At 2 p.m., Britney Spears was on the phone. Judge Brenda Penny acknowledged her by saying, “Thank you for joining us this afternoon, Ms. Spears.”
The pop star replied, quietly: “You’re welcome.”
The room — Department 4 on the second floor of the Los Angeles Superior Court where Spears was hoping, finally, to be granted a modicum of control over her own decisions — was silent as a tomb. No surprise there; Judge Brenda Penny instructed that no cheering, speaking or laughing would be permitted. No one was going to test her resolve.
Business began. The judge ruled that professional wealth management firm Bessemer Trust would be allowed to resign, as requested. However, right before doing so, Spears’ court-appointed lawyer said he received a text from his client saying she wanted to talk but would need to have the courtroom cleared before doing so.
The judge asked if Spears wanted to discuss the ruling and the singer said no. Judge Penny continued with the Bessemer ruling, then appointed Mathew Rosengart as Spears’ attorney.
At one point, the ACLU — which on Tuesday filed an amicus brief to support Britney Spears’ wish to choose her own attorney — asked Spears whether she had met with several attorneys before deciding on Rosengart to defend her and whether she was sure he was “in line with her values.” She said she had only met with Rosengart and he was the one she wanted.
Spears then said she actually didn’t mind that the court remained open for what she wanted to say. She went on to say, yet again, that she wanted her father to be removed from the conservatorship completely and that she wanted the conservatorship to end without having to be evaluated. Because previous evaluations had resulted in no change to the conservatorship, Spears said she would rather see it continue — preferably without her father involved — than go through another evaluation.
Reading from a written statement, Spears also explained that she had severe abandonment issues. She said that her father took away her hair vitamins, which was “f—ing cruel.” Coffee had also been taken away, she said, and when she was stopped for speeding once, she said, the police officer let her go but her father took away her driver’s license.
“That’s abuse — we all know it,” she said. “This conservatorship is allowing my dad to ruin my life.” At one point, Spears started crying and Judge Penny told her she could take a moment if she needed it.
“I’m not a perfect person … My family is trying to make me feel like I’m crazy which I’m not,” she explained.
Rosengart, who said he doesn’t even believe there should’ve ever been a conservatorship in the first place said, “This is not working. What is supposed to be at the heart of this proceeding has been lost. The goal is not to put Britney on trial — the goal is to end the conservatorship.”
He added: “There’s a real question as to why Mr. Spears does not voluntarily step aside today. Does anybody really believe that Mr. Spears’ involvement in the case is in the best interest of Ms. Spears? If he loves his daughter, it’s time to step aside.”
When Judge Penny finally approved Rosengart as the new counsel, there was no reaction in the courtroom.
The next step in the process is for Britney Spears’ attorney to file a petition to end the conservatorship.