Jacob Matos ‘23
American singer, songwriter, and dancer, Britney Jean Spears, has spent the last thirteen years of her life struggling to get her life back from her father and management team. Ultimately, she has finally succeeded. On February 1st, 2008, a temporary conservatorship was granted in court for Spears that deemed her unfit to manage her financial and personal affairs. Later that year, Spears’ conservatorship was extended indefinitely. Thus, giving her father, Jamie Spears full control of his daughter’s entire life. At the time, those who testified believed it was in Spears’ best interest to testify in favor of her father, but they were wrong. It wasn’t until recently a New York Times documentary of her life brought a massive amount of public attention to her conservatorship, and evoked the famous #FreeBritney movement that circulated on social media, which led to her father’s suspension as her conservator.
In Spears’ court appearance in June she stated, “This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good, I deserve to have a life.” In her explosive court testimony, she alleges that during her conservatorship she was drugged, forced to perform against her will, and was prevented from getting married and pregnant. Due to her run-ins with rehabilitation centers she was labeled as mentally unstable early in her career, but that shouldn’t disregard the immoral treatment that she experienced. Additionally, Spears puts blame on the California legal system for being aware of her situation, yet no action was taken. She acknowledges her fans for putting her in the direction of getting her life back and manifesting it into reality.
It wasn’t difficult to notice that Britney Spears was crying for help during her breakdown in the 2000’s, and possibly assistance from someone she chose to be her temporary conservator would have led her on the right path to being stable. However, Spears’ father was someone that the public assumed could be trusted, but in fact enabled her instability and took full control of his daughter who was in need of help. If it weren’t for Spears’ movement receiving recognition, who knows how long her suffering would have continued for. Hopefully the legal system will use Spears’ experience as an example of how conservatorships can go wrong regardless of social status, when financial and personal affairs end up in the wrong hands.