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Britney Spears' conservatorship is terminated after more than 13 years

Judge terminates Britney Spears' conservatorship 02:06

Britney Spears is free of the conservatorship that has ruled her life, career and finances for nearly 14 years. A Los Angeles judge terminated the court-ordered arrangement Friday at the request of the pop star and her legal team, ending her years-long battle. 

The ruling comes after Spears delivered a blistering statement about the conservatorship in court this June, calling it "abusive" and saying it left her feeling "bullied" and "alone."

The hearing was the first since her father, Jamie Spears, was suspended from his role as a co-conservator. Spears did not respond to CBS News' request for comment, though he has repeatedly denied allegations that he mishandled the conservatorship. 

Spears celebrated the ruling on Instagram with the hashtag #FreedBritney, calling it the "best day ever." 

"I think I'm gonna cry the rest of the day," the pop star wrote. 

Her attorney, Matthew Rosengart, also celebrated the decision. 

"Britney, as of today, is a free woman, and she's an independent woman," Rosengart told a cheering crowd after the decision. "And the rest, with her support system, will be up to Britney." 

Sony Pictures' "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals
Britney Spears attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California.  Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

"This is a monumental day for Britney Spears," attorney says

Lawyer Matthew Rosengart celebrated the decision on Friday, telling reporters that she is now a "free woman." 

"Britney, as of today, is a free woman, and she's an independent woman," Rosengart said. "And the rest, with her support system, will be up to Britney." 

"This is a monumental day for Britney Spears," Rosengart added. "It's also a somber day for me, for Britney Spears, and I think for a lot of us who have been following conservatorships and how they operate. This conservatorship was corrupted by James P. Spears."

Rosengart previously said he would investigate Jamie for financial fraud while he had control of Britney's finances, but now says the decision is "up to" Britney. During the Friday press conference, he reiterated his allegation that Jamie took millions of dollars from his daughter — an allegation Jamie denies. 

People Britney Spears
Matthew Rosengart, attorney for Britney Spears, leaves a hearing concerning the pop singer's conservatorship at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Friday, November 12, 2021, in Los Angeles.  Chris Pizzello / AP
By Zoe Christen Jones

ACLU calls for conservatorship reform

The ACLU said Friday that Britney Spears' legal case highlights the problems of conservatorships, arguing that the laws around conservatorships "desperately" need to change. 

"Britney Spears' uniquely public conservatorship case shows just how desperately we need to transform the system for the 1.3 million people with disabilities who are still subject to these invasive and dangerous arrangements," the ACLU said Friday. "There are untold thousands of people in conservatorships and guardianships who want to regain their civil liberties and live their lives with autonomy and support. We need to make that a reality."

ACLU staff attorney Zoe Brennan-Krohn told CBS News in July that conservatorships, which are also used for individuals with disabilities, can become restrictive and abusive. 

"Even when there is no abuse, conservatorships limit a person's ability to advocate for themselves, learn from their decisions and mistakes, and grow and develop," Brennan-Krohn said. "There is a risk in being told that your opinions, your likes and dislikes, don't matter — it makes it harder to stand up to abuse or neglect."

By Zoe Christen Jones

Britney celebrates and thanks fans: "Best day ever"

Britney celebrated the decision on Instagram, posting a video of her fans cheering. 

"Good God I love my fans so much it's crazy," Britney said. "I think I'm gonna cry the rest of the day !!!! Best day ever … praise the Lord … can I get an Amen????"

By Zoe Christen Jones

What happens next?

While Britney Spears' conservatorship has been terminated in its entirety, her court appearances aren't over. The next two hearings, where the court will address final motions, have been set for December 8 and January 19. 

By Zoe Christen Jones

#FreeBritney Supporters rejoice outside the courthouse

Hundreds of #FreeBritney supporters cheered outside of Los Angeles' Stanley Mosk Courthouse when news of the decision broke. Fans of the pop star waved pink flags and banners emblazoned with the word "freedom."

The #FreeBritney movement has been a major supporter of Britney's legal battles, even before Britney's emotional June testimony, using the hashtag to cast suspicion on the pop star's freedom and ability to make her own choices. The movement grew after several documentaries about Spears premiered this year. 

When Britney was granted the ability to hire her own attorney earlier this year, she thanked her supporters on Instagram. 

""New with real representation today ... I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED !!!!" she wrote. "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 !!!!!"

People Britney Spears
Confetti falls on Britney Spears supporters outside a hearing concerning the pop singer's conservatorship at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Friday, November 12, 2021, in Los Angeles.  Chris Pizzello / AP
By Zoe Christen Jones

Britney's fiance celebrates court decision: "History was made today"

Britney's fiance, Sam Asghari, celebrated the hearing's outcome on Instagram on Friday, posting a pink square with the word "Freedom." 

"History was made today," Asghari wrote in the caption. "Britney is Free!"

On Thursday night, Asghari also posted a video of he and Britney wearing #FreeBritney t-shirts, with the caption "Loading..."

By Zoe Christen Jones

Supporters gather outside the courthouse

Britney Spears' supporters gathered outside Los Angeles' Stanley Mosk Courthouse while the hearing took place, eagerly awaiting a decision. Many had "Free Britney" signs, and some wrote "Free Britney" in chalk on the sidewalk, according to photos from the Associated Press. 

People Britney Spears
Stacy Moffatt, of Costa Mesa, California, bottom, and other Britney Spears supporters color in a "Free Britney" message on Grand Avenue outside a hearing concerning the pop singer's conservatorship at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Friday, November 12, 2021, in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello / AP
By Victoria Albert

Will there be conditions?

Los Angeles Judge Brenda Penny has not said whether she will require any additional conditions, such as a psychological evaluation, in order to end the conservatorship. 

Britney has repeatedly said in her personal statements and through her counsel that she does not want the end of the conservatorship to be conditioned on a psychological evaluation. Britney's attorney Matthew Rosengart told CBS News in October that a required psychological evaluation was "unlikely." 

In her June hearing, Britney said her management used psychological evaluations as a way to "control her" and her day to day life, and forced her into a rehabilitation program against her will. 

By Zoe Christen Jones

Britney's attorneys have vowed to investigate Jamie Spears

Britney's attorney Matthew Rosengart has said he wants to investigate Jamie Spears for financial mismanagement and fraud. Jamie's lawyers have denied the allegations, calling the fraud claims "speculative and unsubstantiated attacks." 

By Zoe Christen Jones

What has Britney said about the conservatorship?

For years, Spears did not publicly express her feelings about the conservatorship — but that changed on June 23. Britney addressed the court via phone, calling the conservatorship "abusive," saying it left her feeling "bullied" and "alone."

"I shouldn't be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people. It makes no sense," Britney said in June. "This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good."

She claimed her team controlled her day-to-day movement, including her personal and medical decisions. "I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told I'm not able to get married," the singer added. "I have an IUD inside me so I won't get pregnant but this so-called team won't let me go to the doctor to take it out."

By Zoe Christen Jones
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