The #FreeBritney movement faced a tragic setback this week.
The fan-led movement, which gained momentum on social media over the past few months, calling for the removal of Jamie Spears’ legal conservatorship over his daughter’s estate, saw the application denied in a Los Angeles superior court earlier this week.
Britney has been under her father’s legal guardianship since 2008. With the support of fans, family members, and friends, she continues to fight for control over her career, finances, and personal life.
Though the application was denied by Judge Brenda Penny, the fight looks far from over.
Britney Says She Will Never Perform Again
Britney’s attorney, Sam Ingham, said that the pop star will not perform again while her father maintains conservatorship.
Spears announced an indefinite hiatus from performing in early 2019, after the fallout from a deal with Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group negotiated by none other than Jamie Spears. According to TMZ, Jamie’s deal with Tri Star maintained a 5% commission plan, which Jamie agreed to maintain instead of negotiating a better deal for the star.
The specific financials are complicated, but Britney’s legal team referred to these “radical new arrangements” in court as evidence of Jamie’s disregard for Britney’s financial wellbeing. While the performing hiatus continues to affect Britney’s business, it looks like a personal act of rebellion by the star against the injustice of the conservatorship, which has even been protested by Britney’s mother, Lynne.
Britney Claims She's Scared of Her Dad
Ingham also revealed in court that Britney’s refusal to perform is more emotional than we originally thought. Ingham told the court: “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father. She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”
Jamie Spears’ attorney Vivian Lee Thoreen said that in the 12-year period since he took guardianship, the star’s estate has paid off its debts and grown in excess of $60 million. Thoreen argued that with these successes made under his appointment, there’s no evidence to support a suspension of that conservatorship.
Although the nitty-gritty of the financials was widely discussed in court, it doesn’t look like the more disturbing parts of the appointment were addressed—for instance, that Britney can’t pay her bills, re-marry, have children, vote, or negotiate appearances or performances without Jamie’s say-so.
Although Judge Penny did deny the motions to suspend Jamie from his appointment, this doesn’t rule out further appeals or petitions and other avenues Britney’s legal team can pursue to free her from the conservatorship.
Her father and his attorneys argue that her mental health is too weak to control the operations of her career and worldwide influence. Her fans and supporters say that the extent of Jamie’s control over her keeps her tied to unfair and unjust restrictions on her career and personal life.
Despite this setback, it doesn’t look like the rallying cry of #FreeBritney is over just yet.