Should Britney Spears’ Conservatorship End?

Conservatorships are legally binding arrangements intended to help incapacitated persons who can no longer care for themselves or their financial affairs. It is intended to protect these vulnerable persons from exploitation and abuse. However, in the case of Britney Spears, she alleges that her 13-year-old conservatorship has been used as a vehicle to do the very things it was established to protect her from (exploitation and abuse) by none of than her own father: James Parnell Spears.


PAGE ONE: What Led To The Conservatorship

PAGE TWO: Britney’s Cries For Help


Like many, I first discovered that Britney was in a conservatorship when the infamous hashtag #freebritney trended on Twitter a few months ago. Before then, I had been completely unaware Britney was placed in a conservatorship of both her person and her estate since her public unraveling back in 2007.

Following the birth of two children and a divorce from her husband of two years (Kevin Federline) Britney reportedly experienced a bout with alcohol and substance abuse (and likely postpartum depression.)

While being relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi, her parenting choices were often brought under scrutiny and harshly criticized, most notably in 2006 when she was caught driving with one of her infant sons on her lap.

Naturally, this rather bizarre behavior was concerning for many onlookers, seeing a child put in imminent danger by it’s own mother in public. My personal instinct is to then wonder at the things taking place behind closed doors if she was behaving this recklessly in public.

I believe her excuse was that she was trying to protect the child while being hounded by paparazzi, but the paps denied this claim. It’s also just poor logic, seeing as how the child is in far more danger on her lap in front of that steering wheel, held haphazardly with one arm in a moving vehicle, rather than safely in a car seat while paps take pictures from a distance. She also reportedly justified the moment by saying it’s what her father used to do with her all the time.

Following her public unraveling, in which she shaved her head and subsequently attacked a paparazzi’s car with an umbrella, Britney temporarily lost custody of her children to ex-husband Federline and was only granted visitation.

Around January 2008, Britney officially lost full custody of her two children, and even had her visitation suspended after refusing to return the children to Kevin, as well as skipping out on a court-ordered drug/alcohol test. After a standoff with police in her Beverly Hills home, she was taken out of the house on a stretcher and 5150’ed (meaning she was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility and thought to be a danger to herself and others.)

FROM THE GUARDIAN:

The court in Los Angeles issued the ruling after Spears was arrested and stretchered away from her home by ambulance earlier today after refusing to hand her children over to Federline.

A four-hour standoff at the troubled singer’s Beverly Hills mansion began at 7pm on Thursday (0300 GMT) when she refused to hand her sons, two-year-old Sean Preston and one-year-old Jayden James, over to the children’s father.

Police officers arrived at Spears’ home at around 8pm. She finally turned over the children at around 10.50pm, according to the Los Angeles police department.


As a result of Britney’s very public mental health crisis and her life falling to shambles, her father James Spears (aka Jamie Spears) stepped in and was granted a conservatorship of both her person and her estate. Here’s what that looks like, according to The Associated Press:

With a fortune of more than $50 million comes secrecy, and the court closely guards the inner workings of Spears’ conservatorship. Some aspects have been revealed in documents. The conservatorship has the power to restrict her visitors. It arranges and oversees visits with her sons, ages 14 and 15; father Kevin Federline has full custody. It has the power to take out restraining orders in her name, which it has used more than once to keep away interlopers deemed shady. It has the power to make her medical decisions and her business deals. She said at Wednesday’s hearing that she has been compelled to take drugs against her will, has been kept from having an intrauterine device for birth control removed and has been required to undertake performances when she didn’t want to. Legally, Spears can get married, but the conservatorship must approve it as with other major life decisions. Spears said Wednesday that she wants to get married and have another child, but has been denied the chance to do either.

Her father has largely been in charge through the years, and the stereotypical image of a parent preying on a famous child’s fortune fuels the enmity against James Spears and the conservatorship, though his every move is scrutinized by the court. From 2008 until 2019, he had power over her life choices, and he and attorney Andrew Wallet controlled her money. Now, he has financial control only, and must share that role with the Bessemer Trust, an estate-management firm. Jodi Montgomery, a court-appointed professional, now acts as conservator over her personal matters.

Apart from the multitude of obvious ways a conservatorship robs the conservatee of their agency (in addition to the emotional consequences and loss of autonomy from being a child celebrity) I find it particularly troubling that Britney is not even allowed to appoint her own legal counsel to look into the matter of the conservatorship on her behalf. Nor can they defend her if untoward things are occurring among the conservators.

