Britney Spears does cartwheels to celebrate winning the right to choose her own lawyer
Britney Spears has shared a clip on Instagram of herself doing cartwheels, celebrating winning the right to appoint her own lawyer and move one step closer to ending her 13-year conservatorship.
The singer had earlier on Wednesday addressed the court by phone in an emotional plea for freedom, and the right to chose her own legal representation.
She then posted a video of her horse riding, apparently learning to ride in an arena on a lead rein.
‘Coming along, folks … coming along!!!!!’ she captioned the clip.
‘New with real representation today … I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED !!!!
‘Thank you to my fans who are supporting me … You have no idea what it means to me be supported by such awesome fans !!!! God bless you all !!!!!’
She then added: ‘Pssss this is me celebrating by horseback riding and doing cartwheels today!!!! #FreeBritney’
Britney Spears on Wednesday posted an Instagram clip of her cartwheeling with joy after her court hearing
Spears celebrated a milestone in her battle to free herself from her conservatorship by going horse riding
Spears posted a clip of her learning to ride in an arena on Wednesday, with a horse being led by an assistant
Spears is seen with her boyfriend Sam Asghari at the 2019 Daytime Beauty Awards in September 2019 in Los Angeles
Britney’s boyfriend shows his support
Britney Spears‘ boyfriend posed in a ‘Free Britney’ T-shirt on Instagram Wednesday, as the pop singer is expected to appear in court virtually amid her conservatorship battle with father Jamie Spears.
Support: Sam Asghari wore a ‘Free Britney’ T-shirt on Wednesday
Sam, 27, a personal trainer and actor, has previously voiced his dislike of Britney’s father, saying in February this year: ‘In my opinion, Jamie is a total d**k.’
He posted his thoughts on Instagram at the time, adding: ‘I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way.’
The pair met in 2016, when the Iranian-born actor was cast in the video for her song Slumber Party.
In February, he told People: ‘I have always wanted nothing but the best for my better half, and will continue to support her following her dreams and creating the future she wants and deserves.
A month later, he told Forbes he hoped to become a father soon.
‘My priorities in life are to remain humble and understand where I came from and where I’m going. I want to take my career to the next step when it comes to acting.
‘I want to take my relationship to the next step, as well. I don’t mind becoming a father. I want to be a young dad.’
Spears has two teenage sons, 15-year-old Sean and 14-year-old Jayden, whom she shares with ex Kevin Federline. The two were married from 2004 to 2007.
Her boyfriend, Iranian personal trainer and actor Sam Asghari, also showed his support for his girlfriend, posting on Instagram an image with the message: ‘Free Britney.’
Hours before, the singer told a court in Los Angeles on Wednesday that she wants her father charged with conservatorship abuse, during a hearing in which a judge agreed to her appointing her own lawyer, to bring about an end to the arrangement.
‘I would like to charge my father with conservatorship abuse,’ said Spears, speaking to the court by phone, breaking down in tears at times.
‘I want to press charges against my father today,’ Spears said. ‘I want an investigation into my dad.’
She described once again the torment of her conservatorship, in a repeat of her explosive June 23 testimony.
She claimed her father, Jamie Spears, and others involved in the conservatorship had threatened her, and added: ‘There should be no threats to me at all, ever. I have serious abandonment issues.’
Spears said that her car keys, hair vitamins and coffee had been taken from her.
‘Ma’am, that’s not abuse, that’s just f****** cruelty,’ she tearfully told Judge Brenda Penny, according to Sky News.
‘Excuse my language but it’s the truth.’
She told the court: ‘I thought they were trying to kill me. If this is not abuse, I don’t know what is.’
Breaking down, Spears then requested a short break to compose herself.
She then called for her father be removed from the complex legal arrangement and be charged with ‘conservatorship abuse’.
She wants the conservatorship terminated without the need for a medical assessment, but said her priority was ousting her father from his role while allowing co-conservator Jodi Montgomery to remain in the meantime.
‘My dad needs to be removed today and I will be happy with Jodi helping me,’ Spears said.
During her testimony on Wednesday, the judge asked Spears to slow down so the court reporter could take it all down.
‘I’m here to press charges,’ Spears said. ‘I’m angry and I will go there.’
Before she spoke, supporters of the #FreeBritney movement gathered outside Los Angeles Supreme Court for the hearing, where the star’s hand-picked attorney Mathew Rosengart was appointed to take over her case.
Judge Penny approved his request, meaning that for the first time since the conservatorship was brought in in 2008, Spears has a lawyer of her own choosing representing her.
On June 23, Spears told the court: ‘I haven’t really had the opportunity by my own self to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself. And I would like to be able to do that.’
Rosengart told the court on Wednesday he would be filing paperwork in the next few week to end the arrangement that has been in place since 2008.
