has many reasons to rejoice after she secured a huge win in her ongoing quest to dissolve her 13-year conservatorship as the court ruled her father Jamie P. Spears is to be suspended at once.
“Suspension is in the best interests of Britney Spears,” Judge Brenda Penny told the court en masse. “The current situation is not tenable,” she added.
The judge also ordered control of all of Spears’ assets to be turned over to a court-appointed temporary conservator – a certified public accountant named John Zabel. Judge Penny further maintained that her ruling is not appealable.
Some 200 to 300 #FreeBritney supporters of all ages gathered outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles, California to voice their support for the singer. Under a huge police presence that blocked the street, chants outside the court echoed for Judge Penny to “do the right thing” in freeing Spears from the thumb of her father’s control “now.”
Spears had been clamoring for years in and out of court all in strategically concerted efforts to oust her father from his longtime post as conservator of her estate. She revealed the restrictions she’s been living under during a bombshell court hearing in June. The “Gimme More” singer claimed she was or get married.
Spears’ attorney, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, has produced results for the performer since he took the helm in mid-July.
Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears has been in control of her finances since 2008 after she underwent series of involuntary holds.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the judge heard lengthy arguments from the primary lawyers representing Britney and Jamie Spears.
Rosengart said Spears “wants, needs and deserves an orderly transition” and further argued that Spears “has been abused by this man for the last decade and since her childhood.”
“Britney Spears testified under oath about James Spears cruelty and toxic presence in her life,” he told the judge. “There’s a mountain of evidence mandating his suspension.”
Rosengart also made repeated references to the recent FX and New York Times documentary and twice floated the idea that Jamie Spears could be subject to criminal investigations based on what was reported.
“He’ll have to answer for that,” Rosengart said. “Imagine the traumatic impact on her having to sleep in the same bedroom that her father had allegedly tried to bug.”
Meanwhile, Jamie’s attorney, Vivian Thoreen spoke on his behalf via Zoom conference and asked the court to bypass the suspension and appointment of a temporary conservator in favor of immediately beginning the conservation termination process.
“It makes no sense to delay,” she said, adding that suspension makes “zero sense.”
She also defended James Spears’ record handing the estate as “impeccable” over the past 13 years.
Regarding the recent FX and Times report that was part of the most recent court filing from Rosengart on behalf of Spears, Thoreen broadly disputed its contents and told the court “this is not evidence. It isn’t even verified.”
Thoreen further questioned the testimony that Spears offered the court twice over the summer.
“She wasn’t crossed examined,” Thoreen argued, before lamenting “we don’t know the veracity of her testimony.”
Following the hearing, Rosengart exited the courthouse to cheers from the large crowd gathered outside and fielded questions from reporters about what Jamie and the public can expect in the coming months.
Spears’ birthday is Dec. 2 and a common theme among supporters was the idea of seeing their pop queen “free by 40.”
“Jamie and others are going to face even more serious ramifications for his misconduct,” said Rosengart.
Asked if Jamie will be charged over alleged listening devices, the litigator kicked that answer to law enforcement, however, he did maintain that: “one question we will ask [Jamie’s] reps is what did they know and when did they know it about eavesdropping listening devices under her bed in her bedroom something that is very, very troubling but that’s for law enforcement, not me to make the ultimate conclusion.”
Britney Spears supporter Kim Van Doorn of Bakersfield, Calif., shows off a "Free Britney" design in her hair outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California briefly touched on the ruling during a press event in which he was asked about the mental health and the homeless issues plaguing the state.
“I’ve signed a half dozen bills on that legislature…” he said, “These aren’t easy bills when it comes to conservatorships and I don’t have to bring up the obvious which is the international headline.
“Please don’t ask me that question as important as it may be,” he said before quipping that the Spears decision “may be the only thing you run tonight – just me saying don’t ask me that question.”
“The issue is a challenging one – the 5150 issues, coercions, the treatment…what’s that spectrum…” he added. “It goes to the fundamental issue of individual liberties which is at the heart of the issues.”
