Britney Spears’ father suspended as curator of daughter’s estate, fans celebrate pop star victory – CBS Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles Superior Court judge Brenda Penny on Wednesday suspended Britney Spears’ father Jamie Spears from guardianship who controlled the singer’s life, career and finances for 13 years.
Outside the courthouse, the pop star’s dedicated fans celebrated, cheering and kissing.
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“Today is a great day. It’s a great day for Britney Spears and it’s a great day for justice. There is certainly something to celebrate, but it is also a solemn day. Britney Spears has faced a decade of nightmare, a Kafkaesque nightmare orchestrated by her father, ”Matthew Rosengart, lawyer for Britney Spears, told the assembled crowd.
Referring to the current trusteeship agreement, Superior Court Judge Penny said the situation was “untenable” and added: “This reflects a toxic environment, which requires the suspension of James Spears.”
“This is what Britney has wanted for 13 years, since 2008. So I’m very happy for her,” Britney fan Arthur Avitia said on Wednesday outside the courthouse.
An accountant, John Zabel, has been appointed to fill the post pending a hearing on whether Jamie Spears will be permanently ousted from his post. Jodi Montgomery, whom the court appointed to oversee the singer’s personal affairs, will remain in place.
The judge’s decision followed passionate pleas from lawyer Britney Spears, who accused the singer’s father of widespread embezzlement in overseeing the pop star’s financial affairs. He punctuated his arguments with allegations raised in an article published this week by The New York Times, including accusations that the singer’s phone calls were being monitored and a recording device was placed in her bedroom.
Spears’ attorney made it clear that it was important for his client to take “toxic and cruel Jamie out of Britney’s life.”
Jamie Spears’ attorney tried to appeal the stay order, although the judge said the order could not be appealed. Jamie’s attorney has also called for an investigation of Zabel as he takes on the role of curator.
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Fans swarmed the courthouse on Wednesday for a rally, some even flying thousands of miles away. Shaunda Ackampora traveled from North Carolina to Los Angeles for the hearing.
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“We couldn’t be happier. We can’t wait for the tutorship to be over and we are happy that Jamie is out,” Ackampora said.
Spears herself was not present at Wednesday’s hearing. She posted an image of herself flying on a plane to social media after the decision was made, not addressing the news directly, though imagery of her free flight did not been lost to the fans.
“Just extremely emotional, tears immediately and a lot of hugs and just happiness,” said Megan Radford, a #FreeBritney organizer.
Jamie Spears will now have to hand documents to the temporary curator, and activists are hoping they can uncover new details about his father’s relationship to his finances.
“We just got rid of him,” Radford said. “Jamie Spears was by far the biggest obstacle to Britney’s freedom.”
Jamie Spears’ attorney has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing by the singer’s father, and she has disputed the allegations raised in the New York Times article.
Another hearing, scheduled for November 12, will be held to consider ending the trusteeship, which fans say they are hoping for.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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