The Case for Britney


Speculations abound as pop star’s bid for release from conservatorship narrows

Two weeks ago, pop star Britney Spears endured an obstacle in her bid to remove her father, Jamie Spears, as co-conservator of her estate. On Nov. 11, the Los Angeles Superior Court declined her application, extending her conservatorship until at least Feb. 1, 2021. 

Conservatorship is a legal term that essentially refers to a guardian that is appointed by a judge to take charge of the finances, estate, and physical wellbeing of a person who, in the judge’s opinion, cannot take care of themselves.

Spears was placed under conservatorship in 2008 after she had a series of very public mental breakdowns.  In Spears’ case, her father became her conservator to manage both her estate and her physical wellbeing. 

According to NBC News, Spear’s attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, told the judge presiding over Spear’s latest court hearing, “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father. She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.” 

Fans have wondered whether Spears’ conservatorship is the right choice for her, as well as if her father is actually manipulative and controlling. This speculation is in large part due to Spears’ social media presence, particularly on her Instagram and TikTok accounts.

In an Instagram post Spears made in July, the pop star answered questions she claimed her fans had posed in the comments. The video, while seemingly innocent, generated attention and fueled theories about Spears’ conservatorship. 

In the video, Spears answered, among other things, that her favorite Disney movie was “Frozen”. She also stated that her bedtime was generally around 11:30 to 12:00 P.M. In a viral TikTok, user, @greekgirl91, played a scene in “Frozen” around that timestamp that showed one of the characters imploring another that they had to “tell them to let me go.” 

While a far-fetched theory, fans were still put on edge, and the internet’s campaign to #FreeBritney ramped up speed.  

Many celebrities have also weighed in on the situation. Some called for an end to her conservatorship, while others have advocated for more transparency regarding the situation of her current legal status. Figures such as Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus, Cher, and Kacey Musgraves have all publicly given their support to Spears. 

It should be noted, however, that an investigation conducted by the Los Angeles times last year concluded that there was no evidence that could prove that either Spears or any of her financial assets were being harmed by her conservatorship. 

Chandra Bozelko, the vice president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, wrote for NBC News  that there are “emotional costs of a long-term conservatorship, especially to an otherwise capable person…that damage rarely appears in court evaluations or public records.”