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Britney Spears' Dad Responds to Conservatorship Suspension
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A judge has suspended Britney Spears' father, Jamie Spears, as conservator of her estate. At a court hearing on Wednesday, after hearing from both the singer and Jamie's lawyers, Judge Brenda Penny agreed to suspend Britney's father from overseeing her fortune and career. Jamie's official removal will be decided at a later hearing.
During the latest hearing, Britney's attorney, Mathew Rosengart, asked for Jamie's immediate removal, also citing the allegations about her phone and home being bugged that were revealed in the Controlling BritneySpears documentary as a serious issue. He also asked to appoint a temporary conservator and to submit a 30-day plan for transition that will ultimately terminate the conservatorship by the end of this fall. Certified Public Accountant John Zabel was appointed as temporary successor.
Rosengart stated that Britney was aware of the alleged illegal recording, and also brought up the domestic violence restraining order against Jamie with regard to Britney's children, as well as Jamie's recent bankruptcy filing.
Jamie’s attorney attempted to appeal, however the judge said the order is not appealable. Judge Penny agreed that this was in the best interest of Britney. The petition to terminate Britney's conservatoship will be heard on Nov. 12.
Shortly after the ruling, Britney's fiancé, Sam Asghari, celebrated Jamie's suspension on his Instagram Story.
The 39-year-old singer recently nominated CPA John Zabel to act as her Temporary Successor Conservator of the Estate, which Jamie objected to in a petition filed on Tuesday.
"Mr. Spears continues to serve faithfully as Conservator of the Estate, as he has done for the past thirteen years," the court documents obtained by ET read. "Mr. Spears has not and should not be suspended, especially since the Conservatorship should soon be terminated."
One day prior, Britney's legal team filed a third supplement to their petition to remove Jamie as conservator of Britney's estate. The court documents obtained by ET accuse Jamie of engaging in "horrifying and unconscionable invasions of his adult daughter's privacy." The documents referenced a recent New York Times report that alleged that Britney's conservators "ran an intense surveillance apparatus that monitored [Ms. Spears'] communications."
Mirroring text messages and recording conversations in a private place without the consent of both parties involved can be a violation of the law. It is unknown if the court that is overseeing the singer's conservatorship was aware or approved the alleged surveillance.
"Even more shockingly, the Times reported that Mr. Spears and his cohorts 'secretly captured audio recordings from her bedroom,' including private communications with her children," the court papers state. "Mr. Spears has crossed unfathomable lines. While they are not evidence, the allegations warrant serious investigation, certainly by Ms. Spears as, among other things, California is a 'two-party' consent state."
"And regardless of the outcome of the allegations, what cannot be genuinely disputed is how deeply upsetting they are to Ms. Spears and if nothing else, they magnify the need to suspend Mr. Spears immediately," the court papers continue. "To be clear, his suspension will not impede the ultimate termination of the entire conservatorship, as Mr. Spears will be required during the transition to work with his temporary successor. The only thing Mr. Spears will 'lose' is something he should not have ever had -- the ability to further harm his daughter."
The court papers reiterated that Britney won't work while her father remains her conservator.
"Ms. Spears wants, and obviously deserves, a 'full life' and all that entails, including the restoration of basic rights and civil liberties stripped away by Mr. Spears," the court papers state. "Every day that goes by with him as conservator -- every day and every hour -- is one in which he causes his daughter anguish and pain."
Meanwhile, a lawyer for Jamie said in a statement to the New York Times of the allegations: "All of his actions were well within the parameters of the authority conferred upon him by the court. His actions were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney, and/or the court. Jamie’s record as conservator — and the court’s approval of his actions — speak for themselves."
In court documents filed last week, Rosengart said he expected Britney's 13-year conservatorship to end this fall, but that Jamie needed to be removed immediately.
"While the entire conservatorship is promptly wound down and formally terminated, it is clear that Mr. Spears cannot be permitted to hold a position of control over his daughter for another day," the documents read.
The documents cited the singer's recent engagement to Asghari and the upcoming drafting of a prenuptial agreement, as a reason why Jamie should be removed as conservator immediately. The documents state that Jamie's involvement in the prenup discussions would "impede the ability to negotiate and consummate a contract that we all can agree is in Ms. Spears's best interests."
"This conservatorship is literally allowing my dad to ruin my life," she said, addressing Los Angeles judge Brenda Penny. "I want to press charges against my father for conservatorship abuse. I want an investigation into my dad."
"The people who did this to me should not get away and to be able to walk away so easily," she said. "Ma'am, my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a huge role in punishing me, ma'am, they should be in jail."
Jamie's attorney said at the time, "He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much."