- #FreeBritney is popping up on social media again as fans rally behind Britney Spears ahead of a hearing reportedly set for Wednesday over the future of her conservatorship.
- The singer has been under a conservatorship for 12 years, which gave her father and an attorney control over her finances, health, and essentially her daily life.
- After both stepped down last year, her care manager Jodi Montgomery temporarily took over, with the conservatorship set to end on August 22.
- In recent weeks, fans have been sharing a petition asking for Congress to intervene and release her from the conservatorship.
- Others have turned to her younger sister Jamie Lynn for answers, but she said she has no right to speak about Britney’s mental health and will not speak out just to clarify things to the public “when the person it pertains to does not want that to happen.”
The #FreeBritney movement is popping up all over social media again as fans rally behind singer Britney Spears ahead of her conservatorship hearing reportedly set for Wednesday.
If you haven’t been keeping up with Britney over the last several years, you might not know that she actually has very little control of her own life. In fact, that’s been the case for about 12 years because she was placed under a conservatorship in 2008 after she was put on an involuntary psychiatric hold.
Conservatorships are court-orders and are mainly used when someone is in a coma, suffering from dementia, or has another serious illness that makes them incapable of making judgments. At the time, a court placed her under the conservatorship of her dad Jamie and an attorney named Andrew Wallet. This meant they had control over her estate and needed to sign off on every decision in her life, from business to health, finances, and even marriage.
But it’s not just big decisions. This conservatorship impacts her daily routine. A 2016 New York Times article reported, “Her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control.“
Fans have taken a huge issue with this because they think it gives her father and Wallet too much control over her life and the ability to abuse her finances Some think she’s mentally fit enough to be in control herself, others think she isn’t getting the right care she needs and is being exploited.
In general, thoughts on this situation vary, but most want to see her released from conservatorship. Still, there’s not a lot we know about the inner workings of her situation or her health, and she has continued to live this way for years.
Flash forward to 2019, when the #FreeBritney movement really took off online. In January of that year, fans were surprised when Britney canceled her second Vegas residency, saying she needed to spend time with her father and help him recover from surgery.
Fans were suspicious, especially after she pretty much went off the grid. There were no public sightings of her and she stopped posting on Instagram.
Then in March of that year, Wallet resigned as a co-conservator, handing sole control off to her father, which concerned people. In early April, reports said Britney had checked into a mental health facility. A few days later, she posted a quote to Instagram and captioned it, “We all need to take time for a little ‘me time.’ :)”
Fans thought it didn’t match her typical posting style and began speculating that something wasn’t right. Later that month, the podcast Britney’s Gram said it received a voicemail from a paralegal source that claimed it worked for an attorney on Britney’s case. That source claimed Britney was placed in a facility against her will by Jamie. They claimed that during her Vegas residency rehearsals, he learned she was refusing to take her medications and told her she could either take them, meet with a doctor for a new type of medication, or cancel the Vegas shows. When she refused the first two options, he allegedly chose the latter and blamed it on his health.
However, around the same time, the Blast cited a source that said the singer “would be dead” if she had not checked in. Still, the movement picked up steam at this point, with fans even holding a protest outside West Hollywood City Hall in April.
All the concerns prompted Britney to make a post telling fans she was doing well and would return soon. That really didn’t convince people though because many assume her social media is monitored.
Eventually, she did finish treatment and return to her regular type of Instagram content. Ever since, people have been trying to look for clues in her posts or secret signals that show she’s in distress. However, that seems to have also sparked both concerns based in reality as well as a bunch of wild conspiracy theories.
Then in September, Jamie filed a request to temporarily relieve himself of the role for “personal health reasons.” At this point, Britney’s care manager Jodi Montgomery took over, and because of the coronavirus pandemic, that temporary conservatorship was extended in April of this year until August 22.
What’s Happening Now and Jamie Lynn’s Response
All of that brings us to the most recent resurgence of the #FreeBritney movement. In recent weeks, fans have pushed around a petition asking Congress to intervene on her half, which already has well over 100,000 signatures. According to reports, Britney is has a court hearing Wednesday where many hope her conservatorship will be ended. That’s why you’re seeing the hashtag all over the internet.
Aside from that, there’s not a lot we know right now and we’ll have to wait and see what comes next. However, during this latest wave of concern, many have turned to Britney’s younger sister Jamie Lynn for answers.
Earlier this week, Jamie Lynn reshared tweets from celebrities discussing mental illness and condemning those joking about it, including one from Hasley. Those tweets were presumably in relation to jokes and discussions about Kanye West’s recent behavior.
