Britney Spears to directly address court on her conservatorship
Judge schedules court date for June 23
Pop star Britney Spears will personally address the Los Angeles court dealing with her long-running conservatorship in June, a judge agreed on Tuesday.
Spears, 39, has been under a conservatorship since 2008, but rarely takes part in court hearings and has not publicly commented on the legal arrangement where a court-appointed adviser controls her personal and financial affairs, including her medical treatment, security and career.
"My client has requested a hearing at which she can address the court directly," the singer's lawyer, Samuel Ingham III, told the court on Tuesday. "My client has asked that it be done on an expedited basis."
Ingham did not say what specifically Spears would like to say, though it will be the first known time in more than two years that she has spoken in court.
The last time, on May 10th, 2019, the courtroom was sealed. None of what she said became public.
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The judge set a June 23 hearing for Spears to speak to the court.
The singer's father, Jamie Spears, was appointed his daughter's conservator in 2008 after the pop star was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment following a widely publicized breakdown.
Spears, through Ingham, has been pushing for more transparency in the court proceedings and documents of the conservatorship.
A previous bid to remove him failed in August 2020, when she filed papers asking that he not return to the role of conservator of her person, which gave him power over her major life decisions from 2008 until 2019.
He had then temporarily stepped aside, citing health problems, but kept his separate role as conservator over his daughter's finances.
"Britney is strongly opposed to James return as conservator of her person," the document said.
A hearing on Tuesday, on a new request to replace him with someone else, was postponed until July without discussion.
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Vivian Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears, said in interviews last month that the pop star had never requested the termination of the legal arrangement.
Spears has not performed in public since October 2018, though she frequently posts photos and videos of herself dancing at her Los Angeles area home. In 2019, she pulled out of a Las Vegas concert residency and briefly entered a mental health facility.
#FreeBritney supporters, who rallied outside the courthouse on Tuesday, believe Spears is being kept prisoner and she is sending cryptic signals begging to be freed through her social media accounts.
Spears herself has said in court documents and on social media that she welcomes the support, and the scrutiny of her circumstances, from fans.
Loud cheers rang out as some 30 supporters heard the news about her upcoming appearance. One fan had shaved her head in solidarity with Spears, who shocked fans when she took pictures of herself doing the same in 2007 at the height of her health breakdown.
"This is the first time in 13 years we're getting any sort of word from Britney about her conservatorship and it's the biggest deal to me. My life is Free Britney and it just changed," said supporter Jake Yonce, outside the court.
With files from The Associated Press