Social media has launched the hashtag #FreeBritney (“Freedom of Britney”) – fans suspect that the singer, who has been living under guardianship for many years, is “kind of in custody.”
Britney Spears is in trouble. It’s been a long time. But now, thanks to social networks, they are becoming a global trend. Since 2008, the popular singer is considered incapacitated, and her father, James Spears, is her guardian.
During this time, Spears earned tens of millions of dollars, but she could quarrel with her father, which is why she has not appeared in public for more than a year. Fans are sounding the alarm and even created a whole movement #FreeBritney.
In January 2008, Britney Spears was admitted to a psychiatric clinic. According to Britney herself, without her consent. It was after this that the singer’s father Jamie Spears and family lawyer Andrew Wallet received temporary custody of her, which in October of the same year became permanent, according to a written petition from her father.
Jamie Spears stopped playing the role of guardian in 2019 due to health problems, and this role was taken over by the singer’s personal manager Jodie Montgomery.
In the case of Britney, the guardians have complete control over her affairs, both in terms of finances and in terms of her health and decisions regarding her personal life, according to other media publications.
However, lawyer Stanton Stein, representing Britney in court, claims that the singer is always involved in all business decisions concerning her career and finances. Nevertheless, the trustees manage Britney’s fortune, which, according to the British newspaper Daily Telegraph, is estimated at about $ 215 million.
Guardianship in the United States implies complete control over the life of the ward. The guardian can control her movements, finances, personal life and any other actions – the ward cannot independently conclude transactions, cannot hire his own lawyer.
Usually, this measure is applied by court order to people in a coma, disabled people, children, people with cognitive impairments, and so on. Britney Spears totally doesn’t fit into any of these categories. Moreover, she continues to work as a capable person – performing and recording new songs.
Since 2008, when the guardianship took effect, Spears has released four albums and went on two world tours in 2009 and 2011. In addition, her show “Britney: Piece Of Me” from 2013 to 2017 in Las Vegas, it was shown 248 times, each performance earning the singer half a million dollars.
Perhaps the court decided to resort to the guardianship scheme precisely because of the singer’s financial success and large fortune, writes the LA Times. Journalists quote psychologist Stacey Wood, an expert in custody cases: “I can imagine how much a person with this condition could attract people, and many of them are not with the purest thoughts. This guardianship can save her from this.”
Britney Spears’ next show in Las Vegas – already with a new program called “Domination” – was supposed to launch in 2019. However, it was suddenly cancelled, the official reason being James Spears’ illness. In social networks, Britney herself announced that she could not prepare for the show in such a situation and wanted to spend this time with her family.
Britney again ended up in a mental hospital, ostensibly to “cope with the stress of her father’s illness.”
Then the theory was born that the cancellation of the show Domination and the hospitalization of Britney happened against her will. This is how the #FreeBritney movement was born. As part of the movement, fans write words of support on the singer’s social networks and try to calculate, by indirect signs, whether she is in danger. Thousands of posts appear on social networks using the #FreeBritney hashtag. For each new post on the singer’s instagram, users write hundreds of comments asking if she is doing well.
In the video and comments to the photos on Instagram and TikTok, the singer does not answer. The last time she said something about her situation was in April 2019, when she said: “I’m fine, I need to be with my family.” In 2020, on social media, she mostly dances in front of the camera, exercises, or talks about her favorite food.
In these posts, fans are also trying to see signs of help that the singer allegedly gives them. For example, under one of the videos, they wrote to her: “If you need help, put on yellow in the next video”. After that, she actually appeared in the video in a yellow top – in it she just walks in front of the camera, nothing else happens. In one of the posts, Britney quotes Arundhati Roy’s book “The God of Little Things”, the main character of which is trying to escape from an evil father – this was also taken as a hint that Britney is in trouble.
Fans have also launched a signature campaign to support the singer, calling for her to hire her own lawyer. By the time this article was written, the petition had already collected more than 200 thousand signatures. The petition text says: “After four world tours with dangerous aerial and fire stunts, we can say that Britney is independent enough to eat and dress.”
Posts with a hashtag also leave stars: Cher, Rose McGoan, Paris Hilton and others are among them. Singer Miley Cyrus shouted from the stage at one of the concerts: “Free Britney!”
To officially return to legal capacity, Spears must prove to the court that she can live independently. On July 22, 2020, regular hearings on this issue will be held, the decision is scheduled for August 22.