Britney Spears may hire her own lawyer, the judge who oversees the singer’s custody ruled on Wednesday.
The news comes three weeks after Spears denounced the conservatorship that controlled her finances and private life for a long time.
Wednesday’s court hearing dealt with the dismissal of Spear’s court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, who has been handling the celebrity’s case since 2008. Los Angeles County Supreme Court Justice Brenda Penny approved the departure of Ingham and Spear’s chosen replacement Mathew Rosengart.
Rosengart is a prominent Hollywood attorney and former federal prosecutor. He is expected to be more aggressive in pushing for Spear’s 13-year conservatory to end.
Loeb & Loeb, a law firm that Ingham had recently engaged to assist him, also filed a letter of resignation that was accepted by the judge.
Last month, Spears asked the court to choose her own legal counsel, alleging she had not been notified of her right to terminate her guardianship by Ingham. The pop star said she wants to end custody and regain her independence, including control over her medical care.
In an effort to remove custody, Spears has filed claims of abuse against her father James Spears, alleging that he used the settlement for personal gain. James Spears has publicly denied these allegations.
When James Spears developed health problems in 2019, Jodi Montgomery, a licensed private fiduciary, was appointed to a temporary role within the conservatory. Montgomery is reportedly on board with Spears’ desire to lift custody and is loved by the singer.
Last year, Spears began the process to remove her father from her custody, but her request was denied by the court. Instead, Bessemer Trust, a financial and asset management group, was added as co-conservator.
The Bessemer Trust has since requested to resign from the position, saying it was unaware that Spears wanted to end the conservatory and that it no longer wanted to be involved.
Court records currently estimate Spears’ fortune at about $50 million. Her father and his lawyers suggest that that money remains vulnerable to fraud and manipulation. Spears and her new lawyer will have to prove in court that she has the authority to be released and make her own financial decisions.