- BBC News World
Britney Spears stepped forward on her way to free herself from what she calls a “bondage” situation.
The Superior Court of Los Angeles allowed the American singer to choose her own lawyer, a substantial change in the legal guardianship that has controlled her life for more than 13 years and which the singer wants to end.
The resolution came on Wednesday, the day the pop star addressed a court for the second time in less than a month.
From now on, Spears will be represented by Mathew Rosengart, a lawyer who has handled cases of celebrities such as Sean Penn or Steven Spielberg and whose first objective will be to remove Jamie Spears, father of the artist, from guardianship.
The fact that the artist can hire her own representative casts doubt on the validity of her own legal guardianship, a mechanism reserved for severely disabled people who are supposed to be unable to take care of themselves.
Spears went further and announced that wants to sue his father for “abuse”.
What happened this wednesday
Last month, the singer made a dramatic plea to end the agreement that has been in place since 2008.
This Wednesday, in a new hearing, Spears repeated her request in an emotional statement in which she asked that charges be brought against her father for “abuse.”
“I am here to press charges. I am angry and I will resort to that,” the singer said, addressing the remote court through a lawyer’s phone.
“You are allowing my father to ruin my life. I have to get rid of him and accuse him of abuse.”
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the door of the Los Angeles courts to demand the freedom of the artist, whose case has been around the world after her statement on June 23 in which she assured that she is not happy and that she lives in a regime of “slavery”.
The singer insisted on Wednesday that her priority is to remove her father from the guardianship that governs his personal and financial affairs.
Spears said in her words to the judge that she does not want to undergo a “stupid” medical evaluation and that she is fine with co-tutor Jodi Montgomery remaining in her position.
“I just want you to understand how much time has been taken from me by forcing me to do these psychological tests that do not yield any results.”
And he added that he has “serious abandonment problems” by your father.
Through tears, Spears told the court that, under guardianship, her coffee and hair vitamins were confiscated.
“Ma’am, that’s not abuse, that’s [palabra ofensiva] cruelty, “he emphasized.” Sorry for my words, but it’s the truth. “
The singer also said that she is “extremely scared” of her father, who is a recovering alcoholic, and that she was afraid he would show up “drunk anywhere” and embarrass her.
The controversial guardianship
Spears, 39, has been under her father’s legal guardianship since 2008, when concerns about her mental health led her father to ask the court for legal guardianship over his daughter’s life.
Last month, a judge rejected the pop star’s request to remove her father from guardianship.
Judge Brenda Penny said at the time that she could not adopt a resolution until the singer filed a formal petition to end the agreement.
Wednesday’s ruling paves the way for Spears’ new attorney, Rosengart, to take on the complex legal battle.
Rosengart will replace Samuel Ingham, the court-appointed attorney who represented Spears from 2008 until he withdrew from the case last week.
According to an exclusive from the newspaper The New York Times, this lawyer would have earned more than US $ 3 million since 2008 and sources close to the case have denounced that Ingham has been more faithful to the interests of the father than of the singer herself.
Last week, Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, requested that her daughter be able to choose a lawyer: “Now, and in recent years, the ward is capable of taking care of himself and, in fact, within the parameters from guardianship, he has made literally millions of dollars as an international celebrity, “he argued.
Speaking outside court, Spears’ new attorney said: “Jamie Spears should be removed as guardian because it is in the best interest of the ward.”
“We will move quickly and aggressively to have it removed,” he added. “The question remains why he is involved. He should voluntarily withdraw.”
Rosengart praised Spears’ “courage, passion and humanity” and called her testimony “clear, lucid, powerful and compelling.”
What the father’s lawyers say
Jamie Spears is currently the sole person in charge of his daughter’s estate valued at $ 60 million.
But his lawyers deny that he is responsible for the seemingly imposed restrictions on his daughter’s private life.
The singer, a mother of two, indicated in the hearing last month that she wants to marry her boyfriend and have another child, but that the guardianship does not allow it.
She claimed that she was not allowed to have an intrauterine device (IUD) removed to ensure that she does not become pregnant.
While her father has overseen her estate for 13 years, her legal team says he has not been in charge of the artist’s personal affairs since September 2013, when she left that role due to illness.
He was temporarily replaced by Montgomery, the singer’s co-tutor and caregiver.
The father’s lawyers say the man is “concerned” for his daughter’s well-being and requested that an investigation be opened to establish the veracity of Spears’ testimony.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Download our app and activate them so you don’t miss out on our best content.