- During a Wednesday hearing in a Los Angeles Court, Britney Spears spoke to the judge over the phone.
- “I’m here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she said, NBC reported.
- The ongoing hearing also included a ruling from the judge, saying Spears can pick her own lawyer.
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Britney Spears asked a Los Angeles court Wednesday to charge her father, Jamie Spears, with conservatorship abuse.
The atmosphere inside the courtroom was tense and packed – with multiple teams of counsel and the ACLU appearing virtually, and every seat taken by an international gaggle of press.
“I’m here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she told the court via phone. Her father, Jamie Spears, and her mother, Lynne Spears also appeared virtually but their attorneys spoke for both of them.
“I am not perfect, but their goal was to make me feel crazy, and I’m not and that’s not OK,” Spears added in court.
Jamie Spears has been part of Spears’ legal guardianship since it was first put into place in 2008. The conservatorship controls her estate, her financial assets, and parts of her personal life.
“He is sorry to see his daughter in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much,” Vivian Lee Thoreen said on Jamie Spears’ behalf in a statement to the court, according to the report. Mr. Spears’ legal team did not object to Britney’s new legal representation.
Wednesday’s hearing also included a major update for Spears’ legal counsel. Judge Brenda Penny allowed Spears’ court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham to resign and gave the pop star permission to handpick her own counsel.
Spears was represented by Matthew Rosengart, a prominent Hollywood attorney who has represented celebrities like actor Sean Penn and famed filmmaker Steven Spielberg.
After her counsel was changed, Spears requested to address a cleared court, which Judge Brenda Penny was reticent about. Eventually, Spears told the judge she was willing to speak in front of the audience and share her testimony.
Judge Brenda Penny also granted Bessemer Trust’s motion to withdraw from managing Britney Spear’s estate.
At the hearing, Spears grew emotional and broke down crying as she detailed her experiences with her father as a conservator.
Spears said the conservatorship had allowed her father “to ruin her life” and that she was frequently worried about him being inebriated.
Spears spoke in vivid detail about instances she felt abused by her father, alleging that her father had taken away her driver’s license for eight months after she drove ten miles over the speed limit.
“I want an investigation into my dad,” Spears said, adding that she had “serious abandonment issues” due to the involved nature of her conservatorship.
In one harrowing section of her testimony, Spears said that during the span of a week of performances, she was left alone in a trailer 63 times and not allowed to leave as different people visited her.
“It’s not just abuse, it’s f—ing cruelty,” Spears said, calling for an end to her father’s role in her conservatorship, without her having to undergo an evaluation. “I am angry and I will go there.”
Spears also called multiple times for Jodi Montgomery, who oversees Spears’ health services, to remain as a conservator for the time being.
Lawyers representing Jodi Montgomery also said that Spears’ medical team has recommended that Mr. Spears be removed from the conservatorship.
“She shouldn’t be on the stand being cross-examined. Where is this leading to?” Montgomery’s attorney said, pushing back against the need for an evidentiary hearing where Britney Spears would do a deposition.
Thoreen, Mr. Spears’ attorney, rebuked much of Spears’ testimony and call for an end to Mr. Spears’ role in the conservatorship.
Thoreen called statements made against her client “hysteria on the record” questioning Britney Spears’ recollection and implicating Montgomery, saying she was “not sure Mrs. Spears understands she can make medical decisions.”
Judge Penny, often cutting through the back and forth between Mrs. Spears and Mr. Spears’ representation, which an attorney for Lynne Spears called “lawyers gone wild” told the court that “it’s not about anyone else, it’s about her.”
The next hearing will take place on September 29, at 1:30 p.m. PT.