As you have probably heard around different websites and sources, Britney Spears is going through a rough patch. You might have noticed that #FreeBritney has been trending on Twitter and have read different confusing information about our favourite pop diva. No need to be alarmed though, this is nothing like 2007, and she is not going to shave her head and smash a paparazzo with an umbrella. She is however, being used and not treated the way a 37 year old established artist, and icon to some, should be.
So what has exactly been going on with Britney Spears and why is there a trending FreeBritney hashtag?
Lufti, Britney’s formal manager
According to the Daily Mail, last week the LA Superior Court granted the Spears family a temporary restraining order against Britney’s ex manager. According to official documents, Spears’ legal team claims Lutfi, Britney’s former manager, has been sending harassing and threatening texts and tweets to Britney and her family. Lutfi was Britney Spears’ manager in the early 2000s and her family holds him responsible for her infamous mental downfall in 2007. It seems like Britney had been in a toxic environment for a very long time, as Lufti had also sued Britney’s parents after Lynne, Britney’s mother, accused him of being the “gatekeeper” and contributing to Britney’s illness. Consequently, the two parties settled for an undisclosed amount.
The Inside Edition uploaded a video last week, explaining how Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, is taking legal steps to demand a bigger role in her “troubled daughter’s life”. For the moment, it is Jamie Spears, Britney’s father, who is legally in charge of her affairs. This is controversial; many people believe that Britney should not be under her parents’ control and should have the freedom to manage her own legal affairs without her parents’ input. According to CNN, Britney’s father, Jamie, was named permanent conservator of Britney’s affairs in 2008, meaning that since then he has been responsible for most of her legal decisions.
CNN reported that Lynne Spears has filed court documents asking permission for an attorney to appear on her behalf at a hearing regarding the singer’s care later this week. This again seems to indicate Britney’s lack of freedom, as she is often being spoken for and still managed by her parents. CNN has revealed that in legal documents, Lynne Spears’ attorneys wrote that it is in the pop star’s “best interest to allow Lynne Spears to have a voice at the Status Hearing.”
Forced into a hospital
Britney Spears left a facility, about a month ago, where she had been receiving treatment for undisclosed mental health issues. Some fans seem to think that she is being “drugged out of her mind without consent” and other sources claims Britney has recently accused Jamie of committing her to a mental health facility against her will last month and forcing her to take drugs. Britney addressed the recent rumours about her family and mental health in a message to her supporters last month: “My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately so I just needed time to deal,” Spears said on Instagram”. She added: “You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want!” Spears asked for a “little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way,” and claimed she would return “very soon.”
The fans and Twitter
Britney’s fans have always showed a strong loyalty to the pop star. They have managed to gather information and leak documents showing that Britney is in fact, being controlled. The now public Google Document entitled #FreeBritney, displays reports from different sources dating all the way back to 2006, and can be found on Twitter.
Rolling Stone magazine explained the #FreeBritney movement as being the result of her conservatorship status. The conservatorship dates from (at least) 2008, when her court-appointed advocate Samuel Ingham stated that she was “incapable of retaining her own counsel after meeting with her for 15 minutes”. As a result, Britney’s father has controlled his daughter’s finances ever since her infamous public breakdown in 2007. Writer Jenny Eliscu has commented in Rolling Stone’s 2008 cover story about Spears in the aftermath of the conservatorship, that Spears seemed “highly functional,” in comparison to the claims by her conservators’ lawyers that she was “gravely disabled.” More can be found here in Rolling Stone’s “What is #FreeBritney?” article.
For now, Britney Spears is still battling the conservatorship against her father and to break free. Her mother, Lynne, has responded to TMZ last Monday, stating that her daughter is doing “wonderfully” amidst their public life and battle so exposed lately. We can only hope for our favourite 90’s babe to become “stronger than yesterday” and to see her perform again very soon.