Britney Spears’ plea to employ her own counsel was granted on Wednesday as she tries to break her 13-year conservatorship.
Spears’ choice to replace her court-appointed counsel, Samuel D. Ingham III, with veteran federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart was authorised by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny.
Lynne Spears, Spears’ mother, submitted a petition on July 6 requesting the judge to enable her daughter to employ her own private counsel, characterising it as the “first step” in resolving her daughter’s conservatorship concerns.
“Clearly [Britney] needs private counsel to advise her as to her basic rights in this conservatorship.”
Jodi Montgomery, who has served as Spears’ conservator-of-the-person since 2019, filed a separate motion requesting the court assign Spears a temporary guardian ad litem to help her select an attorney.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Spears said she was “extremely scared” of her father, Jamie Spears, who has overseen the singer’s $60 million fortune since 2008. She added that the conservatorship “has allowed my dad to ruin my life.”
“I’m here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she said.
Spears also stated that she has been compelled to work 70 hours per week while her food and other areas of her life are being controlled by the conservatorship.
“Their goal was to make me feel crazy, and I’m not,” she explained. “And that’s not OK.”
Spears claimed at a June 23 hearing that she has been abused by her family and therapists, including being forced to go on tour and perform in a Las Vegas residency, being forced to take lithium against her will, and being stopped from removing an intrauterine device so she can have another kid. She also asked to be freed from the conservatorship without further investigation.
A week later, the request was rejected.
Jamie Spears’ attorney, Vivian Thoreen, said in court on Wednesday that Spears made a number of “misstatements” during her June 23 hearing, and that “no such order” prohibiting her from making medical choices existed under the terms of the conservatorship.
On July 6, Ingham filed a plea to retire after Spears stated at the June 23 court hearing that he was “very scared for me to go forwards” with the lawsuit and that she would like to “actually handpick my own lawyer by myself”
Rosengart addressed the court briefly stating that Jamie Spears should be removed as conservator.
“We will be moving promptly and aggressively for his removal. The question remains, why is he involved? He should step down voluntarily because that’s what’s in the best interest of the conservatee,” he said.