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Pop superstar Britney Spears wins freedom from ‘cruel’ Dad

Pop superstar Britney Spears

Pop superstar Britney Spears' father has agreed to step down as her conservator after 13 years, according to US media reports.

The announcement came as a judge ruled she could appoint her own lawyer to help end a guardianship that Britney had termed as "cruelty."

During Wednesday's hearing, the judge accepted the resignation of Spears' previous attorney and indicated the acceptance of Britney’s new choice, lawyer Mathew Rosengart, to represent her.

The singer's career has been in the hands of legal guardians since public concerns over her mental health in 2008. The court-ordered agreement had given her father, Jamie Spears, control over her estate and other aspects of her life.

But she later sought to remove him from the role, calling for him to be charged with "conservatorship abuse".

A grassroots movement of fans, known as the #FreeBritney campaign, wants the singer to regain autonomy over her affairs.

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The prolonged legal row gained renewed attention in 2021 following the release of Framing Britney Spears – a documentary which centred on the conflict over the singer's guardianship.

The 39-year-old later told a judge that she had been drugged, forced to perform against her will and prevented from having children.

Britney had said she would not perform again while her father remained in the conservator role.

Jamie Spears' lawyer said on Thursday in a court document there were "no actual grounds" for him to step back, but added that he had become "the unremitting target of unjustified attacks". Jamie Spears has been consistently denying that he has been cruel.

The star's lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, said in a statement: "This is a major victory for Britney Spears and another step toward justice."

"We will be filing a petition as soon as possible to move Mr Spears, subject to our formal retention," an AFP report cited Rosengart as saying. He is a former federal prosecutor who has represented Steven Spielberg and Sean Penn.

"Why is Mr Spears not voluntarily stepping down?" Rosengart asked. "He does not belong in this conservatorship anymore. And we believe he should voluntarily step down immediately."

Following the judge's ruling, Spears posted a video of herself performing cartwheels on Instagram, with the caption: "Coming along, folks … coming along!!!!! New with real representation today … I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED!!!!"

She signed off her post with the hashtag adopted by her fans: "#FreeBritney."