Judge suspends Britney Spears' father as conservator

Jamie Spears Britney Spears
Posted at 11:51 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 18:54:24-04

Jamie Spears will no longer serve as the conservator of the estate for his daughter, Britney Spears.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny ruled that Spears' father will be temporarily replaced by CPA John Zabel, according to multiple news reports.

Penny did not rule on whether the conservatorship will end altogether. Variety reports that Britney's attorney suggested setting a termination hearing within 45 days.

The singer's father, James Spears, had petitioned to end the conservatorship after 13 years. Britney Spears and her attorney say they agree it should end, but the first priority should be removing James Spears from any control over her.

Spears' father petitioned the court in 2008 to become her conservator after the pop artist suffered a series of very public mental health episodes. While she has said that in the early days of the conservatorship the arrangement "rescued her from a collapse," Spears grew weary of the control over her daily life as the years wore on.

The conservatorship has restricted Spears' ability to make her own business deals, medical decisions and even see her sons.

In a stunning testimony in July, Spears told a judge that the conservatorship group and her father have even gone so far as to force her to take medication and birth control against her will.

"I've told the world I'm happy and OK," Spears said about the conservatorship arrangement. "I've been in denial. I've been in shock. I am traumatized."

In addition to opposing the controlling nature of the conservatorship's role in Spears' life, her attorney has also accused her father of using the arrangement to unduly profit off her daughter's fortune, including charging the conservatorship for thousands of dollars of administrative fees.

Prior to Spears' testimony, the details of the arrangement were shrouded in mystery. However, a grassroots social media movement by her fans — the #FreeBritney movement — generated intense interest in the subject. Last year, a New York Times documentary widely seen on Hulu shed new light on the case and took interest into the mainstream.