Updated: July 22, 2020 10:43:24 pm
Fans of pop star Britney Spears have long been demanding that the “Princess of Pop” be given back control over her financial and personal affairs since such decisions are in the hands of her legal guardian in accordance with a court-enacted agreement announced in 2008.
The “Free Britney” campaign has gained steam now ahead of a July 22 court hearing on the status of her conservatorship.
What is the ‘Free Britney’ campaign about?
Spears has been under a court-ordered conservatorship since 2008 after her alleged mental breakdowns started happening in public soon after her divorce from Kevin Federline in 2007. In her moments of public unraveling, Spears was in the news for infamously shaving her head and in a photograph on TMZ.com was seen sitting in a club without any pants on.
Soon after, Spears was placed in psychiatric care after she refused to surrender the custody of her two sons to Federline after a stand-off with the police. In October 2007, she was booked on charges of hit-and-run and driving without a licence.
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According to the court-approved agreement, Spears’s father has control over her financial assets and decisions regarding her personal life since 2008.
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What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship can be petitioned for by a family member or any other concerned person who believes that their loved one is unable to take care of themselves. In case the court finds that the individual is not capable and that there are no less restrictive alternatives to conservatorship, it appoints a person who serves as the conservator.
As part of Spears’s conservatorship, her father is required to be submitted all the accounts of her finances that should include even minor transactions carried out by her. As per reports, Spears’s mother Lynne Spears has also filed a request with the court to be included in the conservatorship.
In 2019, Spears asked that her conservatorship be terminated.
What are her fans demanding now?
One petition created on July 9 and published on the White House website says that “we need this petition so that Britney can hire her own lawyer and live a normal life as a 38-year-old woman with two kids. It further stated that conservatorships are typically granted for those who are “severely mentally ill” and that Spears has been on three world tours since 2008, implying that she is “sane enough to feed and cloth herself”. This petition has been signed by more than 125,000 people.
Apart from the petition, many fans on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram are using #FreeBritney to voice their concerns about the status of the singer’s freedom and autonomy.
According to a report in The New York Times, the term “Free Britney” originated in 2009 on a fan site called BreatheHeavy.com. The report also mentions that the campaign was revived last year as well after a voice mail message released on a fan podcast raised concerns about her well-being and autonomy.
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