Pop star diva Britney Spears has been in the news a lot in 2020. As fans worry over Spears’ mental state, family members continue to hold something called a conservatorship, which allows them to make financial and life decisions for the pop star. The conservatorship was bestowed after a public mental breakdown by Spears, but fans wonder if it’s allowed her family too much control. Recently, outright war has broken out among family members as they fight over the future of the conservatorship.
Why does Spears have a conservatorship?
CELEB previously explored the #FreeBritney campaign and the reasons behind the conservatorship. Spears has been in the public eye since she began performing at age 4. As a teen pop star, Spears was asked to change her style of singing so as not to compete with Disney Mickey Mouse Club co-star Christina Aguilera.
As fan obsession with her grew, the paparazzi began hounding her mercilessly. The combination of public pressure and mental illness precipitated a very public breakdown in 2007, the results of which are detailed by Instagram account dirty2000s (with credit to trash.bandicoot), “Now for the real tea. Everyone remembers the 2007 meltdown. Everyone. Leading up [to] the meltdown Britney was going thru a very public divorce, had two children under the age of 2 at the time and was VERY much the focus of the public. We all saw her on every magazine cover. We all also saw the photo of her with one of her kids on her lap while driving.
Go on YouTube once and look up ‘Britney Spears paparazzi.’ You’ll watch her be chased and followed by hundreds of them, even trying to get into a public restroom to photograph her, videotaping her in tears asking them to leave her alone, and even filming her thru the windows of an ambulance while she was naked being taken away for her final mental health hold.
After the public meltdown, shaving her head, looking herself in her home with her children, speaking in a British accent on [a] regular basis, wearing the infamous pink wig everywhere, and shopping naked, she was hospitalized twice. After the hospitalization, her father petitioned the courts to be a TEMPORARY conservator to her until she was mentally stable and for only one years time.
2 months after her hospitalization she did a guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother. 6 months after her hospitalization, she drops the Womanizer video and starts to promote her new album Circus with its worldwide tour that grossed $131.8 million. If she’s so unwell, why did she start working right away?”
What does the conservatorship restrict?
According to the Judicial Branch of California, a conservatorship is defined thus, “A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the ‘conservator’) to care for another adult (called the ‘conservatee’) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances.”
Her father, Jamie Spears, was granted control of the conservatorship in 2008. It was made permanent later that year. In order to do many things, Spears had to get her father’s permission. While specifics of Spears’ conservatorship aren’t public, it’s common that those under orders of one are restricted from marrying, driving a car, having children, or spending their own money without permission from their conservator, among other seemingly basic personal freedoms.
Jamie temporarily resigned from the conservatorship in 2019, citing health problems. Although his temporary resignation came on the heels of accusations that he abused one of Spears’ sons. Since then, it’s been in the hands of Jodi Montgomery, a licensed fiduciary. Spears has since requested that Montgomery retains control of the conservatorship permanently.
Family members square off over the future of Spears’ conservatorship
Us Weekly spoke to a source close to the situation, “‘Britney’s family is at war with each other and it’s all because of the conservatorship,’ a source exclusively tells Us Weekly.
‘Britney is remarkably resilient and is very engaged in the conservatorship, whereas in years prior, she wasn’t at all,’ the source tells Us. ‘She would never ask questions about it or go to court.’
‘[Britney’s mother] Lynne wants a care plan established that would transition Britney’s personal life out of the conservatorship. Jamie has told her that Britney needs long-term monitoring, and he doesn’t think she is prepared to take such a drastic action,’ the source explains. ‘With the conservatorship being extended until the beginning of 2021, Jamie was relieved because all he wants is to keep Britney safe and at her best.’
However, the Grammy winner feels that her dad is trying to keep her conservatorship ‘hidden away in a closet as a family secret,’ her attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, said in court documents obtained by Us earlier this month. She is also not happy about having less custody of her sons, Preston, 14, and Jayden, 13, than her ex-husband Kevin Federline.
‘Britney wants to live her life on her terms and is very displeased with the current custody arrangement,’ the source tells Us. ‘She needs to see the boys much more than she currently is.’”
Spears’ brother Bryan feels as though he’s torn in two trying to be the peace-keeper, and sister Jamie Lynn is trying to discourage people from discussing Spears’ situation without intimate knowledge of it. Jamie Lynn currently has control over Spears’ SJB Revocable trust money.
As family members continue argue over what the best path forward is, Spears is petitioning the court to have the conservatorship dissolved after the temporary extension expires in 2021.
What’s next for Spears and her conservatorship?
Montgomery continues to hold the reins through early 2021. Fans will continue to push for Spears to be released from the conservatorship, as her behavior online leads them to believe she feels trapped and wants out. DailyMail reported on remarks made by her lawyer legitimizing the FreeBritney fan campaign, saying, “‘[Britney] welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans,’ her lawyer penned on her behalf.
Spears’ dad Jamie, who has been in control of the conservatorship since its inception,has previously tried to shut down the controversial movement as illegitimate.”
Spears perseveres despite difficult circumstances
Although the court clearly feels that Spears is in the grips of a mental health crisis making her incapable of self care, Spears continues living life. As much as she can, anyway. In some Instagram videos, Spears paces like a caged bear, walking in circles as if on a runway. In others, Spears dances for the camera in a way that would appear care-free if viewers didn’t know that Spears’ every move was heavily restricted. Even people who are not fans of Spears have to feel sympathy that such a successful and powerful woman can’t make decisions in her own life.
Spears, who currently shares 30-70 custody with ex Federline, recently wished her boys happy birthday on Instagram, saying, “My two lil men’s birthdays are this week!!!!!! You guys are getting older and so big and are waaay cooler than me !!!!! I love you both to the moon and back and I hope all of your bday wishes come true and more !!!!!”
Spears will continue to fight to regain control of her life, or at least keep her father from returning to the helm of the conservatorship.