision was “unappealable,” but Thoreen said she would explore options for appeal regardless.

Additional reporting by AP