Judge terminates conservatorship of pop star Britney Spears

The prayers of pop star Britney Spears were finally answered on Friday when a California court declared the end of the 13-year conservatorship that has prevented the entertainment icon from exercising authority over her personal and financial lives, as NPR reports.

In a hearing that lasted roughly half an hour, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny declared that “the conservatorship of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required, effective immediately” and would therefore be terminated.

Though Spears had long remained silent about the conditions of her conservatorship, recent years saw her case turn into something of a cause célèbre in which the singer herself — as well as high-powered industry friends — began speaking out about the intense level of control exerted by her father Jamie over her personal life as well as allegations that he had dissipated her fortune as a result of the authority he was granted by the court long ago.

Indeed, Spears’ case has also served as something of a lightening rod for activists who have argued that conservatorship arrangements such as the one imposed on the singer during a period of mental health concerns are breeding grounds for financial and other forms of abuse and that significant legislative reforms are needed, as NPR added.

Earlier this year, prominent lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed support for Britney’s fight to be freed from her conservatorship, even going so far as to introduce a bipartisan bill designed to enhance protections for those subject to such arrangements, according to The Hill, with Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) declaring, “This is really not a right versus left issue, this is a right versus wrong issue, and far too many times these things go wrong.”

Spears, for her part, did not appear at the brief hearing, either via phone or video conference, but soon after the judge’s decision was announced, she made her immense joy and relief evident on Twitter.

The newly-independent Spears also received a wave of congratulatory messages from a host of show business luminaries, with music industry superstar Lady Gaga saying on Twitter, “I couldn’t be more happy for you today. You never deserved what happened, Thank God 4 today,” and reality television veteran Paris Hilton adding, “You’re the most resilient, kind and inspiring soul…Your best days are yet to come!”

Now that she is free from the legal shackles that have impeded her free will for years, Spears is reportedly planning to marry her longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari, but whether fans can expect her return to the recording studio or the concert stage in the near future, only time will tell.