Judge Brenda Penny has officially granted Britney Spears’ request for her father’s immediate suspension from her conservatorship.
During a hearing attended by Insider on Wednesday, Judge Penny made her ruling on the petition filed earlier this summer by Mathew Rosengart, the singer’s new lawyer representing her in the ongoing conservatorship case.
Prior to making her decision, Judge Penny said the current situation in Spears’ conservatorship was “untenable.”
Effective immediately, Jamie has been suspended as the conservator of his daughter’s financial estate. That position will temporarily be taken over by John Zabel, a California-based consultant. A woman named Jodi Montgomery remains the conservator tasked with overseeing Britney’s personal affairs.
Inside the courtroom, the legal teams sparred about whether a full termination of the conservatorship or Jamie Spears’ suspension was in Britney’s best, immediate, interests.
Rosengart advocated relentlessly for Jamie Spears’ immediate suspension and replacement by John Zabel, followed by a 30-45 day period to work out the details of Jamie Spears’ termination ahead of a Nov. 12 hearing on the matter.
He accused Jamie Spears’ counsel of “putting the cart before the horse” by arguing for immediate termination of the conservatorship, claiming that Jamie’s team was looking for a way for their client to avoid a deposition under oath and potential prosecution after turning over conservatorship documents and assets.
“He’s trying to dig up something in the files,” Vivian Thoreen, Jamie Spears’ attorney, said. Thoreen decried Rosengart’s references to allegations made against Jamie Spears in the Netflix documentary “Britney vs. Spears,” calling it “just a TV show.”
“She sleeps in the same bed her father allegedly bugged,” Rosengart said, referring to a claim made in the Netflix documentary. “Britney Spears deserves to wake up tomorrow without her father as a conservator,” Rosengart said, calling her experience a “Kafkaesque nightmare.”
During multiple instances, Thoreen called Zabel a “stranger,” arguing that Jamie Spears was better suited as a fiduciary, and at one point, Rosengart stood and exclaimed to the court, “It’s who Britney Spears wants!”
“Is there a legal precedent for a conservator with a domestic violence restraining order against a conservatee’s children?” Rosengart told the court, adding that Thoreen had insinuated that Jamie “deserves a gold medal for father of the year.”
“Britney doesn’t want a settlement and mediation with her father,” said Rosengart, “she’s been abused by this man since her childhood.”
Outside the hearing room at the Los Angeles courthouse, Rosengart told reporters he had “left it all out on the field” during the first hour and a half of legal proceedings.
Last August, Jamie filed a statement to the court, saying he would agree to step down as his daughter’s estate’s conservator, but denied Rosengart’s plea for his immediate suspension. Instead, Jamie said he wanted to be involved in a transition process.
As the weeks passed, Rosengart filed new court documents, saying Jamie was trying to “barter” $2 million in exchange for leaving the conservatorship.
On September 7, Jamie added further confusion to the order of operations by submitting a petition to the court, saying his daughter’s conservatorship should just be ended altogether.
Rosengart responded to that filing by saying that the dissolution of the conservatorship would be a “massive” legal victory for Spears, but that “it appears that Mr. Spears believes he can try to avoid accountability and justice.”
The lawyer added that he and Spears welcomed the proposition to end the conservatorship, but reiterated that the priority was removing Jamie Spears from his daughter’s day-to-day life as soon as possible.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Rosengart told the court that the termination of Spears’ conservatorship should be the subject of a separate court hearing in the near future, which Judge Penny set for November 12.
News of Jamie’s suspension was made public during a brief break in the hearing. Before heading back into the courtroom, Rosengart told reporters that the ruling was a “massive win.”
Outside the courthouse, Rosengart spoke to raucous Free Britney supporters, standing in front of a hot pink banner, and said that Britney Spears was pleased with Wednesday’s outcome.
“This is a monumental day not just for Britney, but for justice, and for shining a light on conservatorships in general,” Rosengart said.