#FreeBritney

By Claire Buran

September 14, 2020

  If you have been on the internet recently, you have probably heard of the #freebritney movement. But you might not know much about it. In October 2008, Britney Spears was placed under the conservatorship of her father, Jamie Spears. After following many highly publicized mental breakdowns, she was put in an involuntary psychiatric hold at UCLA.

    Conservatorship is when a guardian or protector is appointed by a judge to manage financial affairs and/or the daily life of another due to physical and mentals limitations or age. Because of this, Jamie Spears has complete control over Britney’s entire life.

  Some of the limitations that have been put on her life include not being allowed to drive herself anywhere, being unable to vote, or hire her legal representatives. She can’t spend her own money or see how her earnings are being spent. She is also not allowed to use social media without being monitored and is hardly allowed to see her kids.

   Many believe that Brittney is being exploited for money because she apparently can’t do very much but she can continue to work extremely hard. Very shortly after Jamie was appointed her conservator, she released an album, guest-starred on an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” and opened for the MTV video music awards.

   The conservatorship means that Brittney was deemed seriously unfit to do anything with her life, yet months later deemed fit to go back on tour and back into the public eye. She has also continued to drop an album every couple of years,  goes on multiple world tours, sells out 248 shows in Las Vegas, and sold over 150 million records worldwide. She launched a luxury clothing and perfume brand. She is a full-time judge on the X-factor. But she is still considered unfit to care for herself and her affairs.

   In her 2008 documentary “Britney: For the Record”, Britney says, “I don’t feel like my life is out of control. I feel like it is too in control”. This was before she was even under the control of her father completely. She expressed her feelings of restraints while still having some freedom. She no longer has even the slightest bit of control.

   In 2009, Britney gave a handwritten letter to the photographer Andrew Gallery. Recently, Gallery has taken to TikTok to read said letter amongst all the #freebritney talk. In the letter, Britney says she “was lied to and set up” so that handlers could take control of her life, divorce, and kids. 

   Law experts say that conservatorship is highly “unusual for someone as young and productive as Spears”. In 2019 co-conservator Andrew Wallet, Britney’s former attorney, resigned from the job of conservator saying “substantial, detrimental, irreparable harm and immediate danger will result in the conservatee (Britney) and her estate if the relief requested herein is not granted on an ex parte basis”. Britney’s father also filed for temporary relief of conservator duties. 

   Britney’s current conservator is Jodi Montgomery, a licensed professional conservator. Britney’s lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III says she “is strongly opposed to having Jamie return as her conservator” and having him remain sole conservator of her estate. She would prefer Montgomery’s position as a conservator to become permanent. While she does want to make her position permanent. she would also like to maintain the right “to seek termination of this conservatorship in the future”.

   Many celebrities have expressed their support for #freebritney and voiced their concern for their friend including but not limited to Miley Cyrus, Bella Thorne, Snooki, and Cher. Some speculate even Britney’s mother supports it after many comments about the hashtag have been “liked” by her.“

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