Following mounting concern from fans that Britney Spears is being mistreated by those around her—concern that went viral in recent weeks with the hashtag #FreeBritney—the singer's mother filed a legal request this week to be included in financial decisions affecting her daughter, which until now have been managed by her legal conservators, Forbes reports.
Spears was put under a conservatorship in 2008 after the singer’s public breakdown that involved hospitalizations and psychiatric holds, with her father maintaining control of her finances and manager Jodi Montgomery acting as conservator since 2019 (after her father resigned from the position), giving them legal and financial control of the singer, and drawing $1.1 million in fees for their service annually.
Though conservatorships are typically reserved for individuals in a coma or with severe mental illness; throughout her 12-year conservatorship, Spears has released four albums, done a four-year $140 million Las Vegas performance residency, launched fashion and fragrance products and judged the X Factor, according to Insider.
Under the conservatorship, Spears cannot drive a car, vote, get married, have children or spend her own money, speak about the conservatorship and more, according to pop culture watchdog Diet Prada.
Spears’ activity is extremely irregular for conservatees, say experts, fans and celebrities like Miley Cryus and Rose McGowen who have rallied behind the #FreeBritney movement to end the conservatorship—expressing worries that Spears is amassing a fortune for her conservators while being deprived of her rights as an individual (like leaving the house, seeing her children, spending her money).
This week, Spears’ mother Lynn Spears has filed for “special notice” of her daughter’s financial activity in “all matters” pertaining to her daughter’s trust, according to documents obtained by the Blast, meaning she could act as a watchdog against alleged abuse by her father and conservator.
The Free Britney movement has gained momentum—over 104,000 people have successfully petitioned the White House to weigh in on Britney Spears’ conservatorship and over 185,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to grant the pop star the right of attorney.
Spears’ conservatorship was subject to court re-evaluation earlier this year but the hearing was pushed back to July 22 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to ET Online.
$59 million. This was the value of Spears’ assets in 2018, according to court documents obtained by ET Online.
Spears’ Instagram largely features her dancing around her house, inspirational quotes and self-portraits. This content has been widely spoofed by comedians. Fans argue making fun of Spears is inappropriate, saying this is all she is allowed to post under the conservatorship. Some argue that her content is coded with pleas for help.