In a sense, the story of Britney and Jamie Spears' interminable legal battle has finally come to an end.
But in some ways, the war between father and daughter is just beginning.
As you've likely heard by now, Britney's conservatorship was suspended by a judge this week, the culmination of a years-long process through which the singer sought -- and finally gained -- her freedom.
Many fans who had borne witness to Britney's struggles expressed hope that she would finally be able to cut ties with her father.
Of course, if you know anything about the American legal system, then you know that parties who are locked into multi-million dollar arrangements that endured for over a decade usually can't just go their separate ways at the drop of a hat.
In all likelihood, Jamie and Britney will face off in court many more times in the years to come.
But the skirmishes to come are different for one very important reason -- now, Britney has the upper hand, and it's Jamie who has to answer for his behavior.
And based on recent revelations about his shady practices, it sounds as though the elder Spears might face criminal charges.
Fans were shocked to learn this week that Jamie planted listening devices in his daughter's bedroom, a gross violation of Britney's right to privacy.
Now, Brit's lawyer, Matthew Rosengart, is promising to ensure that Jamie is punished to the full extent that the law will allow.
“Jamie and the rest of the people involved with these alarming allegations WILL face more serious ramifications,” he said in a recent interview with The Sun.
“This is only the beginning," he promised.
The revelations about the listening device were made public this week by a controversial New York Times-produced documentary about Britney.
But an anonymous source tells The Sun that Rosengart and his team were already aware of the allegations.
“Jamie and his counsel were well aware of the accusations he bugged his adult daughter's home before it was publicly revealed by The New York Times." said the insider.
"They were given a heads up and plenty of time to comment,” the informant alleged.
It seems the news that his spy games had become common knowledge was the impetus that Jamie needed to step down as Britney's conservator.
“It’s our understanding that as soon as Jamie was informed of these charges, that’s when he decided to do a 180 and step down as conservator," says the insider.
“Jamie is appearing to avoid criminal charges but he can’t run anymore. His time is up and he will now have to face consequences for his actions.”
Jamie has yet to deny the allegations, and Rosengart claims Britney's father will soon be forced to answer for his actions in court.
“Ms. Spears knows of the allegations and she’s traumatized. She still sleeps in the bedroom her dad allegedly bugged. She’s pleading to be free of him," the lawyer says.
"Ms. Spears will not work until her father is removed. He should be suspended today. My client will be extraordinarily distraught if Mr. Spears stays on for one more day.”
Rosengart went on to complain of the "unfathomable" behavior of Jamie by "eavesdropping on his daughter" and "recording conversations"
He then described Jamie as "cruel, toxic, abusive and an alcoholic."
The documentary about Britney contained testimony from Black Box Security employee Alex Vlasov, who took part in the bugging.
"Their reason for monitoring was looking for bad influences, looking for potential illegal activity that might happen, but they would also monitor conversations with her friends," he said.
"And with her mom, her boyfriend, with her lawyer Sam Ingham. If there’s anybody that should be off limits, it should be Britney’s lawyer," Vlasov continued.
"Just because you're in control doesn't give you the right to treat people like property. It didn't feel like she was being treated like a human being.”
Vlasov says he later quit his job with the company because of these unethical actions.
We'll have further updates on this developing situation as more information becomes available.