Britney Spears has been a household sensation for decades. She has enjoyed a wide variety of responses from the public, and she even earned herself the name “Princess of Pop” for the role she played in the teen-pop evolution of the late 20th century.
However, Britney has had some bumps in her road. According to the BBC, Britney suffered prevailing mental issues resulting from a contentious divorce. In the winter of 2008, following her public breakdown, Britney’s father became the conservator of her estate. This status gave him control over every aspect of her life, from her personal affairs to her assets and career.
This conservatorship, however, has been under review for a while now. Finally, on the 29th of October 2021, her father Jamie Spears was suspended from the conservatorship. Britney’s public struggle for control of her own life has drawn a spotlight to the issue of conservatorships in general. Here’s what happened to the pop singer and how it applies to the complex world of conservatorships.
Britney Spears’ Conservatorship
After Britney and her then-husband Kevin Federline split up in 2008, the pop star’s behavior became erratic, required her to have frequent psychiatric assessments, and even led to a stand-off involving the police. This very public breakdown resulted in the conservatorship that is still active over a decade later.
During that decade, Britney sought medical help and fought against the restrictions of the conservatorship. She claimed that it was abusive, demeaning, and causing her emotional trauma and stress. She was allegedly forced to take psychiatric medications as part of the arrangement.
Here’s what Britney’s conservatorship entails:
- Her personal life: eating habits, medication, and movements are under constant scrutiny.
- Her finances and assets are being monitored.
- Her love life is supervised.
- Her ability to procreate is controlled.
Public Outcry and the #FreeBritney Movement
In November 2017, Tess Baker and Barbara Gray launched a podcast titled Britney’s Gram where they officially started the trend #FreeBritney. The movement grew steadily ever since and in April 2019, about 50 of her fans staged a peaceful demonstration in front of the West Hollywood City Hall. They had placards displaying the hashtag and explained to the media team that they were getting concerned about the protracted conservatorship status of the star. The hashtag “#Freebritney” has been posted millions of times across social media platforms, and her fans have been present at almost all her court hearings.
In December 2020, Britney’s father, James Spears, had reassured his daughter of his unwavering love for her. However, he said he would not stop providing his family fierce protection from those with self-serving interests. Recently, through his lawyer, he said he was sorry to see his daughter in so much pain and suffering and also mentioned that he wanted the best for his daughter and that if she wanted to be free from the conservatorship, he was ready to give her a chance at it.
All Britney’s grievances are stated in the documentary on her, Framing Britney Spears, which was released by New York Times in early 2021, further galvanizing her fans. And on the 23rd of June 2021, the pop star maintained her stand in court that the relationship between herself and her dad was nearly masochistic and that he enjoyed every bit of control he had over her.
James Spears’ Suspension as Conservator
Britney’s new lawyer, Matthew Rosengarts, requested an emergency hearing to suspend Britney’s father from the conservatorship on the 27th of July. In response, Jamie said there were “no grounds whatsoever” that warranted his removal. He claimed that he had performed his duty as a conservator faithfully and that Rosengarts could not point out exactly what the wrongdoing was.
During a Zoom hearing on the 29th of September, Rosengarts stated the reasons why his client needed to be free from her father. He made it known that every minute he spent as her conservator brought her not only pain but severe anguish. After a two-hour hearing, James Spears was relieved of his role by the court.
Mr. Spears, speaking through his lawyer after the hearing, said he had tried to do what was in Britney’s best interest for the last 13 years and that it was her loss. He assured her he would continue to look out for her best interest.
What’s Next for Britney Spears?
The next step for Britney would be to chase the total termination of the conservatorship, giving her total control of her life decisions, finances, and her career. Her lawyer said in an interview that he and his firm hope to terminate the conservatorship by the next hearing. He also mentioned that his team would look deeply into the activities of Jamie Spears and his representatives to ensure they receive more serious sanctions for their wrongdoings.
Conservatorship Laws: What Britney Spears’ Case Tells Us
The tussle in Britney Spears’ case tells us how stringent the laws binding conservatorship are today. Ms. Spears’ case has not cast a flattering light on conservatorships. Conservatorship, however, helps to provide a high degree of protection for the life, assets, and career of the conservatee when used appropriately.
Conservatorship is meant for individuals who are unable to handle their career, finances, or personal affairs. Permanent conservatorship can take up to six months to initiate and above 30 days to terminate. Conservatees can always ask to be released from a conservatorship when conditions are better or if it begins to affect them negatively, such as in Britney’s case.
How to Terminate an Adult Conservatorship in California
Termination of conservatorship can be a very tedious task to handle; Britney’s case has shown how hard it can get. If you need help with terminating a conservatorship of a person and/or estate, contact A People’s Choice. Our competent document assistants will guide you through every step of the process and help you complete and file the required forms in court. Call us today at 800-747-2780 to get started.