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Britney Spears Conservatorship Has Been Terminated

  After more than 13 years, a Los Angeles judge has set Britney Spears free.   At a hearing on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles Superio...

 


After more than 13 years, a Los Angeles judge has set Britney Spears free.

 

At a hearing on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Brenda Penny said the conservatorship that has long overseen the singer’s life and finances should be terminated effective today.

 

In June, Ms. Spears, 39, told the court that the arrangement, which stripped her of control in nearly every aspect of her life, had traumatized and exploited her. She asked for it to end without her having to undergo additional mental evaluations.

 

On Friday, Judge Penny agreed.

 

“The conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required,” she said.

 

The judge said Ms. Spears’s current estate conservator would continue working to settle ongoing financial concerns related to the case.

 

The conservatorship has dominated her life for more than 14 years. It began in 2008, when James P. Spears, Ms. Spears’s father, who is known as Jamie, first petitioned the court for authority over his adult daughter’s life and finances, citing her very public mental health struggles and possible substance abuse. The temporary guardianship was made permanent by the end of the year.

 

Since then, the conservatorship has entered into professional contracts on behalf of the pop star, dictated her travel and logged her every purchase down to a drink from Starbucks. It also drew questions from Ms. Spears’s increasingly invested fans and outside observers, who asked why an active global celebrity and musician was in an arrangement typically reserved for people who cannot feed, clothe or shelter themselves.

 

In June, when Ms. Spears made her first extended public comments on the conservatorship in court, she said its authority went too far, claiming that those in charge forced her to take medication, work against her will and use a birth control device. She called for them to be investigated and jailed, pointing to Mr. Spears, 69, as “the one who approved all of it.”

 

Behind the scenes, Ms. Spears had routinely bristled at the strictures of the arrangement, according to reporting and confidential documents obtained by The New York Times. In 2019, she had begun seeking substantial changes to the conservatorship, when she announced “an indefinite work hiatus.”

 

In her comments at the June hearing, Ms. Spears said she did not known that she could file to end the arrangement altogether; her lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, soon resigned, and Judge Penny allowed Ms. Spears to select her new lawyer, Mathew S. Rosengart, the next month.

 

Ms. Spears’s father subsequently called for the conservatorship to be ended. His lawyer wrote in a recent status report that “Jamie believes that the Conservatorship should end, immediately.” The court suspended Mr. Spears as conservator of Ms. Spears’s nearly $60 million estate on Sept. 29.

 

Mr. Rosengart has said he will push for Mr. Spears and the estate’s former business manager, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group, to be investigated for financial mismanagement.

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