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Although being in the spotlight is natural for pop stars, musical icon Britney Spears has been even more in the public eye lately than usual. That’s because the recent documentary Framing Britney Spears has brought her long-cryptic conservatorship battle into renewed focus. Many of Spears’ fans have been concerned, but if you haven’t been closely following the story, learn more below about Spears’ conservatorship battle.
What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is when an adult takes legal guardianship over another adult. To file a conservatorship, a judge appoints an individual or organization, called the conservator, to care for the conservatee and their finances. Conservatorships typically concern people who are deemed incapable of making their own decisions, such as people with mental disabilities and those with dementia.
What are some details about Britney Spears’ conservatorship?
Many key details about Britney Spears’ conservatorship stem from her mental health struggles in 2008, which the paparazzi infamously caught on camera. During this time, when she was 26 years old, Spears was hospitalized at a psychiatric clinic. Concurrently, Britney Spears’ father Jaime Spears petitioned for her conservatorship. Additionally, he has claimed that Britney Spears has dementia, but no proof has been shown that she was formally diagnosed.
Under her conservatorship, every purchase that Britney makes must be logged in annual court reports, and Jamie is responsible for her finances. Many law experts have agreed that a conservatorship is unusual for a productive, young pop star like Spears.
Despite her conservatorship, Britney enjoyed career success from 2013 to 2017. She played 248 shows for her “Piece of Me” residency in Las Vegas and earned $500,000 for each performance. During those years, she showed no public signs of experiencing mental health struggles.
Who is in charge of Britney Spears’ conservatorship?
In 2019, Jamie Spears took over as Britney Spears’ sole conservator (he was previously one of two conservators). In 2020, Britney’s conservatorship was extended multiple times. Britney, now 39, is attempting to have her father removed from the conservatorship.
On February 11, Judge Brenda Penny ruled that Bessemer Trust will co-manage Britney’s finances alongside her father. Bessemer Trust is a financial office that Britney requested to replace her father as a conservator of her estate. David Esquibias, a lawyer who represented Amanda Bynes in Bynes’ 2014 conservatorship case, has said that the court probably doesn’t have complete confidence in Jaime Spears and his financial decision-making.
What have #FreeBritney and Framing Britney Spears shown?
The #FreeBritney movement comprises avid Britney Spears fans who mostly campaign on social media platforms. They advocate for Britney to be freed from her conservatorship and her father’s control.
Their work is a primary focus of Framing Britney Spears, a documentary released on February 5. The short movie documents Spears’ rise to fame, her relationships, her public persona, her clients, and her relationship with the paparazzi. The documentary revealed details about her conservatorship, legal battles, and comeback.
Many people who participate in the #FreeBritney movement hoped that Framing Britney Spears would put pressure on the courts to end her conservatorship or remove Spears’ father from the conservatorship. Since last summer, Britney’s lawyer Samuel Ingham has been trying to remove Jamie Spears from the conservatorship. Ingram has said that Britney does not want Jamie as a co-conservator, and both parties are scheduled to appear in court for a March 17 hearing.