By Izzy Thorp
Britney Spears, the proclaimed Princess of Pop, seems to have it all. But does having it all mean having it all controlled? The #FreeBritney movement, which began trending once again on Twitter mid-August, highlights the extent of life under a microscope for the superstar. So what is the #FreeBritney movement about? Is it just an entertaining conspiracy theory? Why are fans petitioning and protesting in front of LA courthouse hearings? Get ready.
Under a conservatorship with her father James Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet as conservators since October 2008, just about everything Spears lays her eyes on must be approved by her father. Britney’s conservatorship, a legal concept in which a parent/guardian manages the finances and daily life of a child, usually due to physical or mental limitations or old age, was put in place after she was put on an involuntary psychiatric hold in a UCLA hospital. Just one month after this hold, Spears was back to work filming TV shows and releasing an album; pretty unusual for someone under a conservatorship. Additionally, Attorney Andrew Wallet resigned as a co-conservator in March 2019, citing “substantial detriment, irreparable harm, and immediate danger will result to the conservatee and her estate if the relief requested herein is not granted on an ex parte basis.” Yikes.
According to Newsweek, the conservatorship states Britney must ask her father “to sign off on every major decision she makes, from business to health to voting to marriage.” Additionally, a 2016 New York Times article states “her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of a plan to safeguard the fortune she earned but does not ultimately control.”
So, of course, Britney wants out. Her brother Bryan has revealed in radio interviews that she has wanted out for quite some time; which is pretty understandable, as an incredibly famous adult celebrity to have every action and entire fortune controlled by others would seem to be pretty frustrating. Bryan has also revealed their family has tried to get her more interviews to raise public awareness and concern. But to no one’s surprise, her lawyers find it a bad idea.
It was reported that in 2019, Britney checked herself into a facility because she was distraught over her father’s poor health. However, a podcast called Britney’s Gram received an anonymous voicemail from a close source claiming Britney was being held against her will by her father after refusing to take her medicine. The #FreeBritney movement took off from there, with even her mother liking some of the internet posts in support of Britney. In April 2019, fans
held a protest outside West Hollywood City Hall and a few days later Britney was released from the facility.
Conspiracy theories flood the internet as Britney’s army of fans have looked deep into her Instagram, which is monitored by her father, for calls for help. Here are just a few things fans have found, courtesy of Cosmopolitan:
The American Civil Liberties Association (ACLU) tweeted this message in support of Britney on August 26th. Another Twitter used published this thread including legal documents, a leaked voicemail, and a clip from an MTV Documentary “For the Record”, which has now been removed from Youtube, in which Spear’s cries while discussing her conservatorship and unhappiness.
Jamie Lynn Spears, the popstar’s youngest sister, has been named trustee of the pop singer’s massive fortune and is allegedly seeking to move some of those assets, according to the Los Angeles Times. On August 21st of this year, a judge ruled Spear’s father will remain her primary conservator until February. So until then, #FREEBRITNEY.