Paris Hilton and Dionne Warwick are among the famous faces to speak out in support of Britney Spears, after the singer's father reportedly agreed to step aside from the controversial conservatorship that has controlled her life and finances for 13 years.
According to Britney's lawyer, Jamie Spears on Thursday agreed to distance himself from the conservatorship after months of public and legal wrangling by his daughter to remove him from having control over her finances.
Britney's father “intends to work with the court and his daughter’s new attorney to prepare for an orderly transition to a new conservator”, a court filing stated, reported website TMZ.
The singer's lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, said that the development was "vindication for Britney".
"We are pleased that Mr Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed," said Rosengart, who replaced Britney's long-time attorney last month, after a judge ruled she could appoint her own lawyer to help end the guardianship.
"We are disappointed, however, by their ongoing shameful and reprehensible attacks on Ms Spears and others," Rosengart told entertainment website Deadline. "I look forward to taking Mr Spears’s sworn deposition in the near future.
"In the interim, rather than making false accusations and taking cheap shots at his own daughter, Mr Spears should remain silent and step aside immediately.”
Jamie's resignation comes just days after he said in a court filing there were “no grounds whatsoever” for removing him from the conservatorship. It also follows a ruling by a Los Angeles judge, overseeing the star’s conservatorship case, last week, that denied an emergency request by Rosengart to bring the case forward from a September 29 hearing.
Celebrity fans back Britney Spears
Following news of Jamie's removal, a number of famous faces spoke out in support of Britney, 39.
I Say a Little Prayer singer Warwick tweeted: “It’s wonderful so many have supported Britney! I’ve just heard the news! Wonderful things can happen when we stand together.”
Reality TV star and socialite Hilton tweeted: “I’m so happy to hear this news. It’s been so long overdue but I’m so glad that Britney is on her way to finally being free. Sending so much love!”
"I couldn't be happier for her if I was twins," said Believe singer Cher.
British pop star Ann Marie wrote on social media: “Wow. It actually happened. I’m so happy for you. We love you Britney Spears." She also said: “I honestly can’t believe what Britney has been going through."
Fans of the #FreeBritney movement also celebrated on social media, with the hashtag #BritneyFree trending on Twitter on Friday.
Britney Spears yet to make personal statement
The star, who has become increasingly vocal on social media regarding issues surrounding her conservatorship, has not yet released a public statement.
However, following news of her father stepping down, Britney posted an illustration on Instagram that showed a girl with flowers in her hair and a butterfly, long a symbol for transformation, hope and rebirth, on her shoulder.
The singer also on Thursday posted a video of herself dancing in Hawaii.
Captioning the post, the singer wrote: “You can see the last dance in red top I’m very hesitant when dancing, but letting go is freedom! I’m not sure exactly why I’m being so cautious ... it might be my left foot that was broken talking to me! You can tell when I turn but hopefully I will let go thoroughly and follow through."
What happens to the conservatorship now?
While Jamie has agreed to step down as her co-conservator, court-appointed professional Jodi Montgomery, who oversees Britney's life decisions, still remains in place.
No time frame has yet been given regarding when Jamie will formally step aside from controlling his daughter's financial matters.
Court documents state that he will do so “when the time is right” but also stressed “the transition needs to be orderly”.
The document, according to Associated Press, asks that “all interested parties meet and confer in order to resolve those pending matters in the best interests of Ms Spears".
"When these matters are resolved, Mr Spears will be in a position to step aside. But there are no urgent circumstances justifying Mr Spears’s immediate suspension."
Britney's ongoing court battle
The Toxic singer in July launched a legal bid to remove her father from a guardianship in which he controls her finances and replace him with an independent accountant.
Her father's voluntary removal follows an explosive testimony delivered by Britney to a Los Angeles court in in June, during which she called the conservatorship "cruelty" and "abuse".
The singer alleged that as part of the guardianship, she was prevented from having a contraceptive IUD removed and forcefully put on medication.
“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” Britney said at the time. “I deserve to have a life.”
Britney was placed under a unique legal guardianship largely governed by her father in 2008, after she suffered a highly public 2007 breakdown. Jamie stepped down as the so-called conservator of her person in 2019, but continued to maintain control of her finances.
A previous petition to remove Jamie from his role was last year rejected by a judge.
- Additional reporting by AFP and Reuters