Once the hearing concluded, Rosengart told a press conference on the steps of the courthouse that Jamie Spears should voluntarily step down as conservator.
‘We will be moving promptly and aggressively for his removal. The question remains, why is he involved?’ he said.
‘He should step down voluntarily because that’s what’s in the best interest of the conservatee.’
Rosengart praised Spears’ ‘courage, passion, and humanity’ for speaking out in court, and called her testimony ‘clear, lucid, powerful, and compelling.’
‘My firm and I will be taking a top to bottom look at what’s happened over the past decade,’ said Rosengart.
Britney Spears on Wednesday said that she wanted her father Jamie (pictured) charged with conservatorship abuse
Britney Spears’ new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, is seen on Wednesday speaking outside a Los Angeles courthouse where he was appointed as her legal representative
Mathew Rosengart, far right, was on Wednesday appointed as Britney Spears’ lawyer, at her request. He is pictured in December 2016 with Matt Damon and Kenneth Lonergan
Judge Brenda Penny, left, on Wednesday agreed to Spears replacing the court-appointed Sam Ingham (right) with her own lawyer, Mathew Rosengart
Britney Spears (2nd left) is seen with her father Jamie, brother Bryan and mother Lynne. The singer has not spoken to her father since before Christmas
The court hearing kicked off at 1.30pm local time at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles where Judge Penny was set to hear arguments on who should represent Spears in her battle to remove her father Jamie as her conservator and end the conservatorship.
The 39-year-old pop star picked her choice last week, signing a legal document requesting to hire the high-profile former federal prosecutor Rosengart.
This comes after her longtime court-appointed attorney Samuel Ingham resigned in the wake of Spears’ bombshell court appearance on June 23 where she pleaded for the ‘abusive’ conservatorship to end.
Spears on June 23 told that she believed she was not allowed to choose her own attorney.
‘I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do… My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney, and by contract my own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with the tour.
‘He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off the stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary.
‘And with the conservatorship, I couldn’t even get my own attorney,’ she said.
‘So out of fear, I went ahead and I did the tour.’
Spears gave explosive testimony in last month’s hearing where she accused her father of controlling her life and fortune for the last 13 years and likened her situation to that of a sex-trafficked person.
#FreeBritney fans have gathered outside Los Angeles Supreme Court (above) for Britney Spears’ latest conservatorship hearing where the star’s hand-picked attorney Mathew Rosengart will argue to take over her case
Supporters of the #FreeBritney movement gather at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles where the hearing kicked off at 1.30pm local time
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed legal documents supporting Spears.
‘The court should ensure that Britney Spears has access to the tools she needs to make that choice meaningfully and to hire someone she trusts to advocate for her stated goal: to get out of her conservatorship,’ Zoe Brennan-Krohn, staff attorney at the ACLU’s Disability Rights Project, said in a statement.
Rosengart earlier this week accepted her request to represent her in her conservatorship case, TMZ revealed on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, he told the court that she was entitled to her own lawyer.
He said the star’s ‘powerful, compelling, honest’ testimony from the June hearing proves she is ‘more than capable of hiring her own counsel’.
Judge Brenda Penny was set to hear arguments on who should represent Spears (above) in her battle to remove her father Jamie as her conservator and end the conservatorship
Rosengart’s argument was that the singer ‘is entitled to due process, which includes the right to a competent lawyer’, TMZ reported.
The argument was feared to present a challenge because the terms of the conservatorship mean Spears is prevented from signing any legally binding contracts without her father’s permission.
Rosengart argued against this, saying that Jamie should not have the power to reject her choice of lawyer – given that her lawyer is representing her in a case against Jamie himself.
Rosengart is well known as an attorney to the stars having represented a number of high-profile Hollywood clients, including Steven Spielberg, Ben Affleck and his brother Casey, Sean Penn and director Michael Mann.
Judge Penny also agreed a petition filed by wealth management firm Bessemer Trust to remove itself as a co-conservator of Spears’ multimillion-dollar estate.
Supporters also gathered outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC as the hearing got under way
What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a legal concept whereby a probate court appoints a person to manage an incapacitated person or minor’s financial and personal affairs.
It is often a relative. The terminology and details vary state-by-state, but the general principals are all similar.
The conservator’s duties include overseeing finances, medical care and living arrangements.
In Britney’s case, the conservators also oversee visitation arrangements with her two teenage sons, who are under the full custody of her ex-husband, Kevin Federline. It is most frequently used for someone who is severely mentally incapacitated, or suffering from dementia.
Yet in the 13 years of Britney’s conservatorship, she has released four albums – two of them going platinum; appeared as a judge on both The X Factor and American Idol; and had a four-year residency in Las Vegas that reportedly grossed close to $138 million.
