Britney Spears has been making headlines recently, and it has nothing to do with her music. Fans are worried about her well-being, and the U.S. court systems are deeply involved in her family drama. Here’s how it started – and what’s happening now.
Conservatorship “Started” in 2008
Several years after she burst onto the pop music scene with her debut album, Baby One More Time, Britney began showing signs of instability with some very public breakdowns. (How could we forget the infamous head-shaving incident of 2007?) In 2008, Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, appealed to the courts, asking for a conservatorship over his daughter’s financial assets while she grappled with mental instability. The Los Angeles Superior Court approved his request.
If you aren’t familiar with a conservatorship, it is a court case in which a judge selects a person or organization to care for another adult. In some cases, this gives the conservator authority over the adult’s decisions, such as where they can go and how they spend their money.
Typically, conservators are assigned to people with mental disabilities that impair their ability to make decisions, such as an elderly relative with severe dementia. There is a lot of speculation around whether Britney Spears needed this protection at the time, but there’s even greater concern surrounding whether she still needs it more than 12 years later.
Fans Took Notice
In early 2019, Britney put her “Domination” residency in Las Vegas on hold. Many fans were concerned by this decision, and, as fans do, they dug into the details of her life. This was when the #FreeBritney movement began picking up momentum.
A series of concerning Instagram posts only encouraged fans who believed Britney was sending encoded cries for help. Swarms of fans, and even a handful of celebrities, voiced concerns for the superstar and began blogs and podcasts to share related news and recruit supporters.
Back to the Courts
During a status hearing in 2019, it was reported that Britney requested for a judge to end her conservatorship. Later that year, Jamie Spears temporarily stepped down as her personal conservator, though he retained control of her financial assets. The reasons behind this are not confirmed, but he claims it was to focus on his own health.
Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, took legal action in 2019 and requested to be involved with decisions related to her daughter. She also liked Instagram comments about #FreeBritney.
Despite the attempts, the courts extended the conservatorship until September 2021. It remains intact, with Britney’s father once again overseeing it. More recently, Britney’s sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, has also become a trustee, showing particular interest in her finances.
On June 23, 2021, she once again urged the courts to end her conservatorship. Britney spoke out about the control her team has over her getting re-married, having more children, how much she is allowed to spend and more. Crazy!!
Several days later, her request was denied.
Speculation is at an all-time high over what is really going on with Britney and the reasoning behind the conservatorship, but from what Britney has publicly said, and the situation as a whole, we definitely err on the side of #FreeBritney!