Britney Spears able to hire own attorney in key win, accuses father of 'conservatorship abuse' in court

As a throng of supporters cheered her on from outside, Britney Spears scored a victory in court Wednesday that might be the first step in ending her conservatorship. It was another emotional day as the singer broke down in tears, telling Judge Brenda Penny she's "extremely scared" of her father, Jamie Spears, and accused him of "conservatorship abuse."

Penny will allow Britney's desired replacement attorney, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, to represent the singer moving forward. The 39-year-old entertainer has been unable to choose her own lawyer since the conservatorship's inception in 2008 — which is why Wednesday's ruling is a big deal. It's expected Rosengart's first order of business once officially instated will be trying to oust Jamie Spears.

"I'm here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse," Britney declared over the phone, per NBC News. The "Slave 4 U" singer said she wants her father investigated and that "this conservatorship has allowed my dad to ruin my life."

Judge Brenda Penny grants Britney Spears's request to pick her own attorney for the first time in 13 years.
Judge Brenda Penny grants Britney Spears's request to pick her own attorney for the first time in 13 years. (Photo: Getty Images for dcp)

Britney detailed how Jamie controlled everything, from her diet to making her work 70-hour weeks. The singer said she's terrified of him, which is why she's not willing to be evaluated in order to remove him.

"Their goal was to make me feel crazy and I'm not," she said. "And that's not OK."

According to CNN, Britney called the conservatorship "f***ing cruelty" and said, "If this is not abuse, I don't know what is."

"I thought they were trying to kill me," she purportedly told the court.

Britney's new lawyer seems up for the challenge. Rosengart spoke to the press after the hearing and called on Jamie to voluntarily step down as her conservator, saying it's in the "best interest" of his new client.

"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 told reporters outside the courthouse, per CNN.

Rosengart called Britney's testimony "clear, lucid, powerful and compelling," and praised her "courage" in speaking to the court.

"My firm and I will be taking a top to bottom look at what's happened over the past decade," Rosengart added.

Rosengart is a partner at the well-known firm Greenberg Traurig and has represented high-profile figures like Sean Penn, Steven Spielberg and Kenneth Lonergan. Penn, who won a defamation case thanks to Rosengart, told the New York Times he's "a tough as nails streetfighter with a big brain and bigger principles."

Britney's court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham, filed paperwork asking to be dismissed following her powerful statement three weeks ago in which she called the conservatorship "abusive" and condemned those involved. He's not the only major figure in the conservatorship to quit.

Bessemer Trust, the wealth-management group set to take over as the co-conservator of Britney's estate with Jamie, requested to resign. The company said it was told the performer's conservatorship was voluntary — something she has made clear is not the case — and said it "respects her wishes." Britney's longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, resigned after it was implied he's among the people she's unhappy with.

"Ma'am, my dad, and anyone involved in this conservatorship, and my management, who played a huge role in punishing me when I said no — Ma'am, they should be in jail," Britney told the judge during her stunning June 23 testimony.

After Wednesday's ruling, Spears was ecstatic. She shared footage of herself "celebrating" by doing cartwheels and horseback riding, and she thanked fans for their support.

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