To nearly the entire Internet, Britney Spears is a brave and fierce woman who deserves to make her own decisions about every aspect of her life.
To one Los Angeles Superior Court judge in particular, however?
Britney Spears remains an unstable and unreliable individual who must remain under the near total and complete control of her seemingly awful father.
On Wednesday evening, this judge denied the singer's request to have Jamie Spears dropped as her co-conservator, a position he has held since his daughter's very public and tragic meltdown in 2008.
We all witnessed Britney lose it on a photographer way back then.
We all saw how she was checked into the hospital under a mental health watch.
And we all understood at the time that the global superstar, who had been in the spotlight since she was a young teenager, likely did need assistance with her career and her finances.
But that was 13 years ago.
Spears is now a 39-year old mother of two in a long-term, steady relationship.
She has come an extremely long way from her aforementioned low point -- and she issued a lengthy statement at a virtual court hearing late last month to demonstrate the unfair, inappropriate and painful toll that this conservatorship continues to take on her.
"I'm traumatized. I’m not happy," Britney said at the time. "I can’t sleep, I’m depressed, I cry every day."
Britney went on to document at this hearing how father Jamie Spears exploited her and emotionally abused her over the years due to the legal power he had been granted.
Jamie put his daughter on lithium.
He banned her from getting married and from having more children.
In one of the singer's more shocking and depressing statements, she said she's not allowed to take out the IUD she has in place -- despite a desire to be a mother again.
Despite Britney's candid confessions, all the tears she cried and all the evident ways in which she no longer requires a conservatorship that has made her want to sue her own parents...
... the judge said the following on Wednesday:
“The conservator’s request to suspend James P. Spears immediately upon the appointment of Bessemer Trust Company of California as sole conservator of estate is denied without prejudice."
To be clear, this decision was in response to a months-old filing to remove Jamie as his child's conservator; it is NOT a direct response to Britney's testimony.
However, the ruling did come afte Britney's heartfelt testimony and the judge did have the opportunity here to grant her request for freedom.
Back on November 10, 2020, the court declined a previous ask from Britney's legal team to suspend Jamie as conservator of her estate.
At that time, the judge also decided Jamie would be joined by Bessemer Trust Company as co-conservator.
Britney’s case has garnered an enormous amount of worldwide attention, with pressure mounting to support the pop star and remove her father from the conservatorship.
It's basically impossible to listen to Britney's full testimony and not be on her side here.
Wednesday’s court filing, however, states that the court found Spears to be “substantially unable to manage his or her financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence.”
There's something especially awful and ironic, many observers have noted, about a court ruling that Britney must remain under her dad's control ... on the same day a court ruled that convicted rapist Bill Cosby must go free due to a legal technicality.
“I cried on the phone for an hour and he loved every minute of it,” Spears told the judge on June 23, referring to her father.
“The control he had over someone as powerful as me -- he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it.”
Spears pleaded at the time:
“I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested."
Let's all hope this isn't the legal end for Britney Spears.
Let's all hope she still has a chance, in the very near future, to accomplish this essential goal.