Free Britney: the fight for her life


photo via ABC News

For nearly half of Britney Spears’s decades-long career as a world-renowned pop star, the  “…Baby One More Time” singer has not held full control of her life due to a binding conservatorship. 


First of all, what is a conservatorship? By definition, a conservatorship is 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 physical or mental limitations.


Spears has been under a conservatorship helmed by her father, Jamie Spears, since her infamous and publicized breakdown 13 years ago, which resulted in hospitalization and rehab. 


Though the stigma surrounding Spears’s mental health battle has followed her since 2007, her career never faltered. She made an official comeback with her 2008 album, “Blackout,” headlined a global tour that grossed 131 million dollars, performed for four years in a hit Las Vegas residency and launched business ventures including her lucrative perfume and namesake clothing lines.


Despite her immense success, her conservators, who include her father, continued to control her spending, communications and personal decisions.


On Sept. 7, Spears’s father and conservator filed a petition to end the conservatorship as he agreed to step down. On Sept. 29, Spears experienced a victory in court when Judge Brenda Penny ruled to suspend Spears’s father as conservator of her estate. The decision comes months after Spears pleaded for her father’s removal in dramatic court hearings, saying, “I want my life back.”


“The current situation is untenable,” said the judge after hearing arguments from both sides. “It reflects a toxic environment which requires the suspension of James Spears.”


Spears told the judge she’s not “perfect” but that her “episodes” stemmed from “what they did to me,” presumably referring to her conservators. “It was their goal to make me feel crazy, which I’m not.”


In her testimony, Spears also claimed her father got her driver’s license taken away, made sure she could not drink coffee, controlled her diet, and took away her “pink hair vitamins.” “That’s not abuse. That’s just (vulgarity) cruelty,” she added.


Since then, Spears’s father has been suspended from the conservatorship that has controlled her life for 13 years, and the advocacy group, “Free Britney America,” is throwing a celebratory rally. 


Spears turns to social media to express her gratitude and excitement. “… I have no words… because of you guys and your constant resilience in freeing me from my conservatorship… my life is now in that direction! I cried last night for two hours cause my fans are the best and I know it.”