There’s a reason for all the #freebritney posts on social media. Award-winning singer Britney Spears is not in control of her career, and she hasn’t been for a while. Britney’s father Jamie Spears has had full control over Britney’s financial and personal affairs since her public meltdown in 2008. Arrangements like these typically take place when people have a severely diminished ability to make decisions for themselves, and are meant to be temporary. Unfortunately, the 38-year-old “Womanizer” singer has remained under court control longer than she would have imagined.
Since August, there has been an ongoing legal battle to reclaim control of her career and finances from her father. During a court hearing on Nov. 10, Britney’s attorney Samuel D. Ingham III requested for Jamie to be suspended from his central role in the conservatorship.
Ingham also expressed that Spears is “afraid” of her father, and if he keeps guardianship over her estate, she will never take the stage — the place the multifaceted star loves to be the most — again. “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” Ingham said via video conference. “She will not perform as long as her father is in charge of her career.”
Judge Brenda Penny declined to suspend Jamie from the court conservatorship
Though she declined to suspend Jamie, Penny made it clear that she would consider future petitions for his suspension or outright removal, which Ingham plans to file.
Jamie’s attorney Vivian Lee Thoreen argued in Jamie’s favor, stating that her client has done well as Britney’s conservator, having made her net worth take a major turn from in debt to over $60 million. “I don’t believe there is a shred of evidence to support my client’s suspension,” she said.
Britney’s mother and Jamie’s ex-wife Lynne Spears was present at the hearing as an interested party. “It has broken Lynne’s heart that things have come to this point,” her attorney, Gladstone N. Jones said. Jones clarified that Lynne has no ill will toward her ex-husband, but she thinks it’s “time to start fresh” and remove him.
Jones called Britney and Jamie’s relationship “toxic” and said Britney shouldn’t have to follow her father’s unreasonable demands against her will. Jones also said that while Britney is thankful for her father’s work all these years — he collects a paycheck for his role — and it’s time for him to give it up.
Britney has been silent on the subject publicly, though her fans speak for her
Many of Britney’s passionate fans — known collectively as the #FreeBritney movement — have been fighting to release her from the conservatorship for 12 years. They claim that their idol has been hiding coded signs of distress in her cryptic social media posts. For instance, fans thought Spears was making a cry for help after she posted an Instagram of a Hans Zatzka painting with doves, as someone had previously commented on one of her Instagrams, “post doves if [she] was in trouble.”
Jamie Spears continues to fight to have control over his daughter’s estate, though they have no “viable working relationship” and have not spoken in a “long while,” according to Britney’s lawyer.