A Los Angeles judge has suspended Britney Spears’ father Jamie Spears from the conservatorship that’s controlled the singer’s life, career and finances for 13 years. The decision is a major victory for the pop star, who has pushed to remove her father from the court-appointed arrangement.
Judge Brenda Perry agreed with a petition from Britney’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, and appointed John Zabel, a certified public accountant, to serve as a temporary manager of her finances. The judge said her father’s suspension was in Britney’s best interest and said the ruling was unable to be appealed.
“This suspension is directly what Britney wanted, she does not want Jamie in her life,” Rosengart said in court Wednesday.
A hearing focused on whether to terminate the conservatorship altogether is scheduled for November 12.
The judge also denied a request from Jamie’s counsel to investigate Zabel, saying the temporary appointment only requires a background check. The attorneys have a December 30 deadline to provide the judge books of records from the past 13 years.
Britney’s fiancé,, celebrated the decision on Wednesday. “Free Britney!” he wrote on Instagram. “Congratulations!!!!”
Outside of the courthouse, the pop star’s supporters cheered as the news was announced. Her fans waved posters with her photos and the phrase “Free Britney” while singing her most popular songs.
Rosengart has said removing Jamie from the arrangement would be the first step to “ending the Kafkaesque nightmare imposed upon by her father so that her dignity and basic liberties can be restored.”
A New York Times and FX documentary was at the center of Wednesday’s hearing. In the film, a former employee of the security firm Black Box alleged that Jamie “ran an intense surveillance apparatus” thatcaptured audio recordings from his daughter’s bedroom, including interactions with her boyfriend and children. Jamie’s legal team has denied the allegation.
Earlier this month, Jamieto eventually step down and filed a petition to end the arrangement altogether, saying “all he wants is what is best for his daughter.” His legal team maintains Jamie has always had Britney’s interests at heart and that her estate went from being in debt to having a valuation of more than $60 million.
In June, Britney made her first public comments in court,that the conservatorship was abusive and gave her father unprecedented control over her life, body, and mental health.
“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” Britneyin an emotional statement. “I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I’m happy — it’s a lie. I thought just maybe if I said that enough, maybe I might become happy because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized.”