A Los Angeles judge ended Britney Spears’ 13-year-long conservatorship with the stroke of a pen in mid-November, freeing the former child star from her father’s control over her finances, career decisions and personal matters.
Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, had maintained that the conservatorship was necessary to protect the singer from herself. However, he eventually said that it was time for her to “retake control of her life.”
Though most Americans know about conservatorship – and most are of the belief that it’s designed to protect people from themselves – there is potential for abuse. Spears, for example, claimed that her parents ruined her life through the abuse of her conservatorship, which is a form of legal guardianship typically reserved for people who can’t make sound decisions.
Spears’ conservatorship began in 2008 following a series of unfortunate events for the singer, including a hospitalization that raised concerns about her mental health. During Spears’ time as her father’s ward, she continued to perform, holding concerts in Las Vegas and several other venues. However, Spears alleges that she wasn’t allowed to use the money she earned from those performances, that her father prevented her from seeing a doctor to remove her intrauterine device, or IUD, and that her father forced her to take lithium to treat bipolar disorder.
A handful of documentaries, including one by The New York Times entitled Controlling Britney Spears, in conjunction with the “Free Britney” movement (a collection of fans protesting for the pop star’s release from conservatorship) have drawn significant attention over the past few years.
What Do You Think?
Did you see any of the “Free Britney” documentaries or docuseries? Do you believe that Spears needs further guidance, or is she better off without a guardian? What do you think of her father’s role in the conservatorship? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them on my Facebook page or Twitter feed!