It has been thirteen years since Britney Spears, the iconic singer of the 2000s, has been placed under supervision. But the star is more and more vehemently contesting this regime, which she considers abusive. In the month of a month, she expressed herself twice in court to try to put an end to it. We take stock.
Why was she placed under guardianship?
The 39-year-old artist was placed under this regime in 2008, after a highly publicized descent into hell. Two years earlier, her divorce from Kevin Federline plunged her into depression and drug addiction. She lost custody of her children in 2007 and was hospitalized in psychiatry against her will. The press recounts, sometimes with cruelty, his personal troubles.
What does this diet consist of?
The American “conservatorship” regime is comparable to a guardianship system in France. It can be imposed on the elderly or on people with physical or mental limitations. In Britney Spears’ case, it is primarily her father, Jamie Spears, who manages her guardianship.
Until 2019, Jamie Spears controlled not only his daughter’s estate (estimated at $ 60 million), but his daughter’s personal life as well. Due to medical problems, he then passed this last responsibility to a sworn guardian: Jodi Montgomery. It is she who takes care of the health of the singer and who decides who can visit her or not.
In addition, Jamie Spears can no longer manage the finances of the performer on his own. Toxic since last year: a judge imposed a professional co-manager, Bessemer Trust.
What did Britney Spears answer?
The placing of the artist under supervision deprives her of a large part of her autonomy. She therefore wishes it to be lifted. At the end of June, the pop star delivered an explosive plea in a Los Angeles court, where she said she was “traumatized” and “depressed”. She claimed to have had to take medication to control her behavior, be prevented from making decisions about friendships or finances, and not been able to have her IUD removed when she wanted more children.
I just wanna get my life back, it’s been thirteen years and that’s enough
In tears, she begged the judge on Wednesday by telephone to put an end to this “abusive guardianship”, going so far as to tell the court that she thought at one point “that they were trying to kill (her)”. Britney Spears has had a long and difficult relationship with her father. During his last speech he said he wanted an “investigation” against the latter, or even a “protection order”.
In the meantime, it is the star who is responsible for paying the legal costs of both parties, including the high fees of the lawyers who oppose her in this case.
Massive support …
Britney Spears’ recent confidences have once again revived the #FreeBritney campaign, orchestrated in the streets and on social networks by some passionate fans. Hundreds of them were gathered in Los Angeles court on Wednesday, but also in New York, Phoenix, London, Washington, where they held rallies of support.
The singer has also received massive support in the pop world, from her ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake, to Christina Aguilera or Madonna. The #FreeBritney movement has seen a surge in popularity with the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears, which traces the life of the icon.
… and a first victory
Faced with the media coverage of the affair, many figures at the heart of this complex and controversial system have distanced themselves. Samuel Ingham, the lawyer assigned to Britney Spears by a court a few months after the star with the shaved head attacked a paparazzi in 2007, has asked to be removed from his post.
Bessemer Trust, the financial management firm that was to take joint control of Britney Spears’ fortune with her father Jamie, did the same. Two requests validated Wednesday by the judge in charge of the case. Longtime artist manager Larry Rudolph has also left the ship.
And on Wednesday, the singer obtained a first victory in her fight to lift her guardianship: the judge allowed her to choose her own lawyer, which she had not been able to do so far. Mathew Rosengart, lawyer for other Hollywood stars like Sean Penn or Steven Spielberg, will now represent the artist.
His council plans to file a petition “as soon as possible” so that his father no longer has control over his property. Jamie Spears’ lawyer said he would not be stepping down voluntarily, “having been present 24/7 for the past 13 years” for the popstar.
The fight is not over, but Britney Spears welcomed the decision. “We’re moving forward guys… we’re moving forward”, greeted the star on social networks, filming himself doing the cartwheels on a lawn, as a celebration.