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Britney Spears, the “Princess of Pop,” has had an extensive music career dating back to the late 1990s. This talented woman who came from the rural town of Kentwood, La. has been acknowledged for her talents over the years with Billboard Music Awards, MTV Music Awards and a Grammy. Spears has also had many hit singles including her first in 1999, “Baby One More Time.” 

For over a decade, Spears’ father Jamie has had her under a conservatorship which grants a conservator the right to handle all of Britney’s financial affairs and her daily life. Since the beginning of this conservatorship, many fans have felt troubled about the situation. This sense of distress led to the creation of the Free Britney hashtag on social media in 2019. This hashtag has continued to be trending since it was first created in order to bring awareness to the issues surrounding her conservatorship. The “Britney Army” is still very concerned about this court-approved arrangement and, apparently, so is Britney Spears herself. 

On June 23, Spears broke her silence in court and stated many of the things that she has had to endure for the past 13 years as a conservatee. She went into great depth during a 23-minute conversation via phone call. The court was originally concerned with the testimony being public, but Spears countered by saying, “I feel like it should be an open court hearing and they should listen and hear what I have to say,” and, “I have a right to use my voice.” 

One of the main points Spears discussed was how she was prevented from having any additional children. Spears currently has two sons from a previous marriage and was interested in the idea of getting remarried and having more children. Despite her desire for a larger family, the conservatorship has made it impossible for her to get remarried and won’t allow her to go to the doctor to remove her birth control (IUD), which she did not ask for in the first place. 

Spears also spoke out about being forced to perform despite her protests. Specifically, she stated, “My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney, and by contract my own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with the tour.” Out of fear, Spears obliged by the rules but continued to have complications with other aspects of the conservatorship. 

Along with having no rights over her own body or her performing schedule, Spears also has no say on how her money is being spent. Throughout the conservatorship, she has been given a stipend of $2,000 a week out of her own money. Her father has been giving himself a salary more than double what Britney herself has gotten to keep. The control Spear’s father has over her life is astronomical. In her own words, she stated, “He loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it.” Spears is also expected to pay not only her lawyers during each court case but also the opposing side. 

The issues Britney Spears has been facing these past 13 years are appalling. The reasoning behind Spears conservatorship back in 2008 might have been warranted, but the consistent control for over a decade deserves to come to an end. Spears ended her testimony by expressing her need for the conservatorship to be done with but doesn’t find it necessary for her to be evaluated for this request to be fulfilled. Spears made her request very clear when she declared, “I deserve to have a life.”

Britney Spears’s first action before her attempt to legally end her conservatorship was to remove her father, Jamie Spears, as the conservator of the estate. However, the Los Angeles Superior Court recently denied the request that was originally filed in November. Following the verdict, Jamie Spears has rejected the allegations Britney stated in her testimony and has requested an investigation into the truth behind her statements. 

While some (hopefully very few) may believe Jamie Spears, Britney’s friends and fans are continuing to rally around her. Celebrities have even been tweeting their support for Britney including Mariah Carrey, Perez Hilton and her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake. In a Tweet, Timberlake said, “Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was… what’s happening to her is just not right. No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body.” 

In her testimony, Spears expressed her feelings of depression and denial surrounding the “abusive” conservatorship she’s had to undergo. While ending this conservatorship may seem like an easy fix to this long-run issue, the state of California has made this a very complicated matter. This issue will continue to be assessed but it is unclear when and if Britney Spears will be successful in getting out of her current situation. 

My name is Julia Dehner and I am a Junior at the University of Missouri. I'm currently majoring in strategic communication through the journalism institute and minoring in Italian studies.
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