Britney Spears and Her Conservatorship

Grae Stockhausen, Sandscript Author

For almost half of her life, Britney Spears has been held captive by her father under a conservatorship after her breakdown and mental health decline 12 years ago. After that breakdown, she was put in hospitalized rehab and has since rebounded from it.  She even began creating music again, and even released her own perfume and lingerie line. Unfortunately for Britney (a more recognizable title for her than Spears), despite the fact that she is healed and ready to take on her own life, her father was refusing to give up the conservatorship for many years, no matter how many protests, complaints, and arguments fans presented. They were enraged that at 38, Britney couldn’t even handle her own finances legally and her father was using her for money.

    Some may wonder what exactly a conservatorship is.  A conservatorship is a legal agreement between one who is not in the state of proper mental health to handle their legal belongings and a guardian of that individual. Britany’s conservatorship was split into two parts – one part was for her finances and estate, the other part was for her own body. For a while, her father Jamie was in charge of both parts of the conservatorship, but as of 2019, he had stepped down for health reasons. Jodi Montgomery, a care professional, stepped in on a temporary basis but Britney had requested this change to become permanent. 

     After 2007, when Britney had her famous mental breakdown, the conservatorship was set into place. Most people aren’t aware she had had a breakdown in the first place. After her divorce with Kevin Federline, she had lost custody over both of her children, causing her to behave erratically. In 2008, she was twice admitted to hospital under a temporary psychiatric assessment ruling, including after an incident in which she allegedly refused to surrender her sons in a stand-off involving police.

     If you’ve been on social media recently, you may have seen the posts tagged #freebritney. These are from fans who are fighting for justice for Britney. Many of Spears’ fans believe she is being forced to stay under the conservatorship. Earlier this year, a lawyer for the singer had requested a hearing so she could directly talk to the court about the conservatorship. On the 23rd of June, the star had asked the judge to end the “abusive” conservatorship so she could get married and have more children. Spears’ wanted the conservatorship to end without even being evaluated. She was forced to take birth control so she couldn’t get pregnant.

     “This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” Spears said, speaking remotely, “I deserve to have a life.” 

     Following Britany’s testimony, her father’s lawyer said that Jamie is “sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain,” and since the 12th of August, Jamie has stepped down from being the estates conservator. His reasons for his decision and apology was that he did not want to engage in a public battle over the conservatorship. 

Photo provided using the Creative Commons License via Google (Eva Rinaldi)