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Britney Spears cartwheels as she celebrates court victory
15 July 2021, 06:14 | Updated: 15 July 2021, 06:17
Britney Spears celebrated with cartwheels after a judge appointed her preferred lawyer in the conservatorship case that controls much of her life and career.
Britney told a court in Los Angeles she wants her father charged with conservatorship abuse.
She addressed the court for the second time in less than a month and delivered more bombshell testimony as high powered Hollywood lawyer Mathew S Rosengart was appointed to represent her.
Speaking to the room over the phone, Britney listed a series of grievances against the conservatorship, alleging her hair vitamins and coffee had been taken from her.
Coming along, folks ... coming along 🖕🏻!!!!! 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 !!!!! pic.twitter.com/27yexZ5O8J— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) July 15, 2021
"Ma'am, that's not abuse, that's just f****** cruelty," a tearful Spears told Judge Brenda Penny. "Excuse my language but it's the truth."
Spears, who took a short break to compose herself, demanded her father be removed from the conservatorship and be charged with "conservatorship abuse".
The singer said she wanted the complex legal arrangement overseeing her life and career terminated without the need for a medical assessment, but indicated her top priority was ousting her father Jamie from his role while allowing co-conservator Jodi Montgomery to remain.
She said: "My dad needs to be removed today and I will be happy with Jodi helping me."
The hearing took place inside a packed court in downtown Los Angeles, with around 60 masked journalists and fans in attendance.
He told the court his law firm was more than capable of handling a complex case and the judge approved his appointment.
His arrival is expected to signal a more aggressive approach to ending the conservatorship.
The arrangement has been in place since 2008, after mother-of-two Spears suffered a series of mental breakdowns.
Jamie oversees her estate while Montgomery is in charge of her person.
On Wednesday, Spears initially told the judge she wanted the courtroom cleared before she spoke but changed her mind and said she would speak publicly.
Samuel Ingham, her court-appointed lawyer who had been in the post since the conservatorship started but who resigned following her June 23 testimony, interrupted the court to say she was texting him.
The singer wanted to address the court again, he said.
The judge officially accepted Mr Ingham's resignation before inviting Spears to speak.
"I am here now today your honour to show you who I want as my lawyer and to remove my dad," she said.
Spears reiterated her statement from last month when repeating her desire to not have to undergo further medical assessment in order for the conservatorship to be terminated.
She said: "I just want you to understand how much of my time they have taken by forcing me to do these psych tests and nothing comes of it."
Spears was highly critical of her father and said she has "extreme abandonment issues".
Apparently recalling her childhood, she said she was "extremely scared of my dad" and feared he was always going to "show up drunk somewhere and embarrass me".
Jamie, 69, is a recovering alcoholic.
The judge asked Spears to slow down so the court reporter could take down her testimony.
Spears said: "I'm here to press charges. I'm angry and I will go there."
Finishing her speech, which she said she had written down, the singer said: "I want him (her father) removed and I want a court-appointed lawyer and I want investigations."
She added: "And I think that's it."
The judge thanked Spears for her testimony.
Before Spears addressed the court, Mr Rosengart argued she should be allowed to choose her own lawyer.
"Ms Spears does absolutely have a constitutional right to select her own attorney," he said, citing the fifth and sixth amendments of the US Constitution, which lay out a person's right to a fair trial.
He said Spears's "powerful, compelling, honest" testimony from last month proves she is "more than capable of hiring her own counsel".
Vivian Thoreen, Jamie's lawyer, said she had no issue with Spears choosing her own legal representation.
Outside Los Angeles Superior Court, fans of Spears marched through the streets chanting their support.
The courtroom could not accommodate all those who wanted a seat and there was a line of fans in the corridor during the hearing.
During the hearing, Judge Penny also accepted the resignation of Bessemer Trust, the financial management firm brought in to help oversee the estate.
It said it wanted to step down after Spears made it clear last month she wanted the conservatorship ended.
Hours after addressing the court, Spears thanked her fans and said "I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED !!!!".
Alongside a video of her riding a horse and doing cartwheels, she wrote: "Coming along, folks ... coming along !!!!! 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 !!!!! Pssss this is me celebrating by horseback riding and doing cartwheels today !!!!"
She added the hashtag #FreeBritney.