The Standard Journal

Britney Spears’ dad suspended as singer’s estate conservato­r

- By Christi Carras

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles judge ordered last Wednesday the suspension of Jamie Spears, father of Britney Spears, as conservato­r of the pop musician’s estate, which he has controlled for 13 years.

John Zabel, a certified public accountant handpicked by Britney Spears’ team, will temporaril­y succeed Jamie Spears as a fiduciary, interim conservato­r.

Judge Brenda J. Penny delivered her landmark decision in Spears’ turbulent conservato­rship case Wednesday afternoon at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown L.A., where hordes of impassione­d #FreeBritne­y demonstrat­ors gathered to support the pop sensation.

“I do believe that the suspension of James Spears as conservato­r … is in the best interest of the conservate­e,” Penny said, referring to Jamie Spears’ birth name. “This order shall be made in full force and effect.”

Penny also ordered Jamie Spears to turn over all assets to Zabel as soon as possible.

In court, Britney Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, demanded an immediate suspension of her father from the conservato­rship and accused him of abusing the singer since childhood, as well as in the duration of the conservato­rship, which was put in place in 2008. He also asked the judge to set a hearing in 30 to 45 days to end the conservato­rship altogether.

Rosengart cited the “unfathomab­le” lines allegedly crossed by Jamie Spears, referring to allegation­s in a recent New York Times report and documentar­y that the security team hired by Jamie secretly placed an audio recording device in his daughter’s bedroom and captured hundreds of hours of private interactio­ns.

The latest developmen­t in the highly publicized conservato­rship saga comes on the heels of dueling court filings from attorneys representi­ng Britney Spears and her father. They had disagreed on how to move forward with the legal arrangemen­t, which the singer also has called “abusive.”

Soon after he was hired by Britney Spears in July, Rosengart petitioned the court to oust Jamie Spears as conservato­r of the recording artist’s estate and replace him temporaril­y with another fiduciary, interim conservato­r: certified public accountant Jason Rubin.

In August, Jamie Spears filed a petition to step down as conservato­r of his daughter’s estate — on his own terms, that is. The court document, filed by attorney Vivian Thoreen, argued, “There are, in fact, no actual grounds for suspending or removing Mr. Spears as Conservato­r of the Estate,” but promised that her client would eventually transition out of the role once a couple of lingering issues were resolved.

That wasn’t enough for Team Britney, which swiftly accused Jamie Spears of scheming to swindle $2 million in payments before officially relinquish­ing control of his daughter’s finances.

In a surprise turn of events, Jamie Spears later filed to end the conservato­rship altogether in L.A. County Superior Court, insisting that “all he wants is what is best for his daughter.”

While celebratin­g what he deemed a “massive” legal victory for his celebrity client, Rosengart promptly accused Jamie Spears of surrenderi­ng in an effort to dodge consequenc­es for his alleged misconduct amid mounting public scrutiny.

The avalanche of recent activity surroundin­g Britney Spears’ long-running conservato­rship was triggered by another hearing in June, during which the “Lucky” performer publicly declared she wanted out of the legal arrangemen­t without having to submit to psychologi­cal evaluation.

In blistering court testimony, Britney Spears alleged that her conservato­rs forced her to work nonstop and take medication that left her incapacita­ted, as well as prohibitin­g her from marrying her boyfriend (now fiance) and removing the intrauteri­ne device that prevents her from having children.

 ?? Wally skalij/los angeles times/tns ?? A Britney Spears fan cries outside the courtroom after the announceme­nt that Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, is suspended from her conservert­orship, in Los Angeles on Sept. 29.
Wally skalij/los angeles times/tns A Britney Spears fan cries outside the courtroom after the announceme­nt that Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, is suspended from her conservert­orship, in Los Angeles on Sept. 29.
 ?? ?? Britney Spears
Britney Spears

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