Los Angeles, Jul 14 (EFE).- The Superior Court of Los Angeles on Wednesday ruled that pop singer Britney Spears may select her own attorney to represent her, a substantial change in the legal conservatorship that has controlled her life for more than 13 years and which the star wants to terminate.
Starting now, the 39-year-old Spears will be represented by Mathew Rosengart, a former prosecutor who has handled cases for celebrities such as Sean Penn and Steven Spielberg and who will have as his main objective removing Jamie Spears, the artist’s father, from the conservatorship.
Since 2008, Spears has been represented by Samuel Ingham, a lawyer appointed by the court who recently asked to withdraw from the case after his work was called into question when the singer said in remote court testimony on June 23 that he never allowed her to speak against the conservatorship and that he did not inform her of her right to request that it be ended.
According to an exclusive by The New York Times, Ingham had earned more than $3 million since 2008 for representing Spears and sources close to the case have complained that he had been more faithful to the interests of the father than to those of the singer herself.
Also, the fact that Spears can hire her own representative called into question the very existence of the conservatorship itself, a mechanism reserved for seriously incapacitated persons who are deemed to be unable to take charge of their own affairs.
Thus, Los Angeles probate Judge Brenda Penny’s decision sets a precedent in Spears’ case that could be transferred to the rest of the legal system governing conservatorships, which has been mired in controversy thanks to the singer’s notoriety.
Last week, Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, asked that her daughter be allowed to choose her own lawyer, saying that over the past couple of years the younger woman has been able to handle her own affairs and has earned “millions of dollars” as an international celebrity.
However, her father Jamie – who is divorced from Lynne – is the person who has been managing the conservatorship and, for now, he has taken no steps to distance himself from the mechanism or to ease any of its restrictions.
During the new court hearing, the singer once again insisted that she not only wants to end the conservatorship but also to sue her father for “abuse.”
So far, Spears has not filed the required formal legal document requesting the termination of her conservatorship and during her June 23 court testimony, she declared she will not agree to any further medical assessments, although this type of professional analysis of her capacity to govern her own finances and other affairs is confidential and is also required.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the door of the courthouse to demand that the singer be “freed,” news of the case having spread like wildfire around the globe after Britney said in her June 23 court statement that she was not “happy” and was living in a system of “slavery.”