- Britney Spears was forced into a conservatorship in 2008.
- Spears asked the court to end the legal arrangement to regain control over her life and estate.
- At Wednesday’s hearing, a judge will rule on whether her dad should remain as her estate’s overseer.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Britney Spears was forced into a conservatorship in 2008 after two involuntary stays in psychiatric facilities.
Back in June 2021, Spears asked the court to end the court-enforced legal arrangement, typically enacted for those incapable of making their own decisions.
“It’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end,” she said of the conservatorship on June 23, 2021. “I just want my life back. The conservatorship should end. I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.”
The conservatorship, approved in Los Angeles Superior Court, put her estate, financial assets, and some personal assets under the control of her father and a lawyer. It was extended four times last year.
Despite this, Spears’ fans launched a campaign called the #FreeBritney movement, advocating for the singer to regain legal control over her life and assets. Several activists told Insider that after Spears’ June statement, they’re “hopeful” the conservatorship will end.
As the complex legal battle continues, here’s what we know, including what Spears wants the court to know about her conservatorship, how her fans have played an active role in amplifying what’s happened to the singer, which celebrities are in support of Spears and what her family, namely her father, thinks about what’s happened.
What the court decided during the last hearing in July
At a court hearing in July, the judge overseeing Spears’ case granted her permission to handpick her own lawyer, allowing her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, to resign. Spears is now being represented by Mathew S. Rosengart.
The judge also granted Bessemer Trust’s request to resign as the coconservator of Spears’ estate, temporarily leaving her father Jamie as the sole overseer of her finances. Jodi Montgomery is still the coconservator responsible for Spears’ personal affairs.
Spears also addressed the court herself once again, and said she wants her father charged with “conservatorship abuse.”
- Bessemer Trust is officially removed as a conservator for Britney Spears
- Britney’s passionate plea to the court: ‘It’s not just abuse, it’s f—ing cruelty’
- Britney Spears’ lawyer asks judge to immediately remove her dad as conservator, saying that waiting any longer will traumatize her more
The first thing Britney’s lawyer did was petition for Jamie Spears’ removal from the conservatorship
The first order of business for Spears’ new lawyer was filing a formal request for the removal of Jamie Spears as the conservator of his daughter’s financial estate.
In August, Britney won a major legal victory when Jamie agreed to step down as her conservator. But he denied the petition for his immediate “suspension and removal.” Instead her dad agreed to “cooperate in the transition to a new conservator.”
Rosengart found this to be an insufficient response. He continued to submit court filings requesting for the immediate suspension of Jamie. The lawyer also submitted a petition saying Jamie wanted “to barter suspension and removal in exchange for approximately $US2 ($AU3) million.”
In a surprising move, Jamie then filed a petition to end Britney’s conservatorship altogether. Rosengart said that it may be an attempt from Jamie to “avoid accountability and justice.”
Rosengart also said that he and Britney welcomed the proposition to end the conservatorship, but that because the next hearing was scheduled to discuss Jamie’s removal that issue remained their priority.
“Ms. Spears will seek appointment of a temporary, short-term conservator to replace Mr. Spears’s until the conservatorship is completely and inevitably terminated this fall,” the filing said.
- Britney Spears’ dad agrees to step down as her conservator, but with conditions
- Britney Spears lawyer says he will keep pursuing Jamie Spears over claims he misspent her money, even after request to end conservatorship
- Britney Spears’ lawyer says her dad is trying to ‘barter’ $US2 ($AU3) million in exchange for leaving the conservatorship
- Britney Spears’ children had a multiyear domestic-violence restraining order put in place against her dad in 2019, court documents say
Spears in her own words
During her June 23 testimony, Spears detailed her troubling experiences under the conservatorship.
“I’ve lied and told the whole world: ‘I’m OK and I’m happy,'” Spears said. “It’s a lie. I thought I just maybe if I said that enough. Because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized. You know, fake it till you make it. But now I’m telling you the truth, okay? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
She said at one point, after being told she had to go to a Beverly Hills facility, she cried on the phone with her dad for an hour “and he loved every minute of it.”
“The control he had over someone as powerful as me – he loved the control to hurt his own daughter, 100,000%,” she said. “He loved it.”
- Britney Spears called 911 to report ‘conservatorship abuse’ the night before her bombshell hearing: report
- Britney Spears tells Los Angeles court she wants to remove her IUD and have a baby, but her conservatorship won’t let her
- Britney Spears said she was forced to take lithium against her will in her court hearing
- Read the full text of Britney Spears’ bombshell testimony at her conservatorship hearing
- Britney Spears speaks after making court appearance: ‘I apologize for pretending like I’ve been OK’
- Britney Spears says she performed live with a 102-degree fever in a resurfaced video that’s trending after new reports about her conservatorship
The #FreeBritney movement has gained popularity since 2009
In 2009, following the enactment of Spears’ conservatorship, fans began expressing concern for her wellbeing under the guardianship.
