NEW YORK (AFP, REUTERS) - The new attorney for Britney Spears, Mathew Rosengart, told AFP on Wednesday (July 14) that he would ask a Los Angeles court “as soon as possible” to have the pop singer’s father removed from his key role in the conservatorship that handles her personal life and business affairs.
“We will be filing a petition as soon as possible to move Mr Spears, subject to our formal retention,” Rosengart told AFP on the sidelines of a hearing in the long-running, high-profile case, during which Spears herself again asked for her father Jamie to no longer control the conservator arrangement.
Spears on Wednesday won the right to choose her own lawyer to help her end the 13-year-long conservatorship that controls her personal and business affairs, the New York Times reported.
The Los Angeles judge overseeing the conservatorship approved her choice at a hearing three weeks after the singer made an emotional address in which she called the arrangement abusive.
After the decision, the singer broke down in tears as she again pleaded for her father Jamie Spears to be removed immediately from the legal arrangement.
“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.
With the hearing still in session, the NYT reported that former federal prosecutor Rosengart would take the place of the court-appointed attorney who has been representing her since 2008. That attorney, Samuel Ingham, stepped down last week.
Rosengart has previously represented Hollywood stars Senn Penn and Steven Spielberg.
Spears, 39, made clear in emotional testimony last month that she wanted to bring an end to the legal arrangement, calling it abusive, stupid and embarrassing.
In June, the pop star complained of restrictions on her freedom. She said she had been prevented from marrying or having more children, and she was compelled to take medication against her will.
Spears was placed under the conservatorship in 2008 after a mental health breakdown. Her mental health issues have not been publicly disclosed.
Rosengart’s first job is likely to be filing a formal document asking for the conservatorship to be terminated.
Outside the courthouse, dozens of fans held a rally, chanting “Free Britney” and calling for the conservatorship to end. A smaller rally took place near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Brenda Penny on Wednesday was also due to consider requests for around-the-clock security following death threats against those involved in the conservatorship.
The singer’s father, Jamie Spears, conservator Jodi Montgomery, Ingham and the singer’s sister Jamie Lynn Spears have all received threatening calls and messages that have escalated since the pop star’s address to the judge on June 23, according to court documents.
Montgomery, who is tasked with looking after the singer’s personal care, and Jamie Spears, who has controlled her estate since 2008, have also bickered in court documents over who is to blame for the restrictions the singer complained about last month.