Daddy Issues

Britney Spears just bested her dad in court, moving one step closer to freedom

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Embattled pop star Britney Spears scored a significant court victory this week, as a judge in Los Angeles denied her father’s plea to block changes to her conservatorship.

Jamie Spears, the father of the 39-year-old singer, had presided over his daughter’s estate since 2008. At the time, Britney experienced a mental breakdown, and the court ordered her into the temporary care of her father. 12 years later, the conservatorship persists, despite Britney’s assertion that her father uses her and her estate as little more than a cash generator. Last year Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny had appointed the financial institution Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator for Britney, denying the pop star’s request for an end to the conservatorship.

Now NBC reports that Judge Penny has sided with Britney once again, denying Jamie Spears’ demands that he maintain sole investment power over Britney and her estate. The court instead ruled that Jamie Spears must work with Bessemer Trust in order to create a budget and investment proposals over Britney’s estate.

Related: Lance Bass hints there’s more to the #FreeBritney situation than you realize

Following the hearing, Vivian Thoreen, the lawyer for Jamie Spears, issued a statement expressing frustration but accepting the ruling.

“My client looks forward to working with Bessemer to continue an investment strategy in the best interests of his daughter,” Thoreen said. “My client Jamie Spears has diligently and professionally carried out his duties as one of Britney’s conservators, and his love for his daughter and dedication to protecting her is clearly apparent to the court.”

The adjustment to Spears’ conservatorship comes amid renewed scrutiny surrounding the singer. The #FreeBritney movement–a campaign orchestrated by fans–has drawn increasing criticism of the conservatorship, alleging that Spears is, in essence, a prisoner of her father. Last week, the New York Times-produced documentary Framing Britney Spears premiered, investigating the troubled history of the singer, her mental state, and Jamie Spears’ role in the conservatorship. Numerous celebrities have come to Spears’ defense, including Rose McGowan, Bette Midler and Cher.