September 07, 2020
You’ve probably heard rumblings about the #FreeBritney movement over the past few years, but what actually is it? 
What Exactly Is The #FreeBritney Movement?
Even Britney Spears herself appears to have shown support for the movement in recent days. Here’s everything you need to know...What is the #FreeBritney movement?The #FreeBritney movement was set up by one of Britney’s biggest fans in 2009 when Jordan Miller, owner of the Breathe Heavy fansite, began a campaign to ‘free Britney’ from her conservatorship.
This conservatorship, which she has been placed under since 2008, severely restricts her movement and her ability to control her own finances, namely her estate, which are under the control of her father, Jamie Spears.What Jordan began grew into a movement. The protests staged in Los Angeles draw attention to the conservatorship, which many fans believe is an injustice. 
Fresh life was breathed into the movement in early 2019, following reports the Singer had checked herself into a mental health facility.. 
Thousands began using the #FreeBritney hashtag on Social Media after fan podcast Britney’s Gram received an anonymous call from a man claiming to be a paralegal working on Spears’s conservatorship, who appeared to validate fears she had been pressured into entering the facility.
Following the call, fans speculated about the singer’s safety and current whereabouts, given she hadn’t posted anything new on social media in an unusually long time.
Then it all took off: Miley Cyrus name-checked the #FreeBritney campaign in a live gig, which went viral online, and the campaign also met physically for a giant protest on April 22 outside the Hollywood City Hall where Britney supporters brandished placards.Back up a minute, what is a legal conservatorship exactly?An American legal proposition, a conservatorship is when another individual is given control of a person’s finances, including their estate, as well as most aspects of their daily life.
According to one Change.org petition which has gained over 100,000 signatures, the ruling means Britney is not allowed to drive, hang out with Friends, vote, or spend any of her money without gaining permission from her father, her conservator.
The idea is that a conservatorship is put in place to manage the affairs of people with physical or mental limitations, or people that are too unwell to manage their lives themselves.I didn’t realise she was unwell?Well that’s kind of the point the fans argue. They say that this is a cynical ploy by people with power around Britney to control her finances, and potentially make more money from her, rather than being actually in the singer’s best interests.
“There are a lot of people who make money because of the money that Britney makes,” Barbara Gray, one half of the Britney’s Gram podcast team explained to Buzzfeed News. “It would be in their favour to control that money in a certain way.”
Britney herself rarely comments on her own situation or her mental health, which is why her Instagram post on April 2019 made headlines. “My situation is unique, but I promise I’m doing what’s best at this moment,” she said. “What I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way.” View this post on InstagramA post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Apr 23, 2019 at 6:30pm PDTBut Britney’s father Jamie Spears has maintained the role of conservator to Britney since 2008 despite the backlash, with the exception of a short period in 2019 after he fell ill. He recently defended the court ruling in a rare interview.
In July 2020, he said: “The world don’t have a clue. It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.”
“People are being stalked and targeted with death threats. It’s horrible. We don’t want those kinds of fans,” he continued, criticising the approach of some people from within the #FreeBritney movement. “I love my daughter. I love all my kids. But this is our business. It’s private.”So how unwell is Britney exactly?Britney had been behaving in ways the courts may have deemed irrational since around 2004, when she gained an annulment after a 55-hour wedding because she “lacked understanding of her actions,” according to one court document.
In the years following she was seen driving with her first son Sean, with dancer Kevin Federline, on her lap rather than in a child seat and for a number of years made bizarre TV appearances where critics say she seemed unlike her former self.
The story escalated around 2007 when Britney attacked a car window with an umbrella shortly after shaving off her hair - and was caught by waiting photographers.
Following the erratic behaviour, Britney was sent to see psychiatrists, and the court ordered a conservatorship in 2008, which was given to her father Jamie.
In recent years, fans have shared concern over the singer’s Instagram updates, which frequently show the singer at home, often singing and dancing, but speaking in a frantic way and seeming disconnected.Why is the #FreeBritney movement back in the press?Just over a year since the anoymous call from a paralegal claiming Britney had been pressured into entering a mental health facility, the #FreeBritney campaign is again in the press.
Over the past 12 months or so, there have been various major updates to the story, the first of which being Britney’s father speaking out.
As we mentioned before, Jamie Spears takes issue with the #FreeBritney movement. He called it a “joke” and a “conspiracy theory” in his Page Six interview published in August this year, which has inflamed the feelings of the movement against her conservatorship.
But Britney herself has reportedly been seeking removal from the conservatorship since last year.
According to a source who spoke to CNN at the annual court hearing in 2019, Britney requested the judge end her conservatorship.
“Of course she wants it to end, because she’s not of the right mental state to understand her issues,” said the anonymous source. “She has a mental illness and that doesn’t mean she needs to be locked up. It puts her somewhere in the middle. She’s working on it. It’s a struggle on a daily basis.”And just this month, some proper clarity...And just this month, Britney’s legal position was made crystal clear, after her attorney, Samuel D. Inham III reportedly filed documents to the Los Angeles Superior Court reading: “At this point in her life when she is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans.”
The statement, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, is significant, because it appears to confirm Britney’s support for the #FreeBritney movement.
It also clarifies how Britney is seeking at least a change to the conservatorship, which was temporarily signed over to Britney’s sister Jamie Lynn in 2019 after her father briefly became ill. Jamie has been a trustee of Britney’s estate since 2018 so has some say over her finances, and in an August 2020 court filing Jamie Lynn asked for control of money stored in a trust fund for Britney’s children, so she has been getting progressively more involved.
“Although the sealing motion is supposedly for her ‘protection,’ Britney herself is vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret,” continued her attorney in the court filing. 
“Far from being a conspiracy theory or a ‘joke’ as James reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of James’ aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimise the amount of meaningful information made available to the public,” Inham III said.
The court hearing for the request to change the conservatorship from its current status to a ‘voluntary’ conservatorship, which would allow the singer to nominate her own conservator, has been scheduled for November 10.READ MORE 16 Facts You Probably Never Knew About Britney Spears' Oops!... I Did It Again Britney Spears Confesses To Ultimate 'Oops' Moment After Accidentally Burning Down Home Gym Britney Spears And Justin Timberlake Officially Put Split Behind Them In Sweet Instagram Exchange
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