Our days of misery are finally over: Britney’s conservatorship has been lifted and she can go back to her normal popstar-living-in-a-mansion life!
The court decision made in Los Angeles on 12 November has ended, with immediate effect, a 13-year conservatorship. During the 13 years, Britney’s father and an appointed accountant were responsible for her estate, finances and personal matters, such as visits to her sons and whether she could get remarried.
Writing to her 35 million followers on Instagram, Britney said:
“Good God I love my fans so much it’s crazy!!!
“I think I’m gonna cry the rest of the day!!!!
“Best day ever…praise the Lord…can I get an Amen???? #FreedBritney”
Earlier in the week, the singer wrote on Instagram that she hadn’t “prayed for something more in my life”.
Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, who had initially set up the conservatorship, previously said that the guardianship was “necessary” and that the #FreeBritney movement was filled with conspiracy theorists.
According to the BBC, lawyers representing Jamie said in court filings that: “Her life was in shambles and she was in physical, emotional, mental and financial distress.”
Making a statement in court back in June, Britney said, according to the BBC that she had been drugged, forced to perform, prevented from getting married and from having more children.
After her testimony, Jamie decided to step aside. He did not oppose the decision, and agreed that it was time for Britney “to re-take control of her life”.
After the decision, the judge appointed an accountant to temporarily serve as a conservator and settle ongoing financial issues.
Spears’ lawyer Mathew Rosengart addressed the crowd outside the court, saying he was proud that she had shone “a light on conservatorships from California to New York”. He added that her testimony had opened the doors for new legislation to be passed “to try to ensure that conservatorships like this… do not happen again”.
After a wave of public protests connected to the #freebritney campaign and to a New York Times documentary about what Britney called an ‘abusive conservatorship’, the case came back to the discussion.
A conservatorship is a legal tool used in America for people with dementia who cannot make their own decisions. It was said to be highly unusual that a young woman of 39 years old who is fit enough to work to be put under such a conservatorship.
Here is a timeline with the key events connected to Britney’s conservatorship:
September 1998: Britney releases her first big global hit Baby One More Time, followed by Oops!… I Did It Again, You Drive Me Crazy and Toxic.
October 2004: Britney marries backing dancer Kevin Federline.
November 2006: She files for divorce from Federline.
October 2007: Federline is granted custody of the former couple’s children.
January 2008: Spears refuses to hand over her children to Federline and the police are called. Britney is placed under a “5150” psychiatric hold and taken to hospital.
February 2008: Jamie Spears gets a “temporary conservatorship” and is now in charge of her life and finances. The lawyer Andrew Wallet is named co-conservator of the estate.
September 2008: Britney opens the MTV Video Music Awards and wins three awards.
October 2008: A judge extends the conservatorship indefinitely.
November 2008: she releases a studio album, Circus, which is well-received. Release of For The Record documentary.
March 2009: Britney starts the super lucrative Circus world tour.
March 2011: Releases her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale which tops charts around the world.
December 2013: Britney launches a successful Las Vegas residency to promote her eighth album, Britney Jean.
August 2016: She releases her ninth studio album, Glory.
October 2018: Britney performs at the 2018 United States Grand Prix – her most recent live appearance.
January 2019: She announces an “indefinite work hiatus” and cancels her Las Vegas residency after her father suffers a near-fatal colon rupture.
April 2019: Message on Instagram that “all is well” and that she will be back “very soon”.
May 2019: Appears in a cleared court and addresses the judge overseeing her conservatorship. The judge orders an expert evaluation.
September 2019: Jamie temporarily steps down from his role as conservator of his daughter’s personal affairs citing health reasons. The singer’s caregiver, Jodi Montgomery, is named as a replacement.
August 2020: Jamie says that the #FreeBritney movement is full of conspiracy theorists.
August 2020: Her lawyer says she does not want her father to return as conservator of her personal affairs, but he keeps overseeing his daughter’s finances.
November 2020: According to local papers, Britney says in court she is “afraid” of her father and will not perform again while he is the conservator of her estate. Bessemer Trust is named co-conservator.
December 2020: The conservatorship is extended until September 2021.
February 2021: Release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears. Spears later says the documentary left her “embarrassed”.
March 2021: Britney asks for Montgomery to be permanently appointed conservator.
June 2021: Britney’s testimony allegedly claims the conservatorship is abusive and that it stops her from having more children or getting married.
June 2021: Mariah Carey, Halsey and Khloe Kardashian offer their support.
July 2021: As a result of her testimony, the financial management firm appointed to work with Jamie pulls out of the conservatorship, her long-time manager resigns and her court-appointed lawyer signals his wish to step down.
July 2021: Speaking in court, Britney asks that her father be charged with conservator abuse. She is appointed a new lawyer who says he will take a more aggressive approach to end the conservatorship.
August 2021: After initial resistance, Jamie finally agrees to step down, but does not say when.
August 2021: Britney’s lawyer accuses Jamie of trying to “extort” his daughter, alleging he is requesting millions of dollars in payments before stepping down.
September 2021: Britney’s lawyer petitions the court asking for the end of the conservatorship.
November 12, 2021: A judge in agrees to terminate the conservatorship. Brenda J Penny, sitting at Los Angeles Superior Court, listened to 30 minutes of testimony before delivering her decision.