Released: Jan 2018
Tag line: "Dreamy and Romantic"
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Britney Spears scored a legal victory Wednesday in her fight to regain control of her life.
A Los Angeles judge suspended Jamie Spears, the singer's father, as conservator of her estimated $60 million dollar estate and designated a temporary replacement to oversee her finances.
Mathew Rosengart, attorney for Britney Spears, described the elder Spears as a "cruel, toxic and abusive man," adding his client wants him out "today."
"Britney deserves to wake up tomorrow without her father as her conservator," Rosengart said. "It is what my client wants, it what my client needs, it is what my client deserves."
He cited behavior he called "unfathomable," based on reporting by the New York Times. Rosengart accused the elder Spears of placing a recording device in his daughter's bedroom, an allegation a representative for Jamie Spears did not respond to when previously contacted by CNN.
"We learned Mr. Spears did something unfathomable," Rosengart said. "He instructed [a] security team, paid for by my client, to place a listening device in Britney's bedroom."
In response, Vivian Thoreen, attorney for Jamie Spears, said "It's not evidence, it's rhetoric."
Rosengart said the singer, who did not attend Wednesday's hearing, would like an orderly transition and an opportunity to put a plan in place to terminate her conservatorship altogether in the next 30 to 45 days.
Judge Penny set a court date to consider that request on November 12. An additional hearing was scheduled for December 13 to address other outstanding matters in the case.
Over the summer, Britney Spears made a powerful plea to end the court-ordered arrangement, describing the way her father has managed her conservatorship as "f---ing cruelty."
"I just want my life back. It's been 13 years, and it's enough," Spears said in June.
Jamie Spears has served has conservator of his daughter's estate since its inception. He was also the conservator of her person, overseeing her health and medical issues until he stepped aside in 2019. Jodi Montgomery was appointed conservator of Spears' person at that time, a position she still holds.
Supporters of Spears gathered outside the courthouse celebrated developments from the hearing on Wednesday.
Sam Asghari, Spears' fiancé, credited her fans.
"Free Britney! Congratulations!!!! he wrote on Instagram. "She did this. Her fanbase is called the army for a reason.
Britney Spears announced her engagement Sunday to her boyfriend Sam Asghari with an exuberant post displaying a diamond ring engraved with the word “lioness.”
The news comes days after her father filed to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years.
She wrote “I can’t fucking believe it!” with an Instagram video post where she winks, kisses a smiling Asghari on the cheek and answers “yes!” when he asks if she likes the ring.
Asghari posted his own photo of Spears showing her ring finger to the camera.
The four-carat diamond ring is engraved inside the band with “lioness” because it’s his nickname for her, the company Forever Diamonds NY said in a statement.
From the Team here at MBI - Loree and Babybrit we are so happy for Sam and Britney and for the comments regarding a prenup as much as its not our business Sam also put out a comment He is going to do so. we just super Happy to see Britney and Sam taking the next step. xoxo
Rep. Matt Gaetz and three other GOP lawmakers invited pop star to speak about her conservatorship battle
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., with support from three other GOP House members, has invited Britney Spears to speak before Congress about her conservatorship battle, acknowledging in a letter to the 39-year-old pop icon Wednesday, "You have been mistreated by America’s legal system."
"We want to help," the letter signed by Gaetz, as well as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Burgess Owens, R-Ohio, and Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., reads. "The United States Congress should hear your story and be inspired to bipartisan action. What happened to you should never happen to any other American. Congress can make things better and you can inform our policy decisions."
"If you will speak to Congress, we are ready to listen," the letter adds.
The invitation came the same day a Los Angeles Superior Court Brenda Penny denied Spears’ request to have her father, James P. Spears, removed from her estimated $60 million estate — and just a week after the pop icon delivered bombshell testimony before the court, speaking candidly for the first time about her 13-year ordeal, alleging she had been forced to take high dosages of lithium against her will. She also claimed her team has prevented her from seeing a doctor to have an IUD contraceptive device removed, despite wanting to attempt to conceive more children.
"We have been following your conservatorship battle with deep concern," her invitation to speak before Congress says. "We could see the struggle and torment you were enduring. We could see the obvious financial, emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of your conservators."
The four representatives continue, "The federal courthouse door was closed to you and to too many Americans. Your story is so powerful, and the admiration of your achievements so great, you (and perhaps only you) can blow that door wide open, giving hope to millions. Your life, liberty, and happiness have been taken from you. Please take advantage of the empowerment that public congressional testimony can unlock."
The letter reminds Spears, "You owe nothing to anyone; you deserve to live a life of freedom and to choose your own path."
The members of Congress also point out that many others "have used their fame to advance social, political, and criminal justice reform," before asserting their hope she will accept their invitation to speak before Congress for "the sake of the justice you and many Americans deserve."
"Your life story and tremendous performing talent has continued to inspire people all over the world. We stand ready for your reply. We hope that you will express interest in sharing your story," they add. "We stand with you, Britney – whatever you decide."
Spears’ court-appointed lawyer, Sam Ingham, had filed a motion in November requesting that the star’s father be dropped as a conservator, saying that Spears was "afraid of her father." That request was denied, but the judge is allowing Bessemer Trust Company of California be added as a co-conservator, though TMZ reported that official paperwork to make the outside firm’s role official has yet to be filed.
Jamie Spears filed a motion Wednesday asking the court to order an investigation into claims made by his daughter during her 23-minute address in the conservatorship hearing last week. Britney Spears had asked if her statements to a Los Angeles courtroom could be shared publicly.
"I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people," Spears said. "It makes no sense."
She told the judge she works constantly and is surrounded by an entire staff on her payroll but isn’t even allowed to control her own fortune.
"What state allows people to own another person’s money and account and threaten them in saying, ‘You can’t spend your money unless we do what we want you to do’?" she asked the court. "I’m paying them."
Those inviting Spears to speak before Congress are not free of their own public scandal.
The Department of Justice has been investigating Gaetz for obstruction of justice, according to multiple reports last month, the latest development in a sex trafficking probe into an associate of the congressman. Gaetz has firmly denied any allegation that he broke the law.
He told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" earlier this year that it was "a horrible allegation" and "a lie" that he traveled across state lines with a 17-year-old girl for the purpose of sex. But his associate Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to six charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
Meanwhile, Greene, already stripped of her committee assignments, was denounced by GOP leadership last month over remarks made comparing stickers indicating someone was vaccinated to the yellow Star of David patches Jews were forced to wear by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust.
More recently, 37 House Democrats on Thursday demanded House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy take "immediate action" against Greene’s recent behavior, alleging her "harassment" of colleagues, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has "reached an unacceptable level," Forbes reported. Their letter cites a February incident where Greene allegedly shouted at AOC at the Capitol for supporting "terrorists and Antifa," as well as remarks made by Greene at a rally over the weekend calling to have Ocasio-Cortez locked up.
Source: Fox News' Michael Ruiz, Nate Day, Tyler Olson and Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.