Britney Spears can hire own lawyer in conservatorship case

Britney Spears is permitted to hire her own lawyer, the judge overseeing the singer’s guardianship ruled Wednesday. The news comes three weeks after Spears denounced the conservatorship that has long controlled her finances and personal life.

Wednesday’s court hearing addressed the resignation of Spear’s court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, who has handled the celebrity’s case since 2008. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny approved Spears hiring former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, who called on Spears’ father to immediately resign as her conservator. Britney Spears, taking part in the hearing by phone, told the judge she approved of Rosengart after several conversations with him. She then asked to address the court, but asked that the courtroom be cleared. Spears demanded once again that her father, Jamie Spears, be removed from the legal agreement that has controlled her affairs for years. In court last month, she made a dramatic plea to end the agreement.

On Wednesday she repeated that appeal in an emotional statement in which she called for her father to be charged with “conservatorship abuse”. Spears, 39, has been under the conservatorship since 2008, when concerns over her mental health prompted her father to petition the court for legal authority over his daughter’s life. The controversial arrangement, known as a conservatorship, stems from 2008 and gives Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, control of her business and personal affairs. He is currently the sole person in charge of her $60m estate.