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For the first time in more than 13 years, pop icon Britney Spears is finally legally allowed to manage her own finances.
The decision was made on Wednesday by Judge Brenda Penny after Spears’ attorney Mathew Rosengart told her that his client is “an independent woman” who is “not under conservatorship,” Variety reports. He said that Spears, who just turned 40, should be able to sign financial documents all on her own and Penny agreed.
Spears’ conservatorship was dissipated last month by Penny, who ruled that it was no longer necessary. The decision came after months of intense criticism of the conservatorship by Spears and her supporters.
While the conservatorship was fully terminated, accountant John Zabel had been given power of execution of the estate trust. This limited control will continue until Jan. 19, when a hearing to address accounting matters is scheduled, Variety reports.
Spears’ father and former conservator of estate appeared at Wednesday’s hearing by phone. His attorney Alex Weingarten, who was present in the courtroom, asked for access to Zabel’s estate plan and reportedly said, “I propose that we behave like grown-ups.”
Through his attorney, Zabel objected to this motion that would allow the pop star's father access to her financial situation, saying, “In a normal situation, a normal person would never have to show their estate plan” to family, according to Page Six.
Outside of the courtroom, Rosengart told reporters that Jamie has yet to turn over requested documents that he feels would “shed light in regard to his abuses and the alleged conduct.”
He said he will seek to question him under oath if that does not happen.
"I look forward to taking his deposition," he said.
At a pivotal June hearing, Britney broke her silence over her conservatorship, telling Penny she found it "abusive." She explained that, at one point during the 13-years arrangement, she had been placed in a psychiatric hold against her will. She also alleged that she was forced to perform at times while ill, as well as to take lithium, and was told that she could not get her IUD removed.
Earlier this year, Rosengart requested Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group — which was run by Spears’ former manager Lou Taylor — provide all communications and documents of agreements between Jamie Spears and the company. The company managed Britney from 2009 until last year. Among some of the more alarming allegations that Rosengart said he’d look into is the claim that Jamie secretly bugged Britney’s bedroom.
In court on Wednesday, Rosengart pondered aloud whether TriStar has “dissipated assets” from Spears’ estate, according to Variety. He also told reporters outside of the courtroom that “TriStar filed a motion to quash subpoenas that were served on TriStar,” and noted that the court will address that issue in January.
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