A Los Angeles judge on Friday ended the controversial conservatorship that had controlled pop star Britney Spears’ life for 13 years, returning her freedom as well as control of a multimillion-dollar estate.
The decision, greeted to loud cheers and showers of pink confetti by Spears fans outside the downtown courthouse, ends a conservatorship long overseen by her father, and which the “Toxic” singer described as abusive.
“Best day of my life…praise the Lord…may I get an Amen,” Spears wrote on Instagram, using the hashtag “#FreedBritney.”
The official end of the conservatorship comes after the Princess of Pop’s father, Jamie Spears, was stripped as her finance and estate manager at a hearing in September.
Both sides reiterated their support for the speedy end of the conservatorship at the start of Friday’s brief hearing.
“Effective today…the guardianship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is terminated. And that is the order of the court,” Judge Brenda Penny said.
Friday’s hearing capped a years-long campaign by Spears and her legion of global fans to end a conservatorship that began after her very public 2007 breakdown, when the star attacked a paparazzo’s car in A gas station.
Judge Penny granted Spears’ request to end the arrangement without the need for a mental evaluation – on the grounds that “it was a voluntary conservatorship” and that “all parties agree “.
“The court finds and determines that guardianship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is no longer necessary,” she ruled.
Fans outside the courthouse who had campaigned for an end to conservatorship for years could hardly contain their joy and relief.
“She thought no one would believe her…she’s just a perfectly capable human being,” said Danielle Kushner, 30.
“We all feel like she’s our friend, we wanted to talk to her but we couldn’t talk to her!”
Spears, who spoke publicly by phone in court this summer, had said through her attorneys that her father was “never fit to serve.”
She cited in a petition allegations of her “reported alcoholism” and “the trauma it has caused her daughter since childhood.”
As momentum built, Spears said in a September filing that she wanted to end the conservatorship as soon as possible so she could marry fiancé Sam Asghari on a prenuptial agreement.
Spears, who has two children with her former husband, rapper Kevin Federline, has previously alleged in court that her father stopped her from having an IUD removed when she wanted more children. Jamie Spears has denied the allegation.
In dissolving the conservatorship, Judge Penny accepted a caveat that John Zabel – the accountant chosen by Spears’ lawyers to replace her father – is granted additional powers by the court to manage his estate on his behalf.
Spears’ estate is estimated at $60 million, according to US media.
Professional curator Jodie Montgomery has been found not responsible for decisions regarding Spears’ person, although her attorney told the judge she would continue to “be there” for “anything Miss Spears needs”.
Spears did not address the court on Friday by phone as she did earlier this summer, although her mother and father both logged on.
Fans held a “job severance rally” on Friday, followed by a “freedom party” across the city of West Hollywood.
“I’m so happy, I’m ecstatic. It’s magical, exciting…she’s been in this horrible situation for so many years,” said Spears fan Neal Wolf, 32.
“It’s just like ‘Finally!’ We’ve been fighting for so long.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)