What Makes Britney’s Conservatorship So Unique?
I’m an attorney, so I can’t help but have an opinion on this: #FreeBritney!
If you’ve been following the news, you’ve likely seen the bright pink posters demanding to #FreeBritney. Britney’s performances and global success have people wondering if Britney really needs a conservatorship after all. We don’t have Britney’s medical records so it’s impossible to say whether she really needs a conservator or not. However, there are several very unusual circumstances surrounding Britney’s conservatorship. It’s important to draw attention to Britney’s conservatorship as it may help many others who are suffering conservatorship abuse.
An Extremely Oppressive Conservatorship:
Conservatorship over an individual’s person and finances means has far reaching implications. Since Jamie Spears has conservatorship over Britney’s person, it means he can force her to undergo treatments she does not want, take medicine she does not want, and decide how many children she can have. According to a recent testimony, Jamie Spears has done all of the aforementioned. He’s even prevented her from marrying her boyfriend. And, he is legally able to do all of this because of the conservatorship.
A “High Functioning Conservatee”:
Perhaps the most unusual facet of this case is Britney’s ability to work. During her testimony on June 23rd, 2021, Britney argued the following, “ I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work, and provide money, and work for myself, and pay other people. It makes no sense. The laws need to change. What state allows people to own another person’s money and account and threaten them in saying ‘you can’t spend your money unless you do what we want you to do’? And, I’m paying them.” Britney has been called a “high-functioning conservatee” which is odd because conservatorships are created to protect those who cannot function well enough to manage themselves or their finances.
Jamie’s Financially Benefiting:
Conservators are typically paid for their services. Though this is normal, the large sums of money involved make Britney’s situation unique. Jamie Spears is undeniably benefitting from his daughter’s conservatorship: estimates show that he’s making around $16,000.00 per month. According to a New York Times’s documentary, Jamie Spears took home 1.5% of the gross revenue Britney earned during her Las Vegas residency. She has also paid for his lawyers involving her contested petition to remove him as conservator. No matter how you look at it, Jamie Spears has an undisputed financial interest in keeping Britney in this conservatorship.
The Paparazzi Knowingly Provoked a Breakdown:
If you were paying attention to the tabloids in 2007, you likely saw the tragic photographs of Britney at her lowest point—likely going through bouts of postpartum depression. Recent interviews with the paparazzi who took those photos demonstrate that they knew exactly what they were doing: the paparazzi revealed to the interviewer, “That was not a good night for her. And it was not a good night for us. But it was a good night for us because it was a money shot.”
When the interviewer asked the male paparazzi if he thought all the cameras following Britney affected her, he replied thusly: “I don’t really think, and I don’t really believe because, you know, working on her for so many years, she never gave us a clue or information to us that, ‘I don’t appreciate you guys, leave me the eff alone’.” The interviewer then asked the paparazzi the obvious question, “What about when she said, ‘Leave me alone’?” In response, the male paparazzi babbled a barely cogent justification: “There were times when she’s like, ‘Can you leave me alone for the day?’ But it wasn’t like, ‘Leave me alone forever.’ You know what I mean?”
Her Father Refuses to Step Down:
While it is entirely possible that Britney really does need a conservatorship, her father’s financial benefit, combined with his refusal to remove himself as a conservator, is, at the very best, suspicious. If Jamie really does feel that Britney needs a conservator, why doesn’t he step aside and allow someone else to do it? It’s also suspicious that, after Britney’s most recent testimony, the bank recently named a co-conservator, Bessemer Trust, requested to be removed from the conservatorship.
The Devastating Reality of Conservatorship Abuse:
Unfortunately, conservatorship abuse is far from uncommon. Though we don’t have Britney’s medical records, it is unusual that Britney is in a conservatorship when she can work and employ others. Regardless of whether or not Britney needs a conservatorship, it’s obvious that her conservatorship with Jamie is doing much more harm than good.