Marion Kaiser, of Tucson, Ariz., writes words of support to singer Britney Spears on a poster outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Since working on behalf of Spears to end her conservatorship, Rosengart has managed to get Jamie to at least attest in a court of law, his intention to step away as estate conservator once a proper succession plan is in place. Spears has even gotten engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Sam Asghari, in the months since Rosengart made his mark on the case.
As recently as Aug. 31, Rosengart filed court paperwork demanding Jamie remove himself as conservator immediately and argued that Jamie had been trying to hold his daughter “hostage” as he draws out his exit.
“Mr. Spears was forced to concede in his August 12, 2021 ‘First Response’ to Britney Spears’s Petition to remove him that he must depart — and his departure is now inexorable,” Rosengart told Fox News in a statement at the time, maintaining that Spears wants her father to remove himself as conservator – without his $2 million payment request – immediately or risk court suspension.
“As we wrote in our new filing with the Court, however, the quid pro quo preconditions that Mr. Spears’s sought in his August 12, 2021 court filing are inappropriate and unacceptable,” he continued, adding, “Britney Spears will not be bullied or extorted by her father.”
Britney Spears supporter Mona Montgomery of Glendale, Calif., demonstrates outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Spears’ camp has consistently claimed that Jamie is seeking some $2 million on his way out – a portion of which is likely to land in the hands of his attorneys and her former business manager, Tri-Star.
Furthermore, on Monday, Rosengart again argued to the court that Jamie shouldn’t have any say over who he feels is the right fit to replace him as temporary conservator of Spears’ estate after Jamie filed an objection to Rosengart’s request to appoint John Zabel to replace him.
Jamie went on to say that Zabel “should be denied” as a replacement conservator and claimed that the court has “been provided little to no information” about Zabel, calling him “apparently a stranger to this Court.” His legal team claims Zabel is “not a licensed fiduciary.”
“Third, based upon what is known about Mr. Zabel, he does not appear to have the background and experience required to take over a complex, $60 million (approx.) conservatorship estate on a temporary or immediate basis,” Jamie said in his filing. “Ms. Spears’ counsel does not even provide information as to whether Mr. Zabel could get bonded.”
His last reason for objecting Zabel as a potential shoo-in is that he’s “not well suited” to manage the estate as “he was scammed out of over one million of his own money in a fraudulent real investment project, despite being referred to as a ‘highly qualified’ certified public accountant with ‘substantial’ experience in finance.”
However, Rosengart didn’t take the bait and quickly issued a retort in his own filing.
“This is also true regarding [Jamie’s] counsel’s latest filing, “Objections” to the successor Conservator of the Estate,” Rosengart writes. “As Mr. Spears should know, California law expressly allows licensed CPA’s to serve, and the nominee, John Zabel, is a highly-esteemed, nationally-recognized award-winning CPA with an impeccable record of serving in positions of trust—in stark contrast to Mr. Spears, a reported alcoholic and gambling addict, with zero financial background or experience in financial matters, who previously filed for bankruptcy and has a Domestic Violence Restraining Order currently in effect against him. Mr. Zabel will also be supported by Ms. Spears’s business management and forensic accounting teams.”
Rosengart adds: “Mr. Spears’s desperation to avoid suspension is self-evident and self-serving. He wants to escape justice and accountability (but will not) and he will evidently do or say anything to avoid it. He knows that when he is suspended he must turn over the conservatorship files, including purported attorney-client privileged documents (communications with his lawyers), to the new temporary conservator.”
Jamie has been in control of Spears’ finances since 2008 after the pop star underwent a series of involuntary holds. Spears has been locked in a court battle with Jamie over the past years as she’s worked to get control of her life back.
It now appears she will.
Spears’ next hearing is on Nov. 12 and should see the judge rule on whether or not the conservatorship is dissolved completely.
Fox News’ Jamie Brennan and Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.
Julius is an LA Entertainment Reporter for Fox News.