July 15 (UPI) — Britney Spears was granted a request to hire her own attorney Wednesday as she seeks an end to her 13-year conservatorship.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny approved the 39-year-old Spears’ decision to replace her court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, with former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart.
Spears’ mother, Lynne Spears, filed a petition on July 6 asking the judge to allow her daughter to hire her own private counsel, describing it as the “first step” in addressing her issues with the conservatorship.
“Clearly [Britney] needs private counsel to advise her as to her basic rights in this conservatorship.”
Jodi Montgomery, who has served as Spears’ conservator-of-the-person since 2019, filed a separate motion requesting the court assign Spears a temporary guardian ad litem to help her select an attorney.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Spears said she was “extremely scared” of her father, Jamie Spears, who has overseen the singer’s $60 million fortune since 2008. She added that the conservatorship “has allowed my dad to ruin my life.”
“I’m here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she said.
Spears added that she has been forced to work 70 hours a week while having her diet and other aspects of her life controlled under the conservatorship.
“Their goal was to make me feel crazy, and I’m not,” she said. “And that’s not OK.”
In a June 23 hearing, Spears said she has faced abuse at the hands of her family and therapists including being forced to go on tour and perform in a Las Vegas residency, placed on lithium against her will and prevented from removing an intrauterine device so she can have another child. She also requested to be released from the conservatorship without further evaluation.
The request was denied a week later.
Vivian Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears, said in court Wednesday that Spears made a number of “misstatements” during the June 23 testimony adding that “no such order” preventing her from making medical decisions exists in the terms of the conservatorship.
Ingham submitted a petition to resign on July 6 after Spears said he had been “very scared for me to go forward” with the case and said she would prefer to “actually handpick my own lawyer by myself” during the June 23 court hearing.
Rosengart addressed the court briefly stating that Jamie Spears should be removed as conservator.
“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 said.