Britney Spears, and her conservatorship, has once again entered the news. The twitter hashtag “#FreeBritney” has begun trending in recent weeks as rumors about the pop star’s conservatorship have spread like wildfire. Instead of trusting wild internet whispers, Gossip Cop decided to take a look at what the Spears family have said about the conservatorship over the years.
The concept of a conservatorship in this context purely reflects the understanding of the term as it is used in the United States. Under those circumstances, conservatorships are ordered when an adult, or minor, is deemed unable to make financial or personal decisions by a court of law. This could be either due to mental or physical limitations. Some conservatorships award the conservator the power to not only make financial decisions for their conservatee, but also allow for discretionary decisions made about more personal matters, like health care or living arrangements.
For over a decade, Britney’s father acted as her conservator before voluntarily stepping down in September 2019 due to his health issues as well as an altercation that took place between him and his grandson, Sean Preston. At that time, Jamie passed his title of conservator over to Jodi Montgomery, a private personal fiduciary who has since taken over the role of Spears’ care manager. Britney was recently a virtual no-show for a court appearance concerning her conservatorship status.
Understandably, Britney Spears’ family doesn’t generally go into much detail when discussing the pop star’s mental health or her conservatorship. Despite this, both Britney’s mother, Lynn, and her younger sister, Jamie Lynn, have come to the singer’s defense via social media in the past, albeit in different ways. Even Britney's older brother, Bryan, has recently given a rare interview concerning his famous sister's conditions.
Bryan spoke with As NOT Seen on TV Podcast's Drew Plotkin about his sister's conservatorship. He described it as being necessary "in the beginning" and that it has "been a great thing for our family, to this point, and [we] keep hoping for the best," but he intimated that it would one day have to come to an end. Britney, Bryan reported, wasn't a big fan of her conservatorship, explaining, "She's always wanted to get out of it. It's very frustrating to have. Whether someone's coming in peace to help or coming in with an attitude, having someone constantly tell you to do something has got to be frustrating. She's wanted to get out of it for quite some time." Despite that, Bryan insisted that there were also practical matters that complicated things. Britney, he argued, had always had a team of people looking out for her since her child star days. So at what level does everyone walk away or at what level does that get reduced?" Bryan also revealed that the entire family is involved in Britney's care.
Last summer, Lynn fueled the “#FreeBritney” movement rumors by “liking” several comments on Instagram that featured the hashtag. After a fan account suggested that Britney’s management team was selectively deleting comments, Lynn herself weighed in. The “Toxic” singer’s mother commented that she was unable to find her own comments and had noticed that other comments were appearing out of order, adding, “I know you are a true fan and love her so thank you for pointing this out because I have had others say the same.”
Britney’s management team wound up giving a statement about this rumor, with a spokesperson telling Entertainment Tonight, “We unequivocally deny the absurd allegations that we have promoted negative statements or deleted positive posts from Instagram and are considering appropriate action.” It’s possible that the reason why Lynn saw comments out of order was because of Instagram’s algorithm, which prioritizes comments by relevance and engagement.
Regardless, Britney Spears’ mother has apparently decided to take a more active role in her daughter’s conservatorship, it seems. Lynn Spears filed a request with the Los Angeles County Courts last Monday to be included in any “special notice” of “all matters” having to do with the pop star’s trust, which had been established in 2004. The purpose of the trust was to protect Britney’s assets in the interest of her two minor sons.
Britney’s younger sister, Jamie Lynn, has also spoken up for the “Stronger” singer, especially when trolls online, or anywhere else for that matter, speak insultingly about Britney. Last April, Jamie Lynn tweeted a video of herself and her older sister surrounded by a swarm of paparazzi. In the caption, Jamie Lynn wrote, “10 years ago, who was there?? I have been here long before anyone else and I’ll be here long after. I love my sister with everything I have. So anyone or anything that speaks to the contrary can GTFOH with all the comments about what you don’t understand.”
The Zooey 101 star then replied to her own tweet, “Don’t come for me or the ones I love anymore. You can move the ‘blank’ outta here with all that, just like this other lady who was running her mouth,” followed by a waving emoji. Jamie Lynn’s protective nature towards her sister hasn’t faded in the slightest in the year since she sent that tweet.
In the wake of Kanye West’s very public, and seemingly ongoing, outburst which his wife, Kim Kardashian, has attributed to the rapper’s bipolar disorder, several stars have spoken out in support of West and his family. These celebrities have urged the public to give the family the privacy they deserve to deal with this highly personal crisis.
Jamie Lynn has been one of these voices and posted her own message of support to Instagram, which read in part, “If you deal with mental illness or care for someone dealing with mental illness, then you know how important it is to respect the situation with privacy for the person, and the family trying to protect their loved ones…” One particularly rude commenter wrote, “How about your sister’s OBVIOUS mental illness? Why don’t you speak on that?”
Jamie Lynn wasted no time putting this overly familiar troll back in their place. “you have no right to assume anything about my sister, and I have NO right to speak about HER health and personal matters. She is a strong, badass, unstoppable woman, and that’s the only thing that is OBVIOUS.”
After another user asked Jamie Lynn to “clarify” the situation, the former child star defiantly replied, “I would never speak out just to clarify things to the public, when the person it pertains to does not want that to happen,” and concluded, “I'd rather take all the hate, then speak about someone elses personal matter, that they want to keep private.” Even though Jamie Lynn is Britney’s younger sister, it’s clear that she’s fiercely protective of her older sister.
Jamie Lynn is absolutely right. Just because Britney Spears has issues that are being dealt with doesn’t mean that anyone, not even her own family, has the right to rob the pop star of her privacy. If Britney wanted to reveal anything, or wanted someone else to do it for her, it seems likely that she could and would do so. When rumors and misinformation about a situation as seemingly delicate as Britney’s begin to spread, that’s when real damage can be done.
Update: Britney Spears' attorney filed new papers in court that lay out the pop star's requests for the future of her conservatorships. According to TMZ, Britney is asking for Jodi Montgomery to be made into the permanent conservator for her person and for her estate to be controlled by a "qualified corporate fiduciary" instead of solely her father.
As the site points out, the filings don't exactly specify how involved Jamie would be in the preferred arrangement. However, there is at least some interest in taking some of his control and giving it to the qualified fiduciary, which TMZ indicates would likely be a bank. There's another hearing for Britney scheduled for later this week, so we'll continue to update this story as it progresses.
With additional reporting by Gossip Cop staff.