A conservatee is well and truly trapped, because they are deemed mentally incapacitated, and therefore have no say in how they should be treated or how their life should be ran. They are also not considered good judges of character when deciding who should be in control of their lives. That’s why this situation is so legally perplexing: Britney is essentially the only one who can prove she is being abused, yet she has also been deemed mentally inept, and is therefore not a credible enough witness to help substantiate these allegations in the eyes of the court.

Thankfully for Britney, she was recently granted the right to choose her own legal counsel, something she has fought for since Day One of her conservatorship back in 2008, when she attempted to hire a lawyer but he was not allowed to represent her in court. Her conservatorship attorney since then (Samuel D. Ingham III) was court-appointed. However, he recently resigned, opening a window for Britney to request new representation of her own choosing.

Britney’s former court appointed attorney: Samuel D. Ingham III,

However, I can also see the other side of this dilemma. Despite having much sympathy for her and hoping she ultimately receives justice, I am still capable of understanding why Britney wasn’t allowed to choose her own legal counsel for so long. Enter: Sam Lutfi, her supposed ex-manager who allegedly sent her further down the path of destruction after they met in 2007 and he tried to take control of her life.

His influence over Britney proved detrimental to her health and her career, as he allegedly forced her to take drugs to remain under his control, as well as severed her communication with her family to ensure she could not be saved. As a result of his relentless efforts to maintain influence over Britney even after her father stepped into the picture, in 2009 her family requested and were granted a restraining order to keep Sam out of contact with themselves as well as the star. The restraining order was renewed in 2019.

FROM NME:

In April, Spears posted an Instagram video in which she spoke to fans after being admitted to a mental health facility and accused Lutfi of fabricating emails from her.

‘Don’t believe everything you read and hear,’ she wrote in the caption. ‘These fake emails everywhere were crafted by Sam Lutfi years ago… I did not write them. He was pretending to be me and communicating with my team with a fake email address. My situation is unique, but I promise I’m doing what’s best at this moment.’”


PAGE TWO: Britney’s Cries For Help

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
25 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anonymous
Anonymous
1 month ago

I really didn’t know what was going on with Britney then I watched that documentary about her on Hulu and omg. People have been feeding off her fame for years including Justin Timberlake, sad. He even apologized to her cause he knows he looked like a complete asshole. I think she needs a brand new judge that has no prejudices to look over everything and make the final say. But I also think she does deserve to have a right to have more say what she wants with her life. So she said that her dad was the one told her she was doing that Las Vegas residency. But she said she was the one teaching her dancers all the choreography. To work all those hours and put on a show every night and then not have any control over the money that comes in. I would be fed up too. She was also supposed to announce a second residency and she just walked off the stage without saying anything. I don’t blame her. I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors but apparently her dad was never around for her but I don’t know. She doesn’t want him if she has to be on a conservatership than hopefully they will find someone who will look out for her best interests and make her happy.

R T
R T
1 month ago

I study law and conservatorships were initially created for people with disabilities and brain damage. The court has the responsibility to appoint a conservator based off of that persons love and genuine care they feel over the conservatee. It should be a trusted family relative or guardian who has the conservatee’s best wishes in mind when making decisions. It is common that people with Alzheimer’s, or some debilitating disability be placed under the conservatorship.
This is why Britney has a unique case. She was deemed mentally incapacitated which is why she was placed under conservatorship. Yet she continues to perform and speak her mind rather eloquently for someone who is “incapacitated.”
I think the courts hesitation lies in precedent. Britney’s case will set precedent for all other cases dealing with individuals labeled mentally incapacitated. Someone who is not mentally able to make decisions for themselves or others. It’s a broad term that arguably, Britney doesn’t fall under. She is unstable but not incapacitated. The issue lies in the court having to change that narrative to protect those who are actually incapacitated and do need the conservatorship.

Denni
Denni
1 month ago

The people in this world have become so inundated with self, with greed, with corruption, hypocrisy, ect. It is such a great feat to find individuals who genuinly care about another’s welfare and general wellbeing. Self is continuously glorified and looked out for. That is to say, that while I quite clearly understand the reasons for the need of a conservatorship in the beginning, it has glaringly been 13 years of a human beings life and i am certain she’s had mych help and progress. No human being should be subjected to that sort of slavery after thirteen years. Could it be that her ongoing shady behavior is brought on by the simple depressing thought of knowing that your entire life and hard earned money is being solely controlled by others. That alone would drive anyone who has had to face what she has, completely mad. As for the man, 🙄I might be speaking from personal experience but I somehow have a hunch.

