A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday allowed Britney Spears to hire her own attorney, Mathew S. Rosengart, in her conservatorship case.
Judge Penny granted the petition by court-appointed lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III to step away, as well Rosengart’s request for him and his firm to represent Spears. Rosengart is a prominent Hollywood attorney and a former federal prosecutor. He has previously represented Ben Affleck, Steven Spielberg and Sean Penn.
Rosengart made his intentions clear: “The goal is to end the conservatorship.”
During the hearing, Spears was crying as she reiterated her request for her father Jamie Spears to step down as co-conservator. An attorney for Jamie Spears said he had no intention of doing so at this time.
Judge Penny also granted the request of Bessemer Trust, the investment firm that had been brought to help to manage her business affairs, to step down from the conservatorship as well.
Spears’ conservatorship dates back to 2008, around the time of her very public mental health struggles. After losing custody of her two children to former husband Kevin Federline and then refusing to turn over her boys after a visit, Spears was hospitalized and placed on a 5150 psychiatric hold, beginning the conservatorship under her father, Jamie Spears.
The pop star is actually under two conservatorships: a conservatorship over her estate, which focuses on financial matters, and a conservatorship over her person, which grants the conservator control over her medical and personal decisions.
Last month, she spoke out publicly for the first time about the conservatorship at a hearing in the Los Angeles probate court. Since her speech at the June 23 hearing, there have been a series of petitions by those involved in the conservatorship.
“I just want my life back,” Spears said at the hearing. “And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested.”
Ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, two lawyers told TheWrap that if Judge Brenda Penny decided to grant Britney Spears’ petition to hire her own attorney, it would mark a death blow to the conservatorship.
“By allowing Britney to choose her own counsel, are we saying she has regained her capacity to enter a contract, which is something the conservatorship says she is not in a capacity to do?” Benny Roshan from Greenberg Glusker told TheWrap. “It will be an interesting hearing tomorrow to see what the court does. If Judge Brenda Penny approves the appointment of a new attorney, she is indirectly saying that the circumstances that require the conservatorship no longer exist.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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