On Wednesday, September 29, a judge approved Britney’s petition to have her father, 69, suspended as conservator during a court hearing in Los Angeles. The suspension is effective as of Wednesday with the judge appointing John Zabel as the pop star’s temporary conservator until December 31, 2021. Jodi Montgomery‘s role as conservator of Britney’s person was extended until the same date.
During the hearing, Britney’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, urged the court to terminate Jamie’s conservator role immediately. Jamie’s lawyer, Vivian Thorren, argued that “everything else would be moot if the court terminates the conservatorship today,” explaining that if the conservatorship, which Britney has been under since 2008, ended now it would leave a lot of unresolved issues on both sides.
Rosengart also called into question why Jamie would push to end the conservatorship in its entirety after delaying its termination for years. The lawyer alleged that Jamie changed his tune because he has been ordered to turn over financial documents that would show his pattern of deception and misconduct toward his daughter.
After arguing about the validity of the claims made in various Britney documentaries about her phone allegedly being tracked and monitored, Rosengart claimed Jamie’s side was trying to “delay” the case.
“My client has the right to be heard. It’s not about me. I’m here to speak to my client,” he said. “She doesn’t want mediation. She wants a suspension today, termination (of the entire conservatorship) in 30 to 45 days and a termination plan. It’s what Britney Spears wants … she has been abused by this man, and not just this decade. This is what she wants and deserves.”
The judge concluded by setting another hearing for November 12, to resolve the issue of terminating the conservatorship.
Earlier this year, Jamie filed court documents announcing his intention to step down. “There are, in fact, no actual grounds for suspending or removing Mr. Spears as the Conservator of the Estate … and it is highly debatable whether a change in conservator at this time would be in Ms. Spears’ best interests,” Jamie’s legal team noted in August in documents obtained by Us Weekly. “So, even though he must contest this unjustified Petition for his removal, Mr. Spears intends to work with the Court and his daughter’s new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator.”
Less than one month later, Jamie filed the petition to officially end his role as the 39-year-old “Toxic” singer’s conservator, the position he had been in since 2008. (He stopped being the conservator of her person in September 2019, at which point the role was assumed by Montgomery.)
“This filing represents a massive legal victory for Britney Spears, as well as vindication,” Britney’s lawyer, Rosengart, told Us in a statement at the time. “Having exposed his misconduct and improper plan to hold his daughter hostage by trying to extract a multi-million dollar settlement, Mr. Spears has now effectively surrendered. There is no settlement.”
The Grammy winner opened up about the strict terms of conservatorship at an explosive hearing in June, slamming her father for his role in the arrangement.
“My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a key role in punishing me — they should be in jail,” she said at the time. She also claimed that her conservators would not allow her to get married or have another child.
“I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby,” she said. “And my conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out. I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told with the conservatorship I was not able to get married and have a baby.”
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez