- After it was reported that Britney Spears had checked herself into a mental health facility in early April, a mysterious voicemail aired on a Spears-centric podcast that has fans concerned about the singer’s well-being.
- An anonymous former member of Spears’ legal team said the star was being held against her will at the facility, a decision possibly made by her father, who potentially still holds conservatorship over his daughter after a previous court ruling.
- #FreeBritney caught fire among concerned fans across social media.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
TMZ reported on April 3 that after months of concerns over her father’s health, Britney Spears checked herself into a mental health facility.
Despite sources quoted in multiple reports about the move saying that this was a positive move and nothing else was going on with the 37-year-old singer, fans aren’t so sure what to believe.
A “special emergency” episode posted April 16 of the Spears-centric podcast Britney’s Gram sparked concerns among fans after it aired a voicemail from an anonymous former member of Spears’ legal team who said she was being held against her will in a facility since early January, and there’s no telling when she’ll be released.
In the voicemail, the person claimed Spears had not been taking her medication, causing her father to pull his support from her Las Vegas residency, which she announced in January 2019 she was putting on hold after her dad “was hospitalized and almost died.”
The unnamed caller said he had left the star’s legal team two weeks prior, and hosts Barbara Grey and Tess Barker said they confirmed his identity.
INSIDER could not independently verify the source of this voice mail. The assertion that Spears is being held against her will is also unconfirmed.
Grey and Barker said that conservatorship held over Spears would allow for her to be checked into a facility without her approval. Her father Jamie has held conservatorship over Britney since 2008, when the star was found mentally unfit to hire a lawyer, according to Britney’s Gram podcast.
A conservatorship is a legal arrangement that designates an individual as responsible for another’s lifestyle and financial decisions when issues such as mental illness or disability prevent cogent decision-making.
Spears’ father was left as her sole conservator after attorney Andrew Wallet resigned in March after 10 years with Spears’ estate in a fiery demand to be released by a court.
“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,” he said, according to The Blast.
Blowback for Britney
The episode caught fans’ attention and the hashtag #FreeBritney soon caught fire across social media, even getting attention from Real Housewife of New York City LuAnn de Lesseps and singer Eve, who sported a shirt featuring the hashtag during her appearance on The View a day after the podcast was released.
Spears’ mother Lynn added to the concern with confusing behaviour on social media, posting a religious quote on Instagram and liking comments that insisted the star was being “held against her will” and promoting #freeBritney.
“When God’s warriors go down on their knees, the battle is not over; it has just begun,” a quote in the photo she posted said. She added a caption: “This is ‘Faith!'”
In her January post announcing that her residency would be put on hold, Spears insisted she was making a decision with her family and health in mind, adding in a later post that she was looking forward to “me time.”
“It’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make,” she wrote. “A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him.”
Spears continued: “I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand.”
Spears’ camp did not reply to INSIDER’s request for comment.
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