Twitter Users Go Wild as 'Insecure' Showrunner Prentice Penny Reveals Mother as Judge in Britney Spears Conservatorship

Britney Spears Prentice Penny
Steve Granitz/WireImage; Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Following the release of the New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears, the pop icon's longstanding conservatorship has been in the headlines — and an unexpected twist following a Thursday status hearing sent Twitter users into a frenzy: the judge handling the case is Insecure showrunner Prentice Penny's mother.

On Thursday afternoon, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny ruled that wealth management and investment advisory firm Bessemer Trust will continue to act as co-conservator of Britney Spears’ estate alongside her father, Jamie Spears. The decision is consistent with her earlier ruling in November but still was widely celebrated by fans because the judge overruled objections from Jamie over the division of power when it comes to his daughter's financial investments.

News of the hearing spread fast and wide on Twitter among the #FreeBritney movement, a collective of devoted followers that has been closely monitoring every development in the conservatorship for years. But, one thing that had gone unnoticed even by them until now was the judge's Hollywood connection.

One of the fan accounts featured in Framing Britney Spears — @BritneyHiatus on Twitter — responded to Thursday’s hearing with a tweet that read, “Judge Penny has sided with Britney OVERRULING her father’s objections and will sign the order giving Bessemer Trust equal power #Free Britney.” A little more than an hour later, Prentice Penny weighed in by responding to that tweet with a reveal of his own: “Also: Judge Penny is my ACTUAL mother. I could’ve told Britney’s dad: She don’t play.”

As of Friday afternoon, Prentice Penny’s tweet has tallied more than 63,500 likes, 6,596 retweets and surprised responses from a slew of high-profile industry professionals including Franklin Leonard, Chelsea Peretti, Gabe Liedman, Mimi Valdés, Camilla Blackett and others. The family connection led the Insecure showrunner to post a photo of his mother being sworn in.

According to her legal profile, Judge Penny has been in her current post with the Superior Court since October 2018. Educated at the University of West Los Angeles School of Law and the University of Southern California, she previously held positions in the same court as commissioner and assistant supervising probate attorney. During an appearance on Sam Sanders’ NPR podcast, It’s Been a Minute, Prentice opened up about his mother, saying that she decided to go to law school after splitting with his father. “I was raised by some strong Black women,” he said, praising his mother and grandmothers.