Britney Spears could soon be freed from the conservatorship that has controlled her life and career for 13 years.
A judge in Los Angeles will need to approve the termination of the complex legal agreement after the superstar’s father filed to have it brought to an end.
If Spears is deemed capable of looking after herself without interference from the court, it would mark the end of an infamous chapter in the history of pop music.
Here is a timeline of events:
October 2004: Spears, one of the world’s biggest pop stars, marries backing dancer Kevin Federline.
September 2005: Spears becomes a mother in welcoming her first child, Sean. A year later she gives birth to her second son, Jayden.
November 2006: Spears files for divorce from Federline.
October 2007: Federline is granted custody of the former couple’s children.
January 2008: Spears refuses to hand over her children – one-year-old Jayden and two-year-old Sean – to Federline and the police are called. The pop star is placed under a “5150” psychiatric hold and taken to hospital.
February 2008: A judge in Los Angeles grants Jamie Spears a “temporary conservatorship”, placing him in charge of her life and finances. Lawyer Andrew Wallet is named co-conservator of the estate.
September 2008: After securing visitation rights to her sons months previously, Spears opens the MTV Video Music Awards with a comedy sketch alongside Jonah Hill. She also wins three awards – including video of the year for Piece Of Me.
October 2008: A judge in Los Angeles extends Spears’s conservatorship indefinitely.
November 2008: Despite health and legal problems, the singer releases Circus, her well-received sixth studio album. The month also brought the release of For The Record, a documentary about her struggles.
March 2009: Against the backdrop of the conservatorship, Spears embarks on the Circus world tour, which proves hugely lucrative.
March 2011: Spears releases her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale. It tops charts around the world.
December 2013: The singer launches a Las Vegas residency to promote her eighth album, Britney Jean. The show proves so successful it is extended beyond its initial two-year run and lasts until December 2017.
August 2016: Spears releases her ninth studio album, Glory. It remains her most recent record.
October 2018: Spears performs at the 2018 United States Grand Prix, which remains her most recent live appearance.
January 2019: The pop star announces an “indefinite work hiatus” and the cancellation of another Las Vegas residency after Jamie suffers a near-fatal colon rupture.
April 2019: Spears shares a message on Instagram, telling fans “all is well” and promising to be back “very soon”.
May 2019: Spears appears in a cleared court and addresses the judge overseeing her conservatorship. The judge orders an expert evaluation.
September 2019: Jamie temporarily steps down from his role as conservator of his daughter’s personal affairs citing health reasons. The singer’s care-giver, Jodi Montgomery, is named his replacement.
August 2020: Jamie describes the #FreeBritney movement – a group of fans calling for the singer to be freed from the conservatorship – as being filled with conspiracy theorists.
August 2020: Spears’s lawyer says she does not want her father to return as conservator of her personal affairs after he temporarily stepped down due to his health issues. He keeps his separate role overseeing his daughter’s finances.
November 2020: A court hears Spears is “afraid” of her father and will not perform again while he is the conservator of her estate. During the hearing a judge makes Bessemer Trust co-conservator but does not suspend Jamie from his role.
December 2020: Spears’s conservatorship is extended until September 2021.
February 2021: The star’s life and career come under renewed scrutiny following the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears, which examines her treatment at the hands of the media. Spears later says the documentary left her “embarrassed”.
March 2021: Spears asks for Montgomery to be permanently appointed conservator of her person.
April 2021: Spears’s lawyer tells the court the singer wants to address the judge directly and a hearing is set for June 23.
June 2021: The superstar stuns the world with bombshell testimony in Los Angeles, describing the conservatorship as abusive and alleging it prevents her from having more children or getting married.
June 2021: Celebrities join a huge outpouring of support for Spears, with stars including Mariah Carey, Halsey and Khloe Kardashian sharing their backing for the singer.
July 2021: Spurred by Spears’s dramatic courtroom testimony, the financial management firm appointed to work with her father pulls out of the conservatorship, her long-time manager resigns and her court-appointed lawyer signals his intent to step down.
July 2021: Spears again addresses the court in Los Angeles, delivering more emotional testimony and demanding her father be charged with conservator abuse. At the same hearing Mathew S Rosengart is appointed her new lawyer and announces he will take a more aggressive approach to ending the conservatorship.
August 2021: Amid mounting pressure to step aside, Jamie’s lawyers insist there are no grounds for his dismissal. However, a week later, he agrees to his removal, though no timeline is set.
August 2021: Mr Rosengart cranks up the pressure on Jamie and accuses him of trying to “extort” his daughter, alleging he is requesting millions of dollars in payments before stepping down.
September 2021: In a stunning move, Jamie petitions the court to terminate the conservatorship. He said “recent events” had raised questions over whether it was still necessary and said his daughter had shown signs she could look after herself. A hearing in the case is set for September 29.