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Judge suspends Britney Spears’ father from conservatorship

LOS ANGELES, California — A judge has suspended Britney Spears’ father from the conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny agreed Wednesday with a petition from Spears and her attorney that James Spears needs to give up his role as conservator of her estimated $60 million dollar estate and designated a temporary replacement to oversee her finances.

The move is a major victory for the singer, who pleaded in dramatic hearings in June and July that her father needed to be out.

James Spears sought the conservatorship in 2008 and had been its primary controller and biggest champion. He reversed course in recent weeks, asking the judge to end the conservatorship.

Mathew Rosengart, attorney for Britney Spears, described the elder Spears as a "cruel, toxic and abusive man," adding his client wants him out "today."

"Britney deserves to wake up tomorrow without her father as her conservator," Rosengart said. "It is what my client wants, it what my client needs, it is what my client deserves."

He cited behavior he called "unfathomable," based on reporting by the New York Times. Rosengart accused the elder Spears of placing a recording device in his daughter's bedroom.

"We learned Mr. Spears did something unfathomable," Rosengart said. "He instructed [a] security team, paid for by my client, to place a listening device in Britney's bedroom."

In response, Vivian Thoreen, attorney for Jamie Spears, said "It's not evidence, it's rhetoric."

Rosengart said the singer, who did not attend Wednesday's hearing, would like an orderly transition and an opportunity to put a plan in place to terminate her conservatorship altogether in the next 30 to 45 days.

Judge Penny set a court date to consider that request on Nov. 12. An additional hearing was scheduled for Dec. 13 to address other outstanding matters in the case.

Over the summer, Britney Spears made a powerful plea to end the court-ordered arrangement, describing the way her father has managed her conservatorship as "f---ing cruelty."

"I just want my life back. It's been 13 years, and it's enough," Spears said in June.

Jamie Spears has served has conservator of his daughter's estate since its inception. He was also the conservator of her person, overseeing her health and medical issues until he stepped aside in 2019. Jodi Montgomery was appointed conservator of Spears' person at that time, a position she still holds.

Supporters of Spears gathered outside the courthouse celebrated developments from the hearing on Wednesday.

Sam Asghari, Spears' fiancé, credited her fans.

"Free Britney! Congratulations!!!! he wrote on Instagram. "She did this. Her fanbase is called the army for a reason."

Article Topic Follows: Entertainment

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