In the caption, Jamie Lynn wrote, “If you deal with mental illness or care for someone dealing with mental illness, then you know how important it is to respect the situation with privacy for the person, and the family trying to protect their loved ones, no matter how it may appear to the public, and as the public we must learn to do the same.”
View this post on Instagram
👆🏻👏🏻👆🏻👏🏻👆🏻. “If you can’t offer understanding or sympathy, offer your silence”- HALSEY. If you deal with mental illness or care for someone dealing with mental illness, then you know how important it is to respect the situation with privacy for the person, and the family trying to protect their loved ones, no matter how it may appear to the public, and as the public we must learn to do the same. I pray this doesn’t bring shame to anyone dealing with mental illness, you are not alone, and you are loved. Sending all my love and prayers to all of you♥️
However, one user commented back, “How about your sisters OBVIOUS mental illness? Why don’t you speak on that?” To that, she responded, “You have no right to assume anything about my sister, and I have NO right to speak about HER health and personal matters. She is a strong, badass, unstoppable woman, and that’s the only thing that is OBVIOUS.”
According to People magazine, another follower demanded that Jamie Lynn and her family “clarify all these assumptions.” In response, she allegedly said, “I would never speak out just to clarify things to the public, when the person it pertains to does not want that to happen.”
“I’d rather take all the hate, then speak about someone elses personal matter, that they want to keep private.”
So with that, many are reminding each other online to have some compassion when sharing concerns for Britney.
See what others are saying: (Cosmopolitan) (Fox News) (EOnline)
Candace Owens and Logan Paul in Talks to Debate
A spokesperson confirmed to Insider Wednesday that the two have had “productive” conversations about the prospect offline.
Candace Owens Challenges Logan Paul to a Debate
Right-wing commentator Candace Owens and controversial YouTuber Logan Paul are in talks to engage in a political debate. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
Owens — best known for making false claims about the George Floyd protests, spreading COVID-19 misinformation, and seemingly saying that Adolf Hitler “just wanted to make Germany great” — first challenged Paul to a debate on Friday. It started with her sharing a year-old clip from Paul’s podcast where he spoke about the importance of fighting racism in the United States.
“It is not enough to be ‘not racist.’ You have to be anti-racist,” he said.
“If you’re white, if you look like me, use your privilege,” he added. “And for those who do not think white privilege exists, you are fucking blind.”
Because merely acknowledging the existence of racism appears to go against Owens’ core beliefs, she asked Paul to duke it out with her.
“Logan loves to challenge people in the boxing ring,” she wrote. “I’d like to publicly challenge him to go a few rounds with me in a political debate. @LoganPaul—how about you stop by my show and explain to me how you’re *checks notes* more privileged than me because you’re white and I’m not?”
Spokesperson Confirms The Two Are in Talks
Paul — best known for launching a boxing career and filming a YouTube video that showed a dead body in Japan’s “suicide forest” — said on Tuesday that he was “perplexed” by the offer, but was taking it seriously.
“I started to entertain this action, I ended up speaking with her, and there may be a future where we sit down and have a civil discourse because I think there’s some meat on this bone,” he said during the most recent episode of his “ImPaulsive” podcast.
The internet star acknowledged that Owens’ main arena is politics, while his main arena is being a “fucking idiot” online. Still, he said he does care about these issues and has a “semi-intelligent brain,” so he thinks he could “hold [his] own.”
“Candace Owens, whether you can admit it or not, is a smart person,” Paul continued. “And so I guess I’m just curious because I just fucking fundamentally disagree with her and again, I think there’s room for a conversation.”
A spokesperson for Owens confirmed to Insider on Wednesday that the two had a “productive” offline conversation and said a public political debate between the two is “very likely.”
“Although both of them disagree on a variety of topics, they are both much more interested in learning from one another and think people would benefit from hearing an honest discussion between two parties rather than a ‘gotcha’ moment that might play well for social media,” the spokesperson added.
See what others are saying: (Insider)
Finneas Slams Billie Eilish Troll Account for Attributing Fake Quotes to the Singer
Eilish’s big brother said the account is spreading “relentless lies” and asked that it at least label itself as a satire account.
Troll Account Shares Fake Billie Eilish Quotes
Billie Eilish’s brother and collaborator Finneas took to Twitter Tuesday to address an account that has been sharing fake quotes attributed to his sister.
The account uses the handle @BilliesUpdatess and goes by the name of “Billie Eilish Updates” in its profile. It was created in July of 2021 and as of Wednesday morning, it had amassed a following of 1,100 people. On a quick glance, it looks just like any other update account a fan might make to share news about their favorite celebrity.
