Britney Spears’ conservatory ends after almost 14 years

Britney Spears is finally free after a judge on Friday sentenced in favor of dismissing the conservatory that has controlled her life, money and affairs for nearly 14 years.

“The Conservatory of Brittany Jean Spears’ person and property is no longer required,” Judge Brenda Penny declared in court in Los Angeles on Friday.

After the hearing, Spears took to Twitter and said, “I love my fans so much that it’s crazy,” adding, “I think I’m going to cry the rest of the day.”

“This is a monumental day for Britney Spears,” said Spears’ lawyer Mathew Rosengart. “I’m so proud of her … I thank her for her courage and balance and power. I thank her for our relationship.”

He continued: “Not only is this significant for Britney, but she helped focus on – not only this conservatory, which was corrupted by her father James Spears – but she helped shed light on coast-to-coast conservatories and guardianship. , from California. to New York, and it required an enormous amount of insight, courage, and grace. “

RELATED: Britney Spears’ lawyer praises her ‘courage and balance and power’ after the conservatory ends

“The most notable question we’ve asked on behalf of Britney to Tri Star is the following, a very simple question: How much money did you take from the estate?” said Rosengart.

Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group was the company behind Spears’ former business leaders. In a New York Times documentary about the #FreeBritney movement, allegations were made that Tri Star put a listening device in her bedroom. The group also denied any role in or knowledge of any surveillance of the superstar.

The complexity of the conservatory was twofold: one part covering her property, including her finances, while the other is of her persona, which includes her health and well-being.

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When Spears was inducted into the conservatory in February 2008, her father, James “Jamie” Spears, was appointed conservator of both her person and her property. In 2019, Britney’s father gave up the role of conservator over her personal and life decisions and only retained control of her finances. Jamie was suspended from conservator of her property in September by Judge Penny. Following the suspension, the position was temporarily given to John Zabel, an accountant elected by Spears and her attorney.

Recovering your personal and financial strength after so many years will take some debriefing and the process can take months. Jodi Montgomery, a court-appointed professional who has served as conservator of Spears’ personal affairs since 2019, has, along with therapists and doctors, made a care plan for the transition.

The singer’s lawyer has promised to pursue an investigation into Jamie’s handling of the conservatory, even after it ends.

But after the announcement of the dismissal on Friday, Rosengart said: “Many people have asked whether we will continue to investigate Mr. Spears. The answer is ultimately up to my client Britney.”

He could take action in a civil court and has suggested that he may even leave his findings to law enforcement with a view to considering criminal charges. Jamie has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Spears is likely to hire financial executives, assistants and attorneys to perform many of the same tasks previously performed by the conservatory. But their decisions would be subject to her approval. And she could hire and fire them at will.

Here’s a look at how conservatories work, what’s unusual about her, and why she and so many fans have worked for #FreeBritney.

How do conservatories work?

California law defines a conservatory as a situation in which a judge designates a responsible person or organization (called the ‘conservator’) to care for another adult (called the ‘conservator’) who is unable to take care of himself or herself. manage their own finances. “

When a person is considered to have a severely reduced mental capacity, a court can step in and give someone the power to make financial decisions and major life choices for them.

California law states that a conservatory, called a guardianship in some states, is entitled to a “person who is unable to properly care for his or her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter,” or for a person who is “essentially unable to manage his own financial resources or resist fraud or undue influence.”

The conservator can be a family member, a close friend or a court-appointed professional.

Several states have recently used the attention that Spears has brought to the issue to reform their conservatory laws.

How did Britney Spears’ conservatory work?

With a fortune of more than $ 50 million comes secrecy, and the court closely guards the internal functions of Spears’ conservatory.

Some aspects have been revealed in documents. The conservatory has the power to restrict her visitors. It arranges and oversees visits with her two teenage sons, whose father has full custody. It can issue restraining orders in her name, which it has used more than once to keep intruders who are considered shady away.

It has the power to make her medical decisions and her business deals. She said at a hearing in June that she has been forced to take medication against her will, that she has been prevented from having an intrauterine device removed for contraception and has been ordered to perform performances when she does not feel like it.

Spears also said she had been denied the right to marry or have another child, but she has since been engaged to longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari.

Who has the power over Britney Spears in the conservatory?

The ultimate power of the conservatory, and the only power to end it, falls to Los Angeles Supreme Court Justice Brenda Penny.

Prior to his suspension, her father James Spears held most of the day-to-day power over his daughter’s choice for 13 years. In 2019, he gave up the role of conservator over her life decisions and only retained control of her finances. He has now been replaced by John Zabel, an accountant elected by Britney Spears and her lawyer.

Jodi Montgomery, a court-appointed professional, has served as curator of her personal affairs since 2019.

Why have so many called #FreeBritney?

Some fans have been protesting against the conservatory since shortly after it began. But the movement and the #FreeBritney hashtag really caught on in early 2019, when some felt she was being forced into a psychiatric hospital against her will.

They scrutinized her post on social media to extract clues about her well-being and united into a movement that has undoubtedly changed public opinion.

Hearings bring dozens of protesters to the courthouse carrying signs such as “CONSERVATORY IS SLAVERY” and “THIS IS TOXIC.”

Tearing fans have felt confirmed by two dramatic speeches she gave this summer, in which she confirmed many of their suspicions. And they felt triumphant when her father was removed. After that hearing, she thanked them in an Instagram post: “The #FreeBritney movement … I have no words … because of you and your constant resilience in freeing me from my conservatory … my life is now in that direction !!!!! “

Why was the conservatory introduced in the first place?

In 2007 and 2008, shortly after she became a mother, she began to have very public mental struggles, with media obsessed with every moment. Hordes of paparazzi followed her aggressively every time she left her house and she no longer seemed to be able to cope.

She attacked a cameraman’s car with an umbrella. She shaved her own head in a salon. She lost custody of her children. When she refused to hand over her boys after a visit, she was admitted and put on a psychiatric team. The conservatory was put in place within a few days.

Why has the British Conservatory lasted so long?

A conservatory can always be dissolved by the court. But it’s rare for a person to obtain their own release from someone that Britney Spears seems to be on the verge of doing so.

They can last for decades because the circumstances that lead to them, such as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s or dementia, are not things people just return from. The obligatory secrecy of medical records has kept the dark reasons why Britney Spears has remained in her, unclear, but it is clear that it involves psychiatric problems.

Spears’ father and his lawyers justified the continued conservatory by claiming she was particularly receptive to people seeking to take advantage of her money and fame.

What does Britney think of the conservatory?

For years, it was pretty much a mystery. But she was allowed to speak publicly in court in June, calling the conservatory “abusive” and “stupid” and saying it does her “much more harm than good”.

RELATED: Britney Spears asks to end her conservatory: ‘I just want my life back’

“After telling the whole world that I’m okay, it’s a lie. I’m not happy, I can not sleep, I’m depressed, I cry every day,” Spears revealed.

“I want to be able to share my story with the world,” she said. “I want to be heard. By making me keep this in for so long, it’s not good for my heart. It worries me, I must not be heard. I have the right to use my voice. My lawyer says I can not let the public know what they did to me … I should not be able to be in a conservatory. The laws need to be changed. Madam, I have been working since I was 17 years old. go unless I meet someone every week in an office. “

The singer blamed her ignorance for not understanding how she herself could finish the conservatory.

“I really think this conservatory is abusive. There are thousands of abusive conservatories,” Spears said. “I should not be in a conservatory if I can work for myself and pay other people.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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