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Will Britney Spears Be Free of Her Conservatorship Today?

The power to release Britney Spears from her controlling conservatorship lays in the hands of Judge Brenda Penny.

By Gina Tron
Britney Spears G

It is possible that Britney Spears’ conservatorship could be ended as early as Friday.

However, the final decision maker in ending the arrangement rests in the hands of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny, who will preside over the Friday afternoon hearing. Penny has presided over the case in recent years and was the overseeing judge when Spears, 39, first spoke out publicly against her conservatorship in June.  

While the “I’m a Slave 4 U” singer had remained tight-lipped about the arrangement since it was installed in 2008, she has long been fighting it behind closed doors. In June, though, she went public and made it clear to Penny that she found the conservatorship “abusive” and wanted out.

For Penny to give Britney what she wants, the New York Times has theorized that the judge will have to consider whether or not the star has “regained capacity.” That is typically what determines such a decision in conservatorship cases, and often psychological assessments to determine cognitive ability and decision making are involved.

Conservatorships are typically employed for people who are deemed unable to make key decisions for themselves, yet the fact that Britney has never really stopped working, including headlining an enormously successful multi-year Las Vegas residency, makes her conservatorship unusual. She has raked in millions of dollars, all while her conservators and some relatives have claimed she is unable to take care of her own basic needs.

“This week is gonna be very interesting for me!!!” Spears posted on her Instagram on Monday along with a giggling emoji. She has also recently been vocal about her anger toward her family in social media posts.

In late September, Penny suspended her dad Jamie Spears, 69, as his daughter’s conservator of estate. Before 2019, Jamie was also Britney’s conservator of person.

Jamie has recently done an about-face on the arrangement, going from maintaining the conservatorship is absolutely necessary to his new stance that it needs to be ended quickly and quietly. His legal team recently requested the arrangement be terminated immediately, ahead of the Friday hearing. Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart has expressed suspicion regarding Jamie’s flip as he argued in court in September that Jamie's desire to terminate the arrangement is motivated by a desire to dodge any accountability for any alleged mishandling or abuse. Penny approved Rosengart’s request for court review and termination of the conservatorship within 30 to 45 days that month. Rosengart then transferred the conservator of estate role from Jamie to a temporary conservatorship to allow Rosengart to investigate Jamie's behavior during his 13 years of involvement in the conservatorship. In the weeks leading up to the hearing on Friday, Rosengart has requested Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group — which was run by Britney’s former manager Lou Taylor — provide all communications and documents of agreements between Jamie and the company.

The New York Times notes that likely, any possible investigation into Tri Star or Jamie may be deferred to later hearings. A hearing regarding financial and accounting matters related to the conservatorship has been scheduled for Dec. 8.

Britney Spears

Britney was spotted wearing a shirt that reads #FreeBritney" on her boyfriend's Instagram on Thursday. The shirt also states, "it's a human rights movement." Since 2009, a cluster of Britney’s fans began vocally opposing her conservatorship with the "#FreeBritney" movement, fearing that she was being exploited and controlled. The group was often portrayed as conspiracy theorists, fixating on social media posts from Spears' accounts they thought were coded attempts to communicate her desire to get out from under the conservatorship arrangement. This year, Britney publicly embraced the movement.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1.30 p.m. PT at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles. 

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