Judge expected to formalise end of Britney Spears guardianship

People protest in support of pop star Britney Spears on the day of a conservatorship case hearing at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles July 14, 2021. — Reuters pic
People protest in support of pop star Britney Spears on the day of a conservatorship case hearing at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles July 14, 2021. — Reuters pic

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LOS ANGELES, Nov 12 — A Los Angeles judge is expected on Friday to formally approve the process of ending a controversial guardianship that has controlled pop star Britney Spears’ life for the past 13 years.

The Toxic singer last month successfully had her father removed from the — which she has slammed as “abusive” — and a temporary replacement of her choosing was appointed.

Judge Brenda Penny then also agreed to a request from Spears’ lawyer to set another “short hearing” to formalise the “uncontested termination” of the conservatorship itself.

“This week is gonna be very interesting for me! I haven’t prayed for something more in my life,” Spears wrote in a now-deleted Instagram caption this week.

At last month’s hearing, both sides voiced their support for swiftly ending the guardianship.

Confirming an earlier U-turn, lawyers for Britney’s father Jamie in fact asked for it to be dissolved on the spot.

While denying he abused his position in control of his pop singer daughter’s life and career, he has recently acknowledged that Britney “believes that she can handle her own life.”

But Judge Penny consented to set a later date in order to allow Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart to present a comprehensive plan for the conservatorship’s dissolution.

Another, later hearing in December is scheduled to settle outstanding financial issues, including legal fees.

‘Free Britney’

Friday’s hearing could cap a years-long campaign by Spears and her legion of global fans to end a conservatorship that began after her highly public 2007 breakdown, when the shaven-headed star attacked a paparazzo’s car at a gas station.

Now 39, Spears has said through her lawyers that her father was “never fit to serve,” citing in one petition allegations of his “reported alcoholism” and “trauma he caused his daughter since her childhood.”

As momentum has mounted, Spears said in a September filing that she wanted to end the guardianship as soon as possible so that she can marry her fiance Sam Asghari with a prenuptial agreement.

Spears has two children with former husband rapper Kevin Federline, and had a brief Las Vegas marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander that was annulled after just 55 hours.

She has previously alleged in court that she had been prevented by her father from having a contraceptive IUD removed, despite wanting more children. Jamie Spears denied the allegation.

He was removed from the guardianship with immediate effect at last month’s hearing, with accountant John Zabel installed to care for her finances until the scheme ends.

Professional conservator Jodie Montgomery officially remains responsible for Britney’s person until December 31, although her role could be terminated on Friday.

It is not known if Spears will appear, or address the court via telephone as she did earlier this summer.

A raucous army of fans bearing “Free Britney” signs have been a regular fixture outside the downtown Los Angeles courthouse during hearings. — AFP

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