@BilliesUpdatess, however, is far from the standard adoring fan page. Of the over 300 tweets it has posted, several include screenshots of forged articles that make it look like Eilish said something either offensive or totally outlandish. One post claims Eilish defended her boyfriend after he was accused of supporting former president Donald Trump.
“At the end of the day, I fucking love him you know?” the phony statement reads. “It doesn’t matter if he made some homophobic comments in the past, people change. If he [Matthew] supports Donald Trump then I don’t care if it makes him happy. I support EVERY decision Mathew has to make, even the ones some of my fans don’t agree with, like maybe some of his icky comments.”
In another sham passage, Eilish says she thinks queerbaiting “is a really good thing!” In several others, the person behind the account comes up with artificial quotes to make it looks like Eilish is feuding with “driver’s license” singer Olivia Rodrigo.
One post with a fake article ended up being retweeted 12,000 times. That tweet included Eilish claiming she longs to be poor.
“When I got rich, I started balling my eyes out,” the fake piece says. “I wanted to be poor so I can relate to most of my fans. I still want to be broke and poor, it looks really fun and cute.”
Finneas Slams Account
As the troll account started to gain traction, Finneas asked that people report and block it to minimize the spread of its “relentless lies.”
On Tuesday, he responded to a fan that tagged him in the @BilliesUpdatess tweet alleging his sister wanted to be poor.
“Fake obviously,” Finneas wrote. “Honestly I just wish they’d label this account satire like the onion or something. I have no problem with a joke as long as people know it’s a joke.”
The account made several jokes about the fact that Finneas was calling it out, but it seems Eilish’s big brother got what he asked for. @BilliesUpdatess added “parody account” to its bio and the account was deleted as of Wednesday afternoon.
Britney Spears’ Attorney Files Petition To Oust Father as Conservator
Spears’ new attorney, Mathew Rosengart, said there are “serious questions” regarding “potential misconduct, including conflicts of interest [and] conservatorship abuse.”
Mathew Rosengart Petitions Court To Remove Jamie Spears
Britney Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart, filed a petition Monday to remove the singer’s father, Jamie Spears, as her financial conservator.
Jamie Spears has served as his daughter’s financial conservator for 13 years. In the filing, Rosengart said the elder Spears “profited handsomely” from the position. He asked that Jamie be replaced with a Certified Public Accountant named Jason Rubin, who Rosengart described as “objectively intelligent” and “highly qualified” for the job.
The petition is 120 pages long and contained scathing remarks about Jamie. Britney has made it clear she wants him removed from the conservatorship, which she wants to be terminated entirely. During a statement in June, she called the situation “abusive” and specifically condemned her father.
“He loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it,” she said.
Rosengart has promised to be a stronger advocate for Britney than her previous lawyer, Samuel Ingham, was. He seems to be following through on his word by challenging Jamie’s status as a conservator just weeks after being appointed Britney’s attorney.
“Serious questions abound concerning Mr. Spears’s potential misconduct, including conflicts of interest, conservatorship abuse and the evident dissipation of Ms. Spears’s fortune,” he wrote.
The petition claims that Jamie made at least $2.1 million from Britney’s residency in Las Vegas, snagging a 1.5% cut of gross revenues and merchandise. It also claims that he paid himself $16,000 a month from Britney’s estate, which is $2,000 more than he gave Britney. On top of that, Jamie reportedly took another $2,000 for business purposes.
Rosengart wrote that while it might be common for a manager or agent to make this kind of money, someone in Jamie’s position should not be.
“He is a conservator, and, as a conservator, his role is to be burdened by, rather than benefit from, the conservatorship.”
Britney’s Mother Speaks Out
Both Britney’s personal conservator, Jodi Montgomery, and her mother, Lynne Spears, gave statements in the filings echoing the need for Jamie to be removed from his role. Montgomery emphasized that his departure was necessary for the singer’s welfare.
“It would be best for Ms. Spears’ well-being and mental health that her father stop acting as her conservator,’ she wrote.
Lynne did not hold back on criticizing Jamie, saying Britney’s relationship with her father has “dwindled to nothing but fear and hatred” because of the control he exerts over her. She also claimed that he relied on Britney’s house staff, medical aides, and security team to “inform on and report back to him each and every detail of every action” in his daughter’s life.
“Such scrutiny is exhausting and terrifying, like living in custody,” she said.
This petition does not terminate the conservatorship fully, but Rosengart said that could be something the court has to examine one day further down the line.
“There might well come a time when the court will be called upon to consider whether the conservatorship should be terminated in its entirety and whether — in addition to stripping his daughter of her dignity, autonomy and certain fundamental liberties — Mr. Spears is also guilty of misfeasance or malfeasance warranting the imposition of surcharges, damages or other legal action against him,” Rosengart wrote.