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This week, fans of the iconic pop singer Britney Spears demanded her release from a treatment facility. All signs point to her fans’ actions being woefully misguided.
Following rumors that Spears was being kept in this facility against her will, a group of her fans held a full-on protest April 22nd in Los Angeles to demand her release. These fans gathered the same way that people protesting the government might: handwritten signs and chants at a meeting spot in front of a government building. The day after, Spears posted a video on her Instagram in which she reassured her fans that all is well with her. As she explains it, she checked herself into a psychiatric facility because she is struggling to deal with her father’s ongoing health issues.
To understand how matters between Spears and her fans got to the point they did earlier this week, it’s helpful to understand how much Spears has been through this year. Just four days into 2019, Spears announced that she would be indefinitely pausing all her work as she continued to tend to her father, Jamie, who suffered a life-threatening colon rupture in late 2018. This pause included the cancelation of her then-upcoming Las Vegas residency Domination, for which 31 dates were scheduled, starting February 13. The residency was set to follow her four-year-long Vegas residency Piece of Me, which consisted of nearly 250 shows, and her 2018 East Coast and Europe tour dates.
Following Spears’ residency cancelation, her father’s health continued to deteriorate. In March, Jamie underwent his second colon surgery, from which doctors told Spears he would have a longer recovery time. The next month, Spears checked herself into a psychiatric facility, but this news didn’t come directly from the singer. An anonymous source first delivered the news to PEOPLE following an Instagram post from Spears in which she said she needed some “me time.” This source told PEOPLE that Spears had chosen to focus on herself following the mental exhaustion that came from pouring her heart and soul into caring for her father. This source stressed how close Spears is with her father and assured PEOPLE that nothing dramatic was happening, but that Britney really did need to take care of herself.
It was this statement that got rumors swirling that Spears was being kept in a facility against her will, leading to Monday’s protests. In the following day’s video, Spears described the rumors as “out of control” and assured fans that she would be back “very soon.” Spears also noted that her family and team members had received death threats due to the protests. She further singled out her former manager Sam Lufti as a major culprit in the rumors’ formation, accusing him of sending “fake emails” in which he posed as her.
Around the same time Tuesday, Spears’ boyfriend, Sam Ashgari, told TMZ that Spears was doing very well in her treatment program. Spears’ sister, Jamie Lynn, took an angrier approach, sharing a post on Instagram in which she demanded that her family be left alone. Based on what Spears and her loved ones are saying, all signs point to fan concerns being ill-founded this time around.