A judge has ruled that Britney Spears’ father Jamie Spears has been suspended from his role as conservator over Britney’s estate.
Judge Brenda Penny granted a petition from the pop singer on Wednesday, freeing her from his oversight leading her estate for the first time since 2008.
Certified public accountant John Zabel has been appointed as temporary conservator of her estate. Britney did not appear at Wednesday’s hearing.
Spears’ attorney, Mathew S. Rosengart, called it a “monumental win for Britney, and for justice.”
Wednesday’s hearing in Los Angeles was the first in the conversatorship case heard since July. Both Spears and her father Jamie Spears had petitioned to end his role in the conservatorship, and the judge was expected to hear arguments over whether Jamie Spears should be removed or if the conservatorship should be ended entirely.
According to The New York Times, Judge Penny agreed with Rosengart that suspending Jamie Spears from his role would be in Britney’s best interest and said that the “current situation is not tenable” and that it was creating a “toxic environment.” Rosengart asked that a termination hearing be held between 30 to 45 days from now and that Jamie Spears should be suspended immediately while other financial questions are sorted.
Wednesday’s hearing was not publicly available to stream after audio of Britney Spears’ testimony from June 23 was leaked online, despite the judge’s orders against making an audio recording.
Jamie Spears has previously maintained that his arrangement with his daughter was voluntary and necessary, back in August told the court he would be willing to relinquish the 13-year-old conservatorship given the proper time and steps and had requested several payouts and compensation totaling $2 million from Britney for various matters, including carrying out the basic duties the conservatorship he established required of him — like handling media attention and “doing my best to keep current” in the music and media business. Jamie also requested Britney pay some of his attorney’s fees.
Britney and Rosengart rejected that proposal as a “non-starter” and since then has been pressing to remove Jamie from the conservatorship altogether, and in September Jamie filed his own petition to dissolve the conservatorship, saying that his daughter “wants to live her life as she chooses without the constraints of a conservator or court proceeding.“
Spears has been under conservatorship and had her finances and personal life controlled for the past 13 years, all of which has come under scrutiny in recent months with a flurry of developments, pleas from the pop star herself and a string of documentaries about the case and the #FreeBritney movement.
The New York Times, FX and Hulu launched a follow-up documentary to their hit “Framing Britney Spears” film from earlier this year called “Controlling Britney Spears,” and Netflix on Tuesday released its own documentary about the case “Britney vs. Spears.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.