Judge suspends Britney Spears’ father from conservatorship

LOS ANGELES — Britney Spears is free.

A Los Angeles judge ruled Wednesday that the pop singer’s father should be suspended as conservator, The Associated Press reported.

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Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Penny made her ruling after hearing arguments from both sides on several petitions in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

John Zabel, a certified public accountant handpicked by Britney Spears’ team, will temporarily succeed James “Jamie” Spears as a fiduciary, interim conservator, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I do believe that the suspension of James Spears as conservator … is in the best interest of the conservatee,” Penny said. “This order shall be made in full force and effect.”

Penny also ordered Jamie Spears to turn over all assets to Zabel as soon as possible, the newspaper reported.

>> Britney Spears conservatorship hearing: What to expect

Jamie Spears filed a petition earlier this month seeking an end to the conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s finances and life for more than a decade. It came weeks after he agreed to step down as her financial conservator, a position he has held since 2008.

In court filings, Jamie Spears urged Penny to make a decision on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

Britney Spears spoke out in court on June 23, calling the conservatorship “abusive” and asked for it to end.

>> Britney Spears asks judge to end court conservatorship

“I’m traumatized, I’m not happy,” Spears, 39, told Penny at the time. “I can’t sleep. I’m so angry. It’s insane.”

“As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” Jamie Spears’ attorney, Vivian Thoreen, wrote in the petition, according to NPR. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.”

>> Britney Spears’ father files to end court conservatorship

Jamie Spears sought a conservatorship for his daughter in 2008, as Britney Spears underwent a series of public mental health struggles exacerbated by constant and obsessive media scrutiny, according to the AP. The singer’s father, through Thoreen, has flip-flopped since mid-August whether to remain as Britney Spears’ conservator, the Times reported. Jamie Spears initially stated that he was prepared to step down, but not right away. Then he petitioned the court in early September to end the conservatorship.

Britney Spears’ attorney, Matthew Rosengart, said in court records obtained by the AP that Jodi Montgomery, a court-appointed professional who has served as the conservator of Britney Spears’ person since 2019, has consented to ending the conservatorship so long as it can be done safely and smoothly.

Outside the courthouse Wednesday, demonstrators donned pink-accented “Free Britney” T-shirts, the Times reported.