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Britney Spears herself has apparently joined the choir of people chanting #FreeBritney following a judge’s decision to allow her to choose her own lawyer.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny approved Spears’ request to hire former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart as her new attorney during a Wednesday afternoon hearing. In turn, Rosengart immediately called on Spears’ father Jamie Spears to resign as one of her conservators.
Penny's decision for Spears to choose her own lawyer was a victorious moment for Britney as last month she expressed frustration that she hasn’t been allowed to choose her own representation. Britney’s former court-appointed attorney Samuel D. Ingham III stepped down as a result.
Shortly after Wednesday's hearing, the 39-year-old pop icon took to Instagram to celebrate. She shared a post featuring clips of herself doing cartwheels on green grass and riding a horse to the tune of KT Tunstall’s song “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.”
"Coming along, folks ... coming along," she wrote, alongside a middle finger emoji. "New with real representation today ... I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED !!!! Thank you to my fans who are supporting me ... You have no idea what it means to me be supported by such awesome fans !!!! God bless you all !!!!!”
She concluded the post by exclaiming "#FreeBritney," invoking the phrase her supporters have used as they push for an end to her conservatorship. While the movement began in 2009, it really picked up speed in 2019 when her tone on Instagram seemingly changed, Vanity Fair reported that year. The perceived change led some of her fans to believe that handlers had taken control of her social media. Later, many of those fans believed that Britney was trying to express that she wanted out of her conservatorship through coded language on her Instagram, US Magazine reported in 2021. For a while, the movement was regarded by some as a group of conspiracy theorists but they became more widely respected following the 2021 New York Times documentary “Framing Britney.” The movement was further validated when Britney addressed the conservatorship for the first time publicly in court late last month, calling it “abusive” and “controlling."
The conservatorship, largely maintained by her father Jamie Spears, was instituted by a court in 2008 not long after Spears endured what appeared to be a mental health crisis that played out in the tabloids. But the father-daughter relationship has evidently deteriorated over the years.
“My dad needs to be removed today,” Britney herself said via phone in court on Wednesday, adding that she would like to see him charged with conservatorship abuse.
Through his attorney Vivan Thoreen, Jamie Spears said he would not be stepping down. Thoreen claimed that the “Overprotected” singer had many inaccurate beliefs, including that “her father is responsible for all the bad things that have happened to her.”
Fans from the #FreeBritney movement who were protesting outside the courthouse on Wednesday cheered the decision to appoint Rosengart. They cheered Rosengart himself when he walked out.
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