Watch live as Britney conservatorship case unfolds
On Wednesday 29 September, Judge Brenda Penny was pressed to make major decisions on whether to end the conservatorship at Los Angeles Superior Court, or – if the system remains in place – whether her father James Spears should remain as his daughter’s conservator.
Judge Penny ruled to suspend Jamie from the conservatorship. Ahead of the hearing, Spears said she wanted the conservatorship to end and for her father to no longer oversee it.
Her attorney Mathew Rosengart, whom Spears was allowed to hire in July, has aggressively pushed for Jamie Spears to be removed from the conservatorship. Rosengart previously requested an emergency hearing on the issue, but Penny ruled that it could wait until this week.
A further hearing will take place later this year to petition to end the conservatorship completely.
The liveblog is now closed.
Britney’s lawyer now calls for a termination of the conservatorship altogether
The judge in the hearing has suspended Jamie Spears as conservator of Britney’s estate with immediate effect while also appointing a temporary replacement selected by both the singer and her lawyer Mathew Rosengart.
John Zabel, an accountant, will temporarily replace Spears’ father in the financial aspects of the role, meaning he will control all of her financial decisions until next steps are decided. Spears’ conservator of her personal wellbeing, Jodi Montgomery, who manages her day-to-day wellbeing and medical decisions, will remain in her role.
In the hearing, Rosengart, describe her father as a “cruel, toxic and abusive man,” and said that his client wanted him out “today.”
“Britney deserves to wake up tomorrow without her father as her conservator,” Rosengart added.
As yet, no decision has been made on whether the conservatorship will be terminated altogether. Rosengart has argued in court today that this should be terminated this autumn and suggested a termination hearing within 45 days.
Meanwhile, Vivian Thoreen, the attorney for Jamie Spears’, strongly objected to the suspension calling Zabel a “stranger” on the case.
The hearing is now on a break.
Famous fans of Britney react to the news, as does her fiancé
Famous fans of Britney Spears have been reacting to the news that her father is no longer in charge of her affairs after 13 years.
Cher tweeted: “Thank god...I’m more than thrilled for her,” while the director of Britney Vs Spears, Erin Lee Carr tweeted “Britney is free”.
Her fiancé Sam also congratulated her on the news over on Instagram writing: “Free Britney! Congratulations!”
You can see their reactions here:
What happened in court today
In case you missed it, here is a full news report from the court room today where a judge has suspended Jamie Spears from his role as his daughter’s conservator.
Singer has been under controversial legal control since she was hospitalised in 2008
“The current situation is not tenable” judge tells court
After hearing evidence from both sides, Judge Penny told a court today that the current state of affairs with Britney’s conservatorship “is not tenable” adding that the current arrangement reflected a “toxic environment”.
Britney’s lawyers are now pushing for a complete eradication of the conservatorship within 30 to 45 days saying it is necessary for her wellbeing.
“The conservatorship can and should be wound up and terminated promptly – ideally this fall … Britney Spears deserves to have her father out of her life as a conservator, today,” her lawyer told the hearing.
Britney fans celebrate emotionally outside court
Fans outside the court have been reacting to the news, many of whom had started to gather hours before the hearing began in LA.
You can watch a video of the moment the news came through to them outside here:
Britney’s lawyers are still working towards a full investigation into alleged conservatorship abuses
A crucial point in the courtroom today was Spears’ lawyers insistence that her father was “suspended” and not “removed” from the conservatorship.
They argued for Spears’ father to be suspended and her financial affairs to be temporarily overseen by their chosen accountant, John Zabel, and her personal welfare overseen by Jodi Montgomery.
Mr Spears’ lawyer, Vivian Thoreen objected to the suspension calling Mr Zabel a “stranger” to the case.
However, Rosengart later said that Thoreen was fighting suspension because Jamie did not want to either have to hand over crucial documents relating to the alleged conservatorship abuse or face a deposition under oath. Receiving a decision of a suspension is crucial to ensure Jamie’s alleged abuse can be fully investigated.
Rosengart also addressed the surveillance allegations from the recent documentary Britney Vs Spears, which claimed that her father had bugged her conversations – including ones in her bedroom.
“Mr Spears and his representatives did something unfathomable, unfathomable – they eavesdropped on some of the most intimate communications of my client,” Rosengart said.
Thoreen did not directly deny the allegations of surveillance and bugging, including that claimed to have occurred in Spears’ bedroom, but did reject the “rhetoric” of the “television show”.
Here’s a helpful thread explaining why this decision is important for any further investigations:
More fan reaction is in to the news
Social media has been inundated with fans – including several famous ones – tweeting their joy at the news today.
Dionne Warwick tweeted: “This is wonderful news. She can now breathe. Congratulations, Britney. Enjoy your life!”
Matt Stopera added: “Everything feels surreal right now. The last 2 years. The last 13. This moment. As fans we were given a false narrative for years and I’m just happy that narrative is finally corrected. Britney Spears is Britney Spears again!”
While Garbage wrote: “Go Britney.”
You can see more reaction below:
Britney’s lawyer gives statement praising her ‘courage'
Britney Spears’ lawyer Matthew Rosengart has now given a statement outside of court in LA.
He said: “Today is a great day for Britney Spears and it’s a great day for justice. There’s definitely something to celebrate. But it’s also a solemn day.
“Britney Spears has been faced with a decade long nightmare, a Kafka-esque nightmare, orchestrated by her father and others. I’m so proud of her for her courage, her strength and her poignancy and I’ve only been on this matter for a couple of months but I’m proud to say we’ve gotten to know each other very well and she is so pleased and so thankful to all of you and I am as well.”
“In terms of what happened today, I’m so pleased and proud to say that Jamie Spears is no longer a conservator. Jamie Spears has been suspended and he will be formally removed shortly.” His statement at this point was punctuated by cheers from many of Britney’s fans who had gathered outside the court room for today’s hearing.
He continued: “Jamie Spears and others are going to face even more ramifications for his misconduct. I said at the outset that my firm and I were going to take a top to bottom look at what Jamie Spears and his representatives have done here.
“That’s already in process and it will continue for as long as it can possibly do that, to get justice for Britney.”
You can see a video of the moment here:
Britney Spears responds to hearing: ‘On cloud nine’
Britney Spears has responded to the news herself now too, with a video that sees her flying a plane.
Captioning the video on Instagram, Spears wrote: “On cloud 9 right now...First time flying a plane and first time in a prop plane.”
You can see the video here:
Britney’s lawyer praises the #freeBritney movement
Britney Spears’ lawyer Matthew Rosengart has praised the #freeBritney movement and their role in helping to bring the conservatorship to a suspension.
He said outside of court: “It’s been a lot of hard work, it’s been intense. I’m proud, Britney’s proud,” he said.
“I think the support of the #FreeBritney movement has been instrumental. To the extent that it allowed my firm to carry the ball across the finish line, I thank them as well.”
You can read more about the #freeBritney movement here:
‘I am traumatised’, Spears said in her testimony. ‘I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m okay and I’m happy’
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