Tearful Britney Spears begs court to oust conservator dad

LOS ANGELES – US pop star Britney Spears on Wednesday won the right to choose her own lawyer to help her end a 13-year-long conservatorship and tearfully pleaded for the court to oust her father immediately from the role of controlling her business affairs.

Her father, Jamie Spears, has been a major figure in the conservatorship since he set it up in 2008 when his daughter had a mental health breakdown. He is currently the sole person in charge of her US$60 million estate.

“You’re allowing my dad to ruin my life,” Spears told the Los Angeles judge by phone. “I have to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she added.

Speaking for about 10 minutes on Wednesday, Spears, 39, said she had always been “extremely scared of my dad”.

She said she was fed up with multiple psychological evaluations in the last 13 years and wanted the conservatorship brought to an end without another one.

“I’m not a perfect person... but their goal is to make me feel like I’m crazy,” Spears said. 

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Brenda Penny on Wednesday approved former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart to represent Spears going forward. The singer’s court-appointed attorney stepped down last week.

Rosengart, who has previously represented Hollywood stars Sean Penn and Steven Spielberg, said his goal was to end the conservatorship.

“Does anybody really believe Mr Spears’ continued involvement is in the best interest of Britney Spears?” Rosengart said. 

“If he loves his daughter, it is time to step aside.” 

Rosengart’s first job is likely to be filing a formal document asking for the conservatorship to be terminated.
Spears on Wednesday posted a video of herself doing cartwheels to celebrate getting what she called “real representation”.

“You have no idea what it means to be supported by such awesome fans!!!! God Bless you all!!!!!,” she wrote on her Instagram account, adding the #FreeBritney hashtag.

Jamie Spears’ attorney on Wednesday said that many of her complaints were not valid.

“I’m not sure Ms Spears understands she can in fact make medical decisions and can have birth control devices implanted or not,” attorney Vivian Thoreen said.

Thoreen said Spears believes her father “is responsible for every bad thing that happened to her and that is the farthest from the truth”.

The next hearing in the case is set for Sept 29. - REUTERS