Celebrity icon Britney Spears captivated the nation last week when she publicly addressed her conservatorship for the first time, confirming the world’s worst suspicions the arrangement is as bad as it was thought to be.
“After I’ve lied and told the whole world ‘I’m okay, and I’m happy,’ it’s a lie,” Spears told an L.A. judge. “I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in hock. I am traumatized… I’m not happy, I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane, and I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
Spears pleaded to be let go of the conservatorship under her father after 13 years of her family dictating her every move, including how her money is spent, where she lives, who she sees, and the doctors who treat her. Yet the movement to free her of these legal chains, known as the “#FreeBritney Movement,” has become larger than the pop star.
Conservatorships are legal arrangements routinely reserved for those who suffer debilitating conditions, which include severe mental issues or old age. According to the Department of Justice, 1.3 million adults are under conservatorships that dictate an estimated $50 billion in assets.
Spears was placed under such strict supervision by her father, Jaime, in 2008 in what began as a temporary arrangement turned permanent by a California judge. An attorney named Andrew Wallet served as a co-conservator from 2008 until his resignation in 2019, to help oversee hee Forbes-estimated $60 million estate.
A look at Britney’s life over the past decade however, doesn’t reveal an individual who is severely incapacitated. Since being put under a conservatorship, the singer has released four albums, gone on three world tours, completed a grueling four-year residency in Las Vegas, starred as a host on the “X Factor,” and made cameo appearances on “Glee” and “How I Met Your Mother.”
Given her massive entertainment empire, it’s easy to imagine how a conservatorship could be used to exploit her lucrative brand, especially by a father who was largely absent from her initial rise and stepped in at a moment ripe to re-launch her career, working her against her own wishes, she
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