What seemed like a joke destined for ironic consumption or a gossip for the tabloid press grew until it became a matter embraced neither more nor less than by the United States Congress or traditional media like The New York Times. The Britney Spears case grew until it practically became a matter of state.
It all started in 2017, when two The singer’s fans started the move known as #FreeBritney. I mean, free Britney. The 39-year-old singer has lived under that agreement since she mentally collapsed and had to receive psychiatric treatment. That happened in 2008: a California court placed her under a single legal guardianship since then handled mostly by her father, Jamie.
“Britney is not your slave”, is one of the slogans that the fans of the pop star have been writing for four years on their posters in front of the courts in Los Angeles, protesting against the singer’s father being the guardian of their assets and businesses since 2008 .
The campaign for the release of Britney received the support of colleagues hers like Cher, Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton and a multitude of fans.
Free Britney, in the midst of a conflict that reached the United States Congress and the mainstream media. AFP photo
Guardianship, in the sights
Guardianship, the reasons and precise terms of which appear in confidential court documents, began to come under increased scrutiny in recent years, especially after Spears canceled her second Las Vegas residency in 2019 and entered an indefinite professional hiatus.
A documentary on FX produced in association with The New York Times dipped into the popular legend about Spears and emphasized the role of the gossip press and early 2000s celebrities, such as Pérez Hilton, in her unraveling. Framing Britney Spears, such its title, it showed how it was a media objective pursued relentlessly.
The documentary, which rekindled the Free Britney movement, suggests that what was once a world pop superstar was manipulated and ruined emotional by an insatiable media environment, in which his images sold for more than a million dollars.
Jamie Spear and Britney Spears. Father and daughter are facing legal guardianship. AP Photo
Now another documentary has just premiered on DirecTV Go, in this case produced by the BBC, which also aims to unravel the complexities surrounding the controversial legal figure that clings to Spears. Is about The Battle for Britney: Fans, Cash and a Conservatorship.
The issue is boiling because in the midst of the pandemic the agreement led to a judicial process that took public status, through which the singer intends to regain control of her own life. Those were her own words, expressed before Judge Brenda Penny, who heard her in late June.
Delivering a passionate and at times emotional speech to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Penny, Spears spoke for the first time in thirteen years at a public guardianship hearing, calling it a “abusive” and “stupid”.
In court, Spears said that forced to continue using an intrauterine device for contraception and taking other medications, which have prevented him from marrying or having more children and which have not allowed him to use his own money. In addition, she disowned her father and the other people who control her.
Britney Spears made a strong statement against her father and the other people who control her. AFP photo
Unsurprisingly, that statement had a global impact. And it led Republican lawmaker Matt Gaetz invite her to the United States Congress: “You have been mistreated by the legal system of our country and we want to help,” Gatez said in a statement addressed to the singer.
Already on March 8, the Republican legislator and his colleague Jim Jordan they had come out in favor of Free Britney and they had signed a petition in which they spoke of the guardianships and the example of the singer.
“The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is concerned that people are being stripped of virtually all their rights civilians through guardianships and custody, “they declared.
And they added: “The exploration of reforms has been requested to guarantee that unnecessary guardianships may be terminated so that these people can direct their own lives. The most surprising example is perhaps the case of Britney Spears ”.
Britney Spears with her sister Jamie Lynn and her mother, Lynne, in 2000. AP Photo
The case has news every day. Now the singer’s mother, Lynne, appeared, who described her daughter’s judicial testimony as “a show of bravery”. The woman, who until now had remained silent, submitted documents asking permission for the pop star to hire her own lawyer.
Lynne never had a formal role in the process, but is considered a stakeholder. What it asks for is that the court “listen to your daughter’s wishes” and allow the singer to “hire her own private legal counsel” for the first time in more than thirteen years.
Until now Britney was represented by Samuel D. Ingham III, whom a judge appointed as legal representative in February 2008 immediately after declaring the singer’s disability.
Lynne Spears (left) with her youngest daughter, Jamie Lynn. AP Photo
The singer’s mother praised her daughter for “show your heart in a passionate plea to be heard”At the court hearing at the end of June. She also said that Britney is “capable” of taking care of herself and that she was able to do so “for the past few years.”
Last week, the Los Angeles Justice denied a request made by Britney Spears’ attorney last November to remove the singer’s father as her sole guardian. But that decision is not linked to the testimony that the artist gave at the end of June.