Los Angeles Police Are Looking Into Death Threats Against Judge in Britney Spears Case

With Britney Spears’ controversial conservatorship case escalating dramatically in recent days, LA police are now eyeing death threats made against Judge Brenda Penny. Here’s what we know about the potential danger to the LA Superior Court judge who is overseeing Britney’s case. 

Reports of death threats in the Britney Spears case emerged yesterday

People carrying a Britney Spears image in outdoor rally
#FreeBritney activists protest outside Courthouse in Los Angeles. | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

In a surprise development yesterday, Jamie Spears submitted documents announcing his intention to resign from the pop star’s conservatorship. It was a hard-fought victory for Britney Spears, who has repeatedly asked Judge Brenda Penny to remove him from the case and replace him with someone else. 

“We are pleased that Mr. Spears and his lawyer have today conceded in a filing that he must be removed,” Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart said in a statement. “It is vindication for Britney.” 

But apparently, ‘vindication’ wasn’t enough for some fans, whose zealotry seems to have gotten out of hand. Amid the negative social media messages directed at Judge Penny, death threats also emerged. 

According to Variety, the LA Sheriff’s Department is now monitoring those social media posts for anything credible. 

“LASD continues to monitor the social media chatter regarding the ongoing Britney Spears civil court case,” a spokesperson for the department told Variety. “Although some of the language on social media is concerning, at this time, it has not risen to the level of a creditable criminal threat.”

A family law attorney called the threats ‘sick’ 

In an interview with Variety, family law attorney David Glass criticized the threats, calling for fans to “step back” and adjust their expectations. 

“This is sick,” Glass told the publication. “Everyone needs to take a step back, take a deep breath and realize conservatorship cases take months [or] years to resolve.” 

Glass pointed out the relatively rapid nature of the Britney Spears case — and that nothing new will happen before the next court date. 

“Britney’s case has already moved much faster than most,” Glass explained. “But there is only so fast that the judge can move the case. The case is set for re-hearing on September 29th. Nothing new will happen from the court before then.”

Judge Penny isn’t the only person receiving death threats

In July, Britney’s younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears (who reportedly oversees a trust for Britney’s two sons) also reported receiving death threats. Apparently, they were in response to Britney’s June court statement that her “whole family” had benefited from the conservatorship and that they’d failed to help her get out of it. `

Britney’s trusted personal conservator Jodi Montgomery, whom Spears actually wants to remain on her case, has received death threats frightening enough to ask for money for additional security. According to Variety, Spears’ lawyer Rosengart approved of the request. But Jamie Spears, who remains at the helm of the conservatorship at least until Judge Penny releases him, denied it. 

It’s impossible to ignore the vicious nature of the social media attacks under the #FreeBritney hashtag. “Brenda Penny needs to DIE,” declares one Twitter user, upstaged only by a Tweet reading “I would like to wish Jamie Spears, Brenda Penny, Sam Ingram, and Lou Taylor a very SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH.”

Others are more direct. “i have a feeling this judge brenda penny [sic] is going to have a horrible mysterious death #freebritney,” states a particularly concerning post.

Threats or no threats, the question that remains up in the air is whether Jamie Spears’ request to step down will be granted in a timely manner — if at all. 

RELATED: Britney Spears’ Father Alleges Pop Star Is ‘Mentally Sick’ and Needs Psychiatric Hold