“If Britney Can Survive 2007, I Can Make it Through Today” is a modern day mantra, inspired by the public breakdown of pop sensation, Britney Spears. She is a tragic figure at times, but also a triumphant one. Now it’s up to the courts to decide what she is allowed to be in future.
2007 marks the start of a major shift within popular culture. The public witnessed events such as the on-screen adaptation of Harry Potter, the rise of Judd Apatow, the debut of the iPhone and the sensational Hollywood writers strike. For Britney Spears, however, 2007 is the year that marks the start of an ongoing struggle with her personal life and public identity. This is the year that a 25-year-old Spears filed for divorce from then-husband, Kevin Federline. Before long, Spears became the victim of a series of highly public breakdowns. This has inspired both public scrutiny and such fan support as Chris Crocker’s “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!” and more recently, the #FreeBritney movement.
The events surrounding Spears’ public struggle became exacerbated by a sole custody battle for her sons Sean and Jayden in 2008. One day after checking out of a rehab facility in the Caribbean (due to allegations of substance abuse), Spears shaves her head in Sherman Oaks, CA. She is later snapped by the tabloids, partying with Paris Hilton. Next, she is sighted driving an SUV with her son, Sean, on her lap. Spears subsequently becomes the subject of public ridicule for failing to use a child-safe car seat. Around the same time, Spears is photographed hitting Daniel “Dano” Ramos’ car with an umbrella (which the videographer later auctioned off). Spears is rushed to hospital and placed on psychiatric hold following these events.
The events leading up to Britney Spear’s public breakdown result in an ongoing legal guardianship known as a conservatorship. A conservatorship is a legal arrangement that gives a third party control over someone else. These arrangements are typically only enforced over those who are incapable of making decisions on their own.
It is controversially controlled in part by her once-estranged father, James P. Spears. This arrangement has put her estate, financial assets and personal assets under the control of her father and a lawyer since its initiation in 2008. After 13 years of control over her life and fortune, the effects of this conservatorship have all but destroyed her career and personal freedoms. How can Spears’ public image possibly be rebuilt or restored under such unusually strict conditions?
In 2020, Spears became subject to an extension of her conservatorship four separate times. Currently, she fights to have her father removed as a legal guardian and has recently asked the court to end her abusive conservatorship.
On June 23, 2021, Spears addresses a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, asking for an end to the conservatorship. She claims that it removes all autonomy from her personal and professional life. Parts of the statement subsequently leak to the media, including allegations that she has been given an involuntary IUD, despite her desire to have more children.
“It’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end… I just want my life back. The conservatorship should end. I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.”
Confidential court records, formally obtained by the New York Times reveal that Spears, now 39, has expressed serious opposition than has previously been unknown.
“She articulated she feels the conservatorship has become an oppressive and controlling tool against her,” a court investigator wrote in a 2016 report. The system had “too much control,” Ms. Spears said, according to the investigator’s account of the conversation. “Too, too much!”
Source: NY Times
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Spears declares, in a recent Instagram post, that she will not be performing under her father’s conservatorship.
She also responds to criticisers of her dancing clips,
“For those of you who choose to criticize my dancing videos … look I’m not gonna be performing on any stages anytime soon with my dad handling what I wear, say, do, or think!!!!”
Spears goes on to explain that she’s been performing over the last 13 years under a conservatorship which doesn’t allow her to add any new songs or give direction to her shows. After a less-than-desirable experience performing in Las Vegas, Spears explains that she doesn’t wish to do another run of dates.
The star alleges that her handlers sought retribution after she turned down the opportunity to perform again. Spears claims that the handlers were working with her doctors in an attempt to change her medication. They also forced her into a rehabilitation program in Beverly Hills.
Due to the recent escalation of events regarding her conservatorship, Spears requests a new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart. He plans to file a petition to remove Jamie Spears from the conservatorship. The case will continue in September 2021.
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