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Freed at Last? Britney Spears’ Father Files to End Conservatorship

Is she finally free? Not necessarily.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Britney Spears’s father has finally filed a court order to end a thirteen-year long “abusive” conservatorship. So, is that it? Has Britney been freed? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

In the last few years, you’ve probably seen the hashtag #FreeBritney. Checking up on the pop star after a few years? You’ll see # FreeBritney. Passionately discussing legal frameworks in the celebrity world over twitter? # FreeBritney. Even if you’re posting an unrelated picture of your coffee (you know the one, with the heart foam), you might as well wrap up your post with a # FreeBritney. People are obviously passionate about it, but why? And what has changed with the decision from Tuesday?

“What do we want? Free Britney. When do we want it? Now.”
Credit: Youtube/AP

Since the unforgettable Britney breakdown in 2008, Spears (39) was put under a conservatorship due to her unstable mental health. Jaime Spears, her father, now controlled her estate and medical decisions, all the way to the present. And as everyone pretty much collectively agrees: at this point, the woman has the right to her medical and financial autonomy.

Spears has gotten her life and career on track since the conservatorship was filed.
Credit: Picryl

The idea of conservatorships isn’t unique to this situation. In fact, it’s a commonly used legal framework, usually applied to particularly elderly or mentally ill people. Most of the time, there’s no viral movement against it. The difference with Spears is her celebrity and how the conservatorship takes advantage of it.

Since growing past the various issues surrounding her mental instability in 2008, the use of a conservatorship for Spears has been long debated. Spears addressed a court in June this year, explaining her trauma surrounding the conservatorship. She expressed a desire to have autonomy in marriage, motherhood, and legal decisions without the conservatorship getting in her way. 

She has also spoken on the issue over social media. 

Her father insists that his daughter’s net worth has benefitted from his control. However, Spears has called the conservatorship “abusive.” It’s clear that no matter what benefits the conservatorship has brought to Spear’s estate, the power is taken advantage of.

From a hashtag, to a controversial documentary—the # FreeBritney movement existed to acknowledge the “cruel” state of the conservatorship.

Due to the treatment, Spears put a hiatus on her career, striking until she saw some action.

And thus, on Tuesday, Spears’s father filed to dissolve the conservatorship. Though it seems like a cut-and-dry sigh of relief for all those invested, he’s demanding nearly $2 million dollars to cover legal fees and other dealings in exchange. Likely, the judge in charge of the case, Judge Brenda Penny, will rule in Spears’s favor against her father.

Some fans feel dissatisfied with the events. It’s clear that Jaime Spears is dodging accountability for conservatorship abuse, filing to step down instead of facing charges. It raises the question of whether freedom can really come without justice.

Despite the messy situation, California has taken action on changing conservatorship laws for the better, inspired by the movement. 

The case will officially commence on September 29th.

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