A hearing is set to begin in the conservatorship case of Britney Spears, following the pop icon’s emotional testimony to the court last month when she said, in no uncertain terms, that it’s her wish to have the situation end.
The singer has been under a legal guardianship since 2008, with her father Jamie and other legal guardians managing her financial and personal life.
However, Spears has shown resistance to the situation in recent years, with her lawyers stating that she wants the conservatorship to change and her father to be removed from it. On 23 June, Spears delivered an impactful statement to the court, speaking out for the first time of her experience under the situation.
Here’s a timeline of Spears’s conservatorship so far...
Amid her divorce from Kevin Federline, Spears spends one day in rehab in Antigua. The next day, she infamously shaves her head at a salon and admits herself to a treatment facility in the coming weeks.
Having split from ex-husband Kevin Federline the year before, Spears loses custody of her two sons to him. The reasons for the court ruling are not made public, but Federline claims that Spears has been behaving erratically and abusing substances.
Spears is involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital for a second time. Her father Jamie Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet are granted temporary conservatorship the following month.
Spears’s conservatorship is extended indefinitely, with a judge citing the complexity of her financial situation and stating that she is “susceptible to undue influence”.
MTV releases the documentary Britney: For the Record, in which the singer compares her circumstances to a jail sentence with no end.
Spears has released three albums – Femme Fatale (2011), Britney Jean (2013), Glory (2016) – with little public attention on her conservatorship. However, reports emerge that while filming The Jonathan Ross Show, the singer allegedly told the presenter about the conservatorship, saying: “I’ve been under this conservatorship for three years and I felt like a lot of decisions were made for me.” However, the rumoured comments do not air with the show.
The singer is due to begin a new Las Vegas residency off the back of another, but instead announces an “indefinite work hiatus”, citing her father’s health after he “almost died” in hospital.
“It’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make,” she writes. “I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand.”
Andrew Wallet voluntarily resigns as Spears’s co-conservator, making Jamie the sole conservator. Over a year later, he asks to be reinstated, but the singer’s lawyers state he is “uniquely unsuitable” for the role. Jamie eventually withdraws petition for Wallet’s reinstatement.
Spears reportedly appears in probate court to ask the judge to ease restrictions imposed by the conservatorship and give her more freedom.
Spears’s teenage sons are granted a restraining order against Jamie after he is allegedly involved in a “physical altercation” with one of them.
Jamie is replaced as his daughter’s conservator by professional conservator Jodi Montgomery, while citing health reasons for his temporary removal from managing her personal life. He still oversees her finances.
Spears’s brother Bryan claims on a podcast that Spears has wanted the conservatorship to end for “quite some time”, adding: “She’s always wanted to get out of it.”
Jamie calls the #FreeBritney movement a “conspiracy theory” and a “joke”.
Later that month, legal documents show that Spears is attempting to remove her father from her conservatorship, saying that she is “strongly opposed” to him returning to control of her personal affairs.
The singer’s lawyers file an objection to the conservatorship case being closed off from the public, stating: “The world is watching.”
Judge Brenca Penny does not remove Jamie as Spears’s conservator, but appoints the Bessemer Trust as a co-conservator.
The New York Times’s Framing Britney Spears documentary is released, sparking public conversation about the treatment of Spears and other celebrities by the tabloids in the 2000s and reigniting interest in the #FreeBritney fan campaign.
Spears’s boyfriend Sam Asghari writes on Instagram that Jamie is a “total d***” who tried to control their relationship.
Spears’s lawyers formally ask Jamie to resign from his role as conservator. Their statement also claims that Spears “expressly reserves the right to petition for termination of this conservatorship”.
Jamie’s lawyers claim that the performer can end the conservatorship at “any time” but has chosen not to.
Spears says in a since-deleted Instagram post that she felt “embarrassed” watching the beginning of Framing Britney Spears and cried for two weeks after it.
Spears’s attorney Ingham says the singer wants to schedule a status hearing “on an expedited basis” in order to address the court directly. The date of 23 June is set and while no details of what she intends to say are revealed, the lawyer says it will pertain to the “status of the conservatorship”.
Spears took part in the hearing remotely and spoke to Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny for 24 minutes. Among the claims made were the allegation that she was forced to consume medications after declining to work, and that she wished to have another child but wasn’t permitted to by her “team”.
“The main reason why I’m here is that I want to end the conservatorship without having to be evaluated,” Spears said.
“I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does, by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so.”
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