Britney Spears has said she is "on cloud nine right now", in what appears to be a response to a judge suspending her father as her conservator. The singer posted a video of her having a flying lesson, shortly after news that Jamie Spears' role was suspended. Spears' lawyer Mathew Rosengart said it was his "hope and expectation" the conservatorship would be fully terminated at a hearing on 12 November. Through his own lawyer, Jamie Spears called the ruling "disappointing".
In the court hearing in Los Angeles, Judge Brenda Penny formally ended the conservatorship arrangement the star has had with her father since 2008. She left in place a separate conservatorship with John Zabel, an accountant chosen by the singer's legal team. Judge Penny ruled the singer's care be turned over to Mr Zabel "forthwith", saying it was "in the best interest of the conservatee". Spears' lawyers have requested a new hearing be held in the next 30 to 45 days to decide whether to end the conservatorship altogether, and Mr Rosengart added: "Britney doesn't believe a mental evaluation is necessary, and I certainly don't."
Cher and Dionne Warwick were among those welcoming the judge's decision. "This will be the start of a new life Brit," wrote Cher on Twitter, while Warwick uploaded a video in which she expressed her "full support". "My heart goes out to Britney Spears," said the veteran soul star. "I feel her pain. How in the world could anyone endure what she has been enduring?" LaToya Jackson added: "A huge congratulations to Britney Spears!!!"
Pandora Sykes, who hosts BBC Sounds' Pieces of Britney podcast, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was "really good news" that the conservatorship would remain in place for the time being. "If it had been terminated... there wouldn't be any opportunity for Britney's team to gain access to Jamie's correspondence," she said. A recent documentary alleged that a private security film employed by Mr Spears had placed his daughter under constant surveillance. "By suspending him they can look into all of this before they then hopefully move to terminate [the conservatorship] in November," Sykes continued.
In her Instagram post, Spears told 'JL' - the initials of her sister Jamie-Lynn - that she was "bringing the ship home". Her sister used the same expression in a recent post about the North Atlanta Knockouts, a girls' softball team. Jamie Spears was appointed as his daughter's guardian in 2008 amid concerns over her mental health. Earlier this year, Britney Spears made explosive claims that he had abused his position, claims her father and his team have repeatedly denied.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Mr Spears' lawyer said he loved his daughter "unconditionally" and had "tried to do what is in her best interests". "These facts make the outcome of yesterday's hearing all the more disappointing, and frankly, a loss for Britney," continued Vivian L Thoreen. "The court was wrong to suspend Mr Spears, put a stranger in his place to manage Britney's estate, and extend the very conservatorship that Britney begged the court to terminate earlier this summer. "Despite the suspension, Mr Spears will continue to look out for the best interests of his daughter and work in good faith towards a positive resolution of all matters."
Fans around the world who have supported Spears through the #FreeBritney campaign have expressed much delight about this week's developments. A rally was held outside the court on Wednesday, while fans also gathered in London's Trafalgar Square.