The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Britney Spears’s father files to end her 13-year conservatorship

A fan waves a “Free Britney” flag in Los Angeles outside a court hearing on the pop singer's conservatorship in June 2021. (Chris Pizzello/AP)

A previous version of this article misspelled Mathew Rosengart's first name and incorrectly stated that he is currently a federal prosecutor. He is a former federal prosecutor. The article has been corrected.

Britney Spears’s father filed a petition Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court to end the conservatorship controlling his daughter’s life and finances. The news arrives nearly a month after Jamie Spears agreed to vacate his role of 13 years as the pop star’s conservator.

The filing marks a major development in court proceedings over the conservatorship, a legal structure that exists to protect the financial and personal interests of elderly and seriously ill people. Britney Spears’s conservatorship was established in 2008 as she publicly struggled with her mental health in the face of intense, unrelenting scrutiny from the news media and paparazzi.

Jamie Spears’s petition must be approved by Judge Brenda Penny before it goes into effect. At the next hearing, scheduled for Sept. 29, Penny was set to hear a petition from Britney Spears’s counsel that would also have advocated to remove Jamie Spears from the conservator position.

Mathew Rosengart, the former federal prosecutor representing Britney Spears, wrote in an email sent Wednesday to The Washington Post that the petition “represents a massive legal victory for Britney Spears, as well as vindication.” Vivian Thoreen, Jamie Spears’s attorney, didn’t respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Fans have long questioned the conservatorship arrangement, especially as Britney Spears returned to the studio, continued to tour and eventually launched a residency in Las Vegas. Her supporters began the #FreeBritney movement, which took on new life in 2019 when a fan podcast asserted Spears was being held against her will at a mental health facility after the Vegas residency ended.

What to know about Britney Spears’s court battle over her conservatorship

The petition filed Tuesday references the “impassioned plea” Britney Spears made in June to end the conservatorship she described as “embarrassing.” It also noted that she said she was not aware she could file to end the arrangement and claimed that Penny’s allowing Spears to choose Rosengart as her lawyer exhibited the court’s faith in her ability to make decisions for herself.

“As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the filing states. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.”

Although Jamie Spears has repeatedly claimed he acted in his daughter’s interest, he has continued to attract the ire of fans and Britney Spears alike. At a hearing in July, Spears said that she was “extremely scared” of her father, and that she wanted to “charge him with conservatorship abuse.”

Rosengart previously filed a petition to remove Jamie Spears from his position and told The Post last month that “we look forward to continuing our vigorous investigation into the conduct of Mr. Spears, and others, over the past 13 years, while he reaped millions of dollars from his daughter’s estate.”

In his Wednesday email, Rosengart wrote, “To the extent Mr. Spears believes he can try to avoid accountability and justice, including sitting for a sworn deposition and answering other discovery under oath, he is incorrect and our investigation into financial mismanagement and other issues will continue."

Ashley Fetters and Emily Yahr contributed to this report.

This post has been updated.

Read more:

Jamie Spears agrees to step down as her conservator

Britney Spears and the trauma of being young, female and famous in the ’90s

Justin Timberlake, Perez Hilton and Us Weekly showed support for Britney Spears. But some fans will not forget the past.