The father of Britney Spears has been suspended from the pop superstar’s conservatorship, a judge in the US has ruled.
Judge Brenda Penny said during a heated hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday that Jamie Spears remaining in charge of his daughter’s estate was “untenable”.
The 69-year-old was ordered to turn over the relevant documents to John Zabel, a certified public accountant, who has been appointed temporary conservator of the singer’s $US60 million ($A83 million) estate.
Jamie’s legal team had forcefully argued against his suspension, instead arguing termination of the complex legal arrangement was the correct course.
However, the judge sided with Spears’ lawyer, agreeing it was in the star’s “best interests” that her father be removed.
The court was told Jamie’s continued involvement was “toxic”.
The move marks the latest major milestone in the singer’s attempts to free herself from the arrangement that has overseen her life and career since 2008.
The judge’s decision will likely be celebrated by members of the #FreeBritney movement, a global group of supporters who have long called for the conservatorship to be terminated.
A decision on the termination could come before the end of the year following months of fast-paced developments in what was once a staid and slow-moving case.
Jamie stepped down from his role overseeing his daughter’s personal affairs in 2019, but had maintained control of her finances.
Jodi Montgomery remains conservator of the singer’s person.
Jamie, who said he would step down in August, had criticised his daughter’s choice of successor.
His lawyer, Vivian Thoreen, argued Zabel, a certified public accountant, was unqualified.
She pointed to an alleged failed business deal in which Zabel is said to have lost “one million of his own money in a fraudulent real estate project”.
The elder Spears had reiterated his desire for the conservatorship to be terminated.