The specific details of Britney’s case have not been revealed. Unless a judge says otherwise, they still retain rights to make certain decisions, according to the California handbook.
They can control salaries they earn, spend an allowance, retain legal representation, vote in elections, get married, draft their own wills, make medical decisions for themselves and ask a judge to terminate conservatorships or replace their guardians.
‘All conservatees have the right to be treated with understanding and respect and to have their wishes considered. They have all basic human rights, as well, and the right to be well cared for by you,’ the California handbook says.
Britney says that she has not had these rights. It is unclear whether this is a violation of her case, or as agreed.
There are two types of conservators: a conservator of the person, who looks after meals, housekeeping, transport, housing and recreation, and a conservator of the estate who manages finances and protects assets. Sometimes one person can play both roles.
The conservator of the estate must file periodic activities reports by the first year after their appointment and every two years following, until the relationship is terminated.
The estate managers have to disclose asset values, gains and losses, and show receipts for all expenditures of conservatorship funds. They are also prohibited from borrowing money from the conservatee or lending out their cash. Many countries have similar systems.
In the U.K. it is called a deputyship. In Britain, however, the court will appoint an independent conservator, rather than a family member.
Bessemer Trust filed the petition on July 1 after hearing the singer’s testimony where she said she wanted to be free from the conservatorship.
The New York-based firm is a private, independent office that oversees more than $140 billion for over 2,500 families, foundations, and endowments.
Bessemer Trust had requested to resign ‘due to changed circumstances,’ according to court documents filed on July 1.
According to the documents, Bessemer Trust said they had believed Spears’ conservatorship was ‘voluntary’ and that she consented to the firm acting as co-conservator, until the singer publicly revealed she wants the arrangement to end during an explosive court hearing on June 23.
Spears broke her silence on the conservatorship in public for the first time last month in damning testimony where she called the arrangement ‘abusive.’
The star spoke for 20 minutes where she told how her father controlled every aspect of her life including forcing her to have birth control implants to prevent her having anymore children.
‘I want this conservatorship to end – I truly believe that this conservatorship is abusive,’ the pop superstar pleaded in a passionate 25-minute appeal.
‘I want to be able to get married to my boyfriend and have a baby but the conservatorship told me I can’t do that.
‘I have an IUD (intrauterine device) inside me to prevent me from having a baby.
‘I want to go to a doctor and take it out so I can have a baby but they (the conservatorship) told me no.
‘I feel ganged up on and bullied and alone.’
She said that she felt trapped and didn’t know where to turn.
‘The reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t think the state of California can have all this written in the court documents from the time I showed up and do absolutely nothing,’ she said.
When a doctor put her on medications, including lithium – she she said made her feel ‘drunk’.
‘My family didn’t do a thing about it. My dad was all for it,’ she said.
When she was put in a $60,000-a-month treatment facility against her will, ‘I cried on the phone to my dad for an hour and he loved every minute of it,’ she said.
She added: ‘My dad and everyone else who has played a key role in my conservatorship should be in jail. They have way too much control.
‘I don’t drink alcohol but I should, considering what they put my heart through.’
Spears’ astonishing testimony sparked a flurry of activity in her case.
Jodi Montgomery, who is tasked with looking after the singer’s personal care, and the singer’s father Jamie Spears, who has controlled her estate since 2008, begun publicly bickering over who is to blame for the restrictions the singer complained about.
In a court filing last week, Montgomery accused Jamie Spears of ‘finger-pointing and media attacks,’ rather than working as a team to help the singer.
Jamie Spears, Montgomery, Ingham and the singer’s sister Jamie Lynn Spears, have all received death threats that have escalated since the pop star’s address to the judge on June 23, according to court documents.
Montgomery has requested security protection, but Jamie Spears objected in a legal response.
The $50,000 estimated monthly cost of security, according to Jamie Spears’ lawyers, ‘is not an expense that the Conservatorship Estate can sustain for multiple individuals for an extended, indefinite period of time.’
Rosengart has been asked to respond to Montgomery’s request by Monday.
Jamie Spears filed papers expressing concern about ‘dangerous rhetoric’ around the case, and asked the court to investigate his daughter’s claims and give him an opportunity to respond.
On July 6, following her daughter’s allegations, her mother Lynne stated via her attorneys that Spears is in a different place than she was in 2008 when the conservatorship began.
Lynne Spears also noted that her daughter is now able to care for herself.
‘Now, and for the past many years, Conservatee is able to care for her person and in fact has, within the parameters of this conservatorship, earned literally hundreds of millions of dollars as an international celebrity,’ the petition states.
Meanwhile Larry Rudolph, the pop star’s manager of 25 years, resigned, saying Spears wanted to retire and his services were no longer needed.