R T
R T
1 month ago

Britney is 38 now. Its gone on too long, she’s a grown woman. Sure she may fall down a bad path again, but let her make that fall and/or rise on her own. Her life is her own and I think even if there are people in her life who care and think she needs the conservatorship to get better, she should be able to decide for herself if she gets help or not.
It’s like when someone you love is in a toxic relationship and you just want to force them out of it to save them and make them see how bad it is but can’t do that bc they have to make that choice on their own. There’s only so much you can do to try and help a person but ultimately the decision is theirs and rightly so. No one should have control over another grown adults life.
Going forward I think that maybe Britney just needs a close personal manager that is of her own choice that she loves and trusts to help guide her but also not control her.

And I do not trust the bf. The fact alone that he has a good relationship with her father is enough reason for red flags.

blue
blue
1 month ago

Her father seems so abusive, ready to milk the shit out of her and so all her fam, i saw someone before made the point of britney talking about how badly her dad and her family used her and treated her so badly and how Britney didn’t make exceptions means that none of her fam supported her!!
also idk why but her fiance doesn’t seem genuine to me, I just can’t trust him!!

adnil
adnil
1 month ago

Just my opinion in general. How many rich famous people become addicted to drugs and alcohol and never have been forced into a conservatorship. I’m not saying this was her problem, but I feel like this is about her money. Her father was worried about someone taking advantage of her and her money. This woman was stalked by paparazzi so badly it was obscene. No one is a perfect parent, but her mistakes were trotted in front of the world to judge! I have seen people put their child on the back of a motorcycle (a young child) and that is legal! Just hold on while I drive on the highway! Really! I’m sorry but I used to stand on the front seat of my parents car, and they didn’t have their children taken away. I feel attorney was bought and so was the judge and I am happy she has a new attorney. She was well enough to make them money for 13 years, and I am so happy she if refusing to perform until this is resolved. She needs a chance to stand on her own.

Teresa
Teresa
1 month ago

I think it’s disgusting what is happening with Britney. I don’t understand how a person who is deemed unable to be in charge of their own life is still out there performing. I saw Britney during her Vegas residency. I wasn’t aware of the conservatorship at the time. She is being used by everyone involved, it seems. Her dad & her ex are both slimy. Where is her mother in all of this?? Sam seems to be a nice guy. I hope. God knows she needs a good support system. I do believe she is definitely troubled. Her very recent IG posts are still a little out there. I hope she gets some control back over her life & gets herself some good counseling.

Perla
Perla
1 month ago

I do think she have her ows baggage of mental issues. But she’s a grown up woman and she worked a lot for that money. I think she deserves a chance to prove everyone and herself that she’s beyond her past. I think most of the things she did was in fact to feel the freedom she never had. Mental health as we know is very important but being treated like a bad behaved kid for so many years aren’t doing any good. But I have to said, even if I’m happy she’s getting that freedom back, I kinda worry that her recent post aren’t exactly as mature as you could expect for a woman of her age. Perhaps she’s trying to remove the submissive image she get in that recent documental?
Idw 😕

Kaodi
Kaodi
1 month ago

The time the court (legal system) waste on rich people. Isn’t there a homeless druggie or abused child to sort out??

Kaodi
Kaodi
1 month ago

The drug dealer managr situation is bad, BUT she has the right to make bad choices as consenting adult.

Dawn
Dawn
1 month ago

Much to consider! I strongly believe that Britney needs a new conservatorship. I think once she shows that she is in fact in comtrol
Of her life, they could lessen the control. That isn’t going to happen with her father in charge. I saw Britney at Mohegan In 2017 or 2018. She lip sang but, soild out the arena. Her dancing was great. My ticket was 385😱😱😱 which was crazy, but I wanted to see her. 😱 I just want her to regain her life & have some control over things. I strongly believe her whole family is shady. That once they had control over her, she became the Cash Cow! Where did all of her money go? She was worth 200 million dollars a few years ago, now it’s 50 million. It’s a mess, but I am hopeful she can regain some control. She absolutely deserves the right to try. #FreeBritney

Kaodi
Kaodi
1 month ago

Before I read your opinion I want to state mine. If a instable person need to be under conservatories. Their finance should not be associated like legally no one should be able to control their money even if they are a drug addict.

Now Ill STFU and start reading