When Britney Spears burst onto the scene in 1998 with ‘…Baby One More Time’, she was only sixteen years old. From the very start, this has created issues with who controls the singer’s estate.
In 2008, the singer’s management was placed in the hands of her legal guardians in an arrangement known as conservatorship after the singer’s mental health issues unfurled publicly.
Under U.S law, a conservatorship is defined as “the appointment of a guardian or a protector by a judge to manage the financial affairs and/or daily life of another person due to old age or physical or mental limitations.”
Thus, following the 2008 ruling, Britney Spears’s father, Jamie Spears, has been in control of her estate and management. In recent years, however, the singer has been attempting to legally dismiss him from the role and retain control of her own affairs.
This prolonged legal battle gained media traction once the documentary, Framing Britney Spears, was released earlier this year and the fan movement #FreeBritney started gaining even more followers.
Britney has been trying to oust her father from the role because of the excessive control that the conservatorship has on her life. Confidential court reports obtained by The New York Times showed that the singer was restricted in aspects as far-ranging as who she dated and even the colour of her kitchen cabinets.
While Spears has been pursuing control of her estate for almost a decade now, the movement was brought to court in November 2020 when a judge declined to remove Jamie Spears but did employ Bessemer Trust as co-conservator of her finances. However, this seeming progress was dashed after a judge extended Jamie Spears control until September of this year.
In the past, Britney’s lawyers have said that she is “afraid of her father” and that he has been aggressive and domineering with the way he handles proceedings. While ostensibly he has stepped back from the role on a temporary basis due to ill-health he is still technically in control and is said to be operating behind the scenes.
When Britney spoke in court she recently made a 20-minute address stating: “I want to end this conservatorship without being evaluated.” Before emotionally adding, “This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good. I deserve to have a life.”
She pleaded that she wants to have more children and get married which the conservatorship restricts by enforcing birth control over her by the threat of legality and finance issues if she was to disobey.
For now, the judge has denied the request to dispose of her father from the conservatorship, but more developments are expected in the coming weeks.