Britney Spears has been given permission to choose a new attorney to represent her in her ongoing conservatorship battle.
It is the first time the pop star has been allowed a say in her own legal representation since 2008.
Spears’ court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, formally requested to step down in a court filing last week but the decision required approval from a California judge.
That ruling came on Wednesday (14 July), as Judge Brenda Penny accepted Ingham’s resignation and approved Spears’ choice of replacement attorney: Hollywood lawyer Mathew Rosengart.
Mr Rosengart is a veteran lawyer who is a partner at the law firm Greenberg Traurig and has represented the likes of Sean Penn, Steven Spielberg, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Keanu Reeves and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder in the past. He appeared at the hearing in person to begin the formal process of taking over as Spears’ legal counsel.
In his first public statement outside the courthouse, Rosengart called on Spears’ father Jamie to step down as her conservator.
“Jamie Spears should be removed as conservator because it is in [the] best interest of the conservatee,” said Rosengart. “We will be moving promptly and aggressively for his removal. The question remains, why is he involved? He should step down voluntarily because that’s what’s in the best interest of the conservatee.”
Rosengart went on to praise Spears’ “courage, passion, and humanity” for speaking out in court, and called her testimony “clear, lucid, powerful, and compelling.”
He added: “My firm and I will be taking a top to bottom look at what’s happened over the past decade.”
An emotional Spears spoke to the Los Angeles judge about her case during the hearing. When speaking, Spears asked for her estranged father, Jamie Spears, to be charged for conservatorship abuse, according to reports.
“I would like to charge my father with conservatorship abuse,” said Spears, speaking to the court by phone,
“I want to press charges against my father today,” she added. “I want an investigation into my dad.”
US Rep Matt Gaetz appeared with Spears supporters outside the courtroom on Wednesday, saying of Jamie Spears: “He should not be making any more decisions regarding his daughter, she is nearly 40 years old.”
Earlier this month, Mr Gaetz and several other House Republicans wrote to Spears asking her to testify before Congress following her rare public remarks condemning her father’s legal mechanism that has governed her life for more than a decade.