An emotional Britney Spears scored a victory in her bid to end her father’s control of her affairs on Wednesday, as a judge ruled that she could appoint her own lawyer to help end a guardianship that she slammed as “cruelty”.

Judge Denies Britney Spears Request to End Dad’s “Abusive Conservatorship”


Spears phoned back into a Los Angeles court, three weeks after her first explosive testimony in which she pleaded with a judge to free her from the years-long conservatorship ramped up worldwide interest in the case.


During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Brenda Penny accepted the resignation of Spears’s previous attorney and signalled that she would accept the 39-year-old’s choice, Mathew Rosengart, to represent her.


Rosengart told AFP on the sidelines of the hearing that he would file a petition “as soon as possible” to remove Jamie Spears as the conservator – and suggested the singer’s father should simply step down.


“We will be filing a petition as soon as possible to move Mr Spears, subject to our formal retention,” said Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor who has represented Steven Spielberg and Sean Penn.


“Why is Mr Spears not voluntarily stepping down?” Rosengart asked. “He does not belong in this conservatorship anymore. And we believe he should voluntarily step down immediately.”


Spears, speaking to the court again via telephone, was at turns angry and upset – and used the occasional expletive – as she said she wanted to “press charges” against her father.


“I’m angry and I will go there,” the singer said, even telling the court at one point she thought “they were trying to kill me”.
“If the court doesn’t see this as abuse … I don’t know what is,” said Spears, calling for “investigations” and a restraining order against her father.


Following the judge’s ruling, Spears posted a video of herself performing cartwheels on Instagram, with the caption: “Coming along, folks … coming along!!!!! New with real representation today…  I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED!!!!”


She signed her post with the phrase adopted by her loyal fans: “#FreeBritney.”
Spears, who rocketed to fame in her teens, suffered a highly public 2007 breakdown – when the shaven-headed star attacked a paparazzo’s car at a gas station.


The following year, a California court placed her under a unique legal guardianship largely governed by her father, Jamie.


Spears swiftly returned to performing after that, released three albums, appeared on various television shows and even took up a Las Vegas residency.
But in January 2019, she abruptly announced she was suspending her performances until further notice.