A fan site started a campaign, known as #FreeBritney, and the movement steadily grew as Spears continued working in the spotlight without ever speaking openly to the public.
When the New York Times and Hulu premiered a documentary, “Framing Britney Spears,” in early 2019, charting the #FreeBritney campaign and investigating the conservatorship, even more public attention was brought to the concerns fans had about Spears’ wellbeing.
- Longtime #FreeBritney activists feel ‘vindicated’ after years of being dismissed as conspiracy theorists
- Photos show hundreds of Britney Spears fans offering support at #FreeBritney rally as she speaks out against her conservatorship
- Britney Spears’ ex-husband and childhood friend Jason Alexander attended a ‘Free Britney’ protest during her conservatorship hearing
- The #FreeBritney conspiracy theory says Britney Spears is being held against her will, and her mom appears to support it
- The campaign to ‘free’ Britney Spears is gaining steam again after celebrities voice concern over conspiracy theory
How Spears’ parents, Jamie and Lynne, have responded
Jamie, Spears’ father, is the primary orchestrator behind her conservatorship and the current sole conservator of her financial estate. The 69-years-old is also a father to two other kids, Bryan and Jamie Lynn, in addition to Spears.
His ex-wife Lynne, who divorced Jamie in 2002, alleged in her autobiography that Jamie has struggled with alcoholism since the late ’80s. Reports surfaced in 2010 that the two had reconciled without remarrying, but it’s unclear whether they’re currently still together.
On July 26, Britney Spears’ new lawyer, Rosengart, filed the first formal petition to have Jamie removed from the conservatorship. Lynne supported the petition with her own sworn statement filed on the same day.
In Lynne’s statement, filed to the Los Angeles court, she said she had become more formally involved with the conservatorship during a “time of crisis” in 2018.
According to that sworn statement from Lynne, Jamie has had “complete control” over Spears for the last 13 years. Lynne’s statement also confirmed reports from 2019 about a “physical altercation” that happened between Jamie and one of Spears’ teenaged sons.
On August 5, Rosengart made a second filing to the Los Angeles court. This time he requested that the judge “immediately remove” Jamie from the conservatorship.
Rosengart said waiting until the planned September 29 hearing would “force” Spears “to continue to feel traumatized, lose sleep, and suffer further.”
On August 12, Jamie spears filed a response to Rosengart’s petition. He denied the request for his immediate “suspension and removal,” but instead agreed to “cooperate in the transition to a new conservator.” Jamie also refuted many of Lynne’s descriptions of his behavior and role in the conservatorship, and highlighted the amount of money ($US150,000 ($AU207,179) per year) being paid towards Lynne’s home expenses by Spears’ estate.
- Jamie Spears reportedly yelled, ‘I am Britney Spears!’ after the conservatorship was granted
- One of Britney Spears’ co-conservators says her entire medical team agrees her dad should be removed from guardianship
- A complete timeline of the apparent feud between Britney Spears and her sister, Jamie Lynn
- Britney Spears’ mom makes damning statement against Jamie Spears in support of his ousting from the conservatorship
- Britney Spears’ dad says she has ‘addiction and mental health issues’ in new court filing
Several major celebrities have been making statements in support of #FreeBritney
Many notable people from Spears’ past, including her ’90s and ’00s pop peers, began making public statements about her situation this year.
After the New York Times/Hulu documentary premiered, Spears’ famous ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake made a public apology to both her and Janet Jackson. He decried the music industry, which he said “sets men, especially white men, up for success.” Timberlake also blamed his “ignorance” for allowing him to “benefit from others being pulled down.”
Then, following her June testimony, even more celebrities expressed support for the dissolution of her conservatorship.
Fellow pop star Christina Aguilera said it was “unacceptable that any woman, or human, wanting to be in control of their own destiny might not be allowed to live life as they wish.”
“I definitely believe in the #FreeBritney movement,” former *NSYNC bandmate Lance Bass said.
- Madonna compares Britney Spears’ situation to ‘slavery’ and vows to get the pop star ‘out of jail’
- Christina Aguilera adds voice to support for Britney Spears: ‘Every woman must have the right to her own body’
- Elon Musk wants to ‘Free Britney’ too, joining the list of celebrities coming out in Spears’ defense amid her conservatorship battle
- Reese Witherspoon says she would be in a ‘totally different position’ if tabloids treated her like Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan in the 2000s