LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Wednesday decided to bring an end to the controversial 13-year conservatorship saga of singer Britney Spears.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny ordered the suspension of Spears's father as conservator of his daughter's estate and an accountant was appointed to fill the role in the meantime during a hearing Wednesday, calling the current arrangement "untenable."
Her decision followed impassioned pleas from Britney Spears' attorney, Mathew Rosengart, who accused the singer's father of widespread malfeasance in overseeing the pop star's financial affairs. He punctuated his arguments with allegations raised in a story published this week by The New York Times, including accusations that the singer's phone calls were being monitored and a recording device was placed in her bedroom.
The conservatorship began in February 2008 for the pop star, who turns 40 on Dec. 2. The hearing is also scheduled to address issues involving the Spears estate.
Last week, Spears' attorney Mathew Rosengart filed court papers requesting that the process of ending the conservatorship begin.
Rosengart on Monday also filed documents lashing out at Jamie Spears, citing a report by The New York Times alleging an array of tactics employed to control the pop star's life. The NYT report included allegations that Jamie Spears and others monitored all of Britney Spears' phone use and placed a recording device in her bedroom that captured hours of private conversations, including talks with her children and her lawyer.
"Mr. Spears has crossed unfathomable lines," Spears attorney Mathew Rosengart wrote in the scathing court documents.
Rosengart has recommended that a temporary replacement be appointed to wind down the business end of the conservatorship should Jamie Spears be removed.
Jamie Spears has vigorously defended his work as conservator, but he has said he will step down from the post following the completion of the latest accounting of the estate.
The conservatorship case came to a head in June, when Spears gave explosive court testimony, lashing out at everyone involved in her conservatorship and accusing them of abusive treatment, forcing her to perform against her will and requiring her to take medications she did not want and undergo intensive therapy sessions.
In response to the testimony, a financial management company that had recently come on as a co-conservator for Spears' estate also asked the court to end its role. Spears' longtime manager Larry Rudolph also resigned. Rudolph said that he and Spears had not communicated for 2 ½ years.
In July, Penny approved the singer's request to hire her own attorney, Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor. Spears has been represented by a court-appointed attorney throughout the conservatorship.
The issue has launched the FreeBritney movement and sparked many protests on Spears' behalf, calling for an end to the oversight over her life and affairs. Dozens of Spears supporters were outside the downtown L.A. court Wednesday.
Multiple bills are currently before the California legislature proposing conservatorship reform, including more oversight.
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