Via Variety

Sierra Weaver, Editor-in-Chief

Over the past few years, Britney Spears fans have become increasingly concerned about her position in her conservatorship, starting the #FreeBritney movement as a way to bring awareness to the situation. 

In 2008, following her “breakdown” in which she shaved her head and attacked a paparazzi car, Britney Spears entered into a conservatorship managed by her father, Jamie Spears. Jamie Spears petitioned the court for the arrangement after his daughter’s second stay in a psychiatric facility. According to Harper’s Bazaar, a conservatorship is an agreement in which “a judge appoints an individual or organization to care for another adult who is deemed unfit to care for themselves or to manage their own finances.” It is often used for elderly people who can not safely and reliably make their own financial and business-related decisions. It is extremely rare, however, for a conservatorship to be put in place for someone as young as Britney Spears, who was in her twenties at the time of the conservatorship’s creation. 

Recently the New York Times released an hour-long documentary, titled Framing Britney Spears, in which the conservatorship was heavily discussed. The film features Britney’s former attorney, Adam Streisand, who spoke about his involvement in the early stages of the conservatorship. Streisand brought up Britney’s request to him that her father would not be placed in the role of the conservator, as she did not want him in “control of” her “person or finances.” Following the conversation, a judge ruled that Spears was incapable of appointing her own counsel and one was appointed for her by the court. Shortly after, Jamie Spears was given legal standing as a conservator, going specifically against Britney’s wishes.  

Even after the conservatorship was established, Britney’s career was still going extremely well. She released multiple albums, went on tour, completed a fairly lengthy residency in Las Vegas, and launched a successful perfume and lingerie line. However, fans of the singer have always been concerned about the conservatorship and question whether or not it was really in her best interest. It has been pointed out on multiple occasions that, despite Britney’s success in the past 12 years, she has no say, at least legally speaking, on what projects she works on or even when she works. She is unable to spend money without the consent of her conservator or enter any new contracts by herself. The #FreeBritney movement supports the removal of Britney’s father from his role as the conservator, “freeing” Britney from the confines of her father’s control.

In August of 2019, Britney Spears filed a request to remove her father as the head of the conservatorship, asking that the Bessemer Trust Company take over instead. Her attorney, Samuel Ingham, has reported that Spears is “afraid of her father” and “will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.” In 2019, a judge denied Britney’s request to remove her father; however, they did grant Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator to Jamie Spears. Earlier this month, Jamie petitioned to return to being the sole conservator of Britney’s finances, but his motion was denied by the court. This is a small win for Britney as she continues to fight for control of her own life. 

Many friends and family members of Britney Spears have spoken out about the conservatorship, most notably her mother who supports the idea of Britney reclaiming control of her career and life. Sam Asghari, Britney’s boyfriend, came out to thank fans for their support of Britney’s wishes, seemingly supporting the #FreeBritney movement. The next court date for Britney and her Jamie Spears is set for March 17th, with Britney continuing to fight for the removal of her father.