In 2020, her lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, stated in a filing that Spears “strongly opposed” her father as conservator and that she refused to perform if he remained in charge of her career. Spears asked the court for her father to be suspended from his role as conservator. (He had temporarily stepped away in 2019 for health reasons.)
In February, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny overruled an objection from Jamie Spears to having a third party help look after his daughter’s financial affairs. A wealth-management company, Bessemer Trust, is now a co-conservator for the financial side of Spears’ situation. But Jamie Spears is still the main conservator for all other aspects of Spears’ arrangement.
Why is Spears planning to talk to the court now?
Back in April, Spears’ legal team asked Penny to allow her to speak to the court directly about the conservatorship, and they agreed that June 23 would be the date for this to happen. At the time, Ingham did not disclose why Spears wants to speak or what she intends to say.
Has Spears ever asked for the conservatorship to end?
Up until now, Spears has never voiced a desire for the conservatorship to be removed completely—at least not publicly. In a court filing, she has stated that the conservatorship “rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin” and allowed her to “regain her position as a world class entertainer.”
But on Tuesday afternoon, The New York Times reported that it had obtained confidential court records that purport to show that Spears has opposed the conservatorship privately for years. The Times quoted a 2016 report from a court investigator assigned to Spears’ case, in which the investigator wrote that Spears told her that the conservatorship had “become an oppressive and controlling tool against her” and that she wanted the arrangement to end quickly.
According to the Times, Spears told the court in 2019 that the conservatorship had forced her into a stay at a mental health facility, as well as into making public performances against her will. The article further reported that the conservatorship had dictated Spears’ friendships, her dating life and her spending habits, even preventing her from refinishing kitchen cabinets according to her taste.
As early as 2014, the article states, Spears wanted to consider removing her father from his prime role in the conservatorship, citing his reportedly heavy drinking.
Does Spears herself support the #FreeBritney movement?
Certain Spears fans have organized themselves into a grassroots movement—#FreeBritney—to help Spears regain autonomy over her life. The dynamics between Spears and her dedicated #FreeBritney fans are murky, as are her various declarations on social media.
In a court filing last September, her lawyer, Ingham, wrote: “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.”
On the other hand, Spears to date has never publicly asked to be released from the conservatorship and regain her autonomy—which is the main goal of #FreeBritney.