Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship with her father for 13 years, and following the ongoing #FreeBritney movement, she has finally had him removed.
On Monday she thanked her supporters in a Twitter post, saying she cried for two hours for having the best fans.
The #FreeBrittany campaign started gaining traction in recent years as well as many documentaries catching the public’s attention about Spears and the issues plaguing her.
It began around 2007 when her custody battle with Kevin Federline was publicized and appeared like it would only be temporary until Spears could gather herself.
That time never came, despite her still working yet evidently being deemed unable to make her own medical and life decisions.
Finally, in 2021, her father has been removed, but the conservatorship is not over yet.
FingerLakes1.com was able to speak with Leslie Silva, an attorney with Tully Rinckey out of Albany, New York, who specializes in family and matrimonial law.
“This type of conservatorship is really supposed to be for people who cannot make decisions for themselves based on a medical diagnosis,” Silva said. “We really haven’t heard much about that, if she is in fact diagnosed with something- that’s her private medical information and we really aren’t entitled to it but the court must know.”
Silva added that Spears is out among society and functioning, so it may not be as strong of a disability as her father alleges.
Episodic behaviors are not unheard of when it comes to custody battles, says Silva.
“I do a lot of family and matrimonial law, and when people are going through those really tough break-ups and the kids are involved, when you face the idea that you could be losing time with your children, a lot of trauma comes from that and people can have breakdowns sometimes,” she said.
“But that doesn’t mean that they’re forever and it doesn’t mean that they can’t get counseling and treatment, or that they need to be on medicine, or have someone make all their decisions for them, so I think this went to an extreme it didn’t need to go to.” she said.
Unfortunately these situations aren’t uncommon among celebrities.
Amanda Bynes, 35, is currently in a conservatorship under her mother, according to MamaMia. Hers is different because her mother signed financial rights back over to Bynes in 2017 which made her conservatorship far less restrictive than Spears’.
One of the reasons Silva believes this happens to celebrities is because of their money.
“There have been plenty of celebrities over time that have made a lot of money and lost their fortunes due to the reckless behavior they had; it’s America and you have the freedom to do that here,” she said. “You have the freedom to work so you have the freedom to shop and spend your money if you want to. If it wasn’t for her money, I question, would her family have taken these steps? They all appear to be financed by her and their self interests need to be recognized so I hope that the court looks into that when they’re doing this investigation.”
Jamie Spears has agreed to withdraw from the conservatorship following his daughters claims of conservatorship abuse and her obtainment of a new lawyer.
Though her father stepped down, according to Meaww, her new conservator, CPA John Zabel, is not qualified in Mr. Spears’ eyes to handle her $60 million dollar fortune.
It’s also come out that her father got into a physical altercation with one of her sons.
“Mr. Zabel is going to take over for now for her finances, they did not terminate or end the conservatorship in general,” Silva said. “I think that’s because the court really wants to oversee the transition of documents and that Mr. Spears hands over everything he’s supposed to. Given the allegations against Mr. Spears I’m going to assume that the court wants to remain privy to any forensic accounting that’s going to be done and see if there’s really any wrongdoing on his part.”
While Spears isn’t entirely out from under the conservatorship, she is away from her father’s control and it’s a step in the right direction.
Silva added that Spears’ father managed her fortune while Jodi Montgomery handled Britney’s life, and that she seems confident in Spears to handle her own one day.