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Over the past six months, Britney Spears has received a lot of media attention surrounding the details of her 13-year-long conservatorship. In a court decision made on Friday, the controversial legal agreement was officially dissolved.
“The conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required,” said Judge Brenda Penny less than half an hour into the hearing. “The conservatorship is hereby terminated.”
Spears’ conservatorship had been in place since 2008, when she was said to be suffering from mental health problems. At that time, her father, Jamie Spears, took control over her personal, medical, and financial affairs. While he stopped managing her personal affairs in 2019, he remained in charge of her estate until he was officially removed earlier this year. During this time, his legal team stressed the agreement was only in place to protect her from people seeking to take advantage of her money and fame.
The contract prescribed thorough vetting of Spears’ friends, visitors, and romantic partners. It also required her to obtain permission for travel and logged all of her purchases.
During this time, Spears released four studio albums, toured internationally, and served as a judge on “The X Factor”. Because of the conservatorship, she had very limited control over appearances and was forced to take medication and work against her will, even during times when she was feeling unwell.
“I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work. The laws need to change,” said Spears at a court hearing over the summer. “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. I don’t feel like I can live a full life.”
The dissolution of Spears’ conservatorship is unique because it’s extremely rare for a person in this circumstance to achieve their own release. Furthermore, the agreement was terminated without a current mental health evaluation, which came as a shock given Spears’ history of alleged mental health issues.
“This is a monumental day for Britney Spears,” said Spears’ lawyer, Mathew Rosengar, in a post-court press conference. “What’s next for Britney, and this is the first time this could be said for about a decade, is up to one person, Britney.”
In the coming months, Spears’ current estate conservator will continue working to settle the financial concerns surrounding mounting bills from the multiple lawyers who were involved in her case. Her legal counsel is also pushing for a thorough investigation of her father, who is said to have been responsible for financial mismanagement and extreme surveillance measures not known to Spears at the time.
While the legal battle isn’t quite over, Judge Penny’s decision has restored Spears’ control over her personal, medical, and financial health.