Despite being one of the bestselling female artists in the world, Britney Spears has had no control over her finances or personal life since 2008.
The mum-of-two was placed under a conservatorship after suffering a series of very public mental health battles – meaning her father, Jamie Spears, and a lawyer have essentially managed her life for more than a decade.
But fans of Britney, 38, are now protesting to have her released from guardianship, with some suggesting that she is fighting for her freedom.
Most of us remember the shocking pictures of Britney in 2007, shortly after her divorce from second husband Kevin Federline, when she was seen shaving her head and attacking a photographer’s car with an umbrella. Britney was placed under conservatorship after spending time in psychiatric care. But some of her supporters think she was forced into the guardianship and that her team are now using it to control her. Their reasons? Aside from a string of recent social media posts from the Slave 4 U singer, which have been described by some as ‘erratic’, conservatorships are usually granted for those with dementia or other serious mental illnesses.
Fans are arguing that, as Britney recorded and released three successful albums, had a Las Vegas residency and was even a judge on The X Factor: USA alongside Simon Cowell in the last 12 years, she must be more than capable of being in charge of her own life.
Many celebrities, including Britney’s former close friend Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus, who she previously collaborated with, have lent their support to the #FreeBritney campaign, and a change.org petition has clocked up more than 100,000 signatures.
That particular petition claims, ‘Her father doesn’t allow her to drive, all of her calls & messages are monitored, she’s not allowed to vote, hang with anyone or spend her money without permission. And if she breaks a ‘rule’ he threatens to have her kids taken away.’
In September 2019, Jamie stepped down as conservator, citing personal health reasons, and Britney’s ‘care manager’ Jodi Montgomery replaced him temporarily.
But he recently hit back at the ‘unsubstantiated and shocking’ claims, denying them in full and, saying: ‘All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything. It’s up to the court to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business. I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year. How the hell would I steal something?’
Britney’s presence on social media this year has sparked concern among her millions of followers. Earlier this year she confessed to burning down her home gym, and some fans have been asking her to send them messages by wearing certain colours or patterns – something she appeared to have been responding to.
But Britney insists everything is fine, saying, ‘I get how some people might not like my posts or understand them, but this is Me being happy ….. this is Me being authentic and as real as it gets.’
However, some believe that the conservatorship is also used to control Britney’s social media, claiming that she was made to post her statement. But the star also had a response for this, writing, ‘For those of you who don’t think I post my own videos, I did this yesterday. So, you’re wrong but I hope you like it.’
Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, recently filed papers to be more involved in the conservatorship, and a source told Entertainment Tonight that Britney ‘truly believes that her mother wants to help her have more autonomy when it comes to her money’.