Brooklyn Staab | Student Life Editor & Publicity Manager
October 15, 2021
The #freebritney movement has been around for quite some time, but due to widespread public attention, the case has finally moved forward, and Britney is finally stepping in the right direction toward freedom for the first time since the beginning of her conservatorship in 2008.
On June 23, Britney was finally able to address the judge directly. It was one of the first times the public heard how Britney really felt, and what she wanted, as opposed to speculation on her thoughts from the media.
The June 23 court transcript (her speech starts on page 10, line 18) illustrates Britney’s side of the story, a perspective that had been overpowered by her father, who was in control of her life for over a decade. Some of the most heart-wrenching points in her speech included her describing her conservatorship as “abusive,” and saying that she feels “ganged up on,” “bullied,” and “alone.”
Due to an overwhelming amount of support, Britney’s voice was finally heard, and she was able to take control over her life. Shortly after her statement to the court, she requested that the lawyer, who was appointed by her father, step down from his position.
Her appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, described Britney as a “high-functioning conservatee.” A conservatorship should only be used in cases of last resort, where the conservatee is not functioning and is at risk of harming themselves or others.
“I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people,” Spears said.
In July, Instagram formally stepped down and Mathew S. Rosengart took on the case defending Britney. Now, with Rosengart as Britneys’ lawyer, the case has progressed and great victories have already been celebrated.
On October 1, Jamie Spears, Britney’s father, was finally suspended from his conservator position.
“I thought it was so nice that she was finally able to be free from her father,” senior Joie Lucas said. “She was one of my favorite artists growing up!”
However, Britney is not completely free of the conservatorship just yet. Although the removal of her father was a great part of the battle, she still has a court hearing on November 12 to determine whether or not the conservatorship will be permanently dissolved.
Many are staying hopeful, as it is evident that Britney does not want to be controlled any longer.
It is apparent that her case only began to progress when the media began to focus on her situation. Without the media exposing the injustices she faced everyday, Britney may still have been hiding in fear or trying to fight the courts on her own. Judging from the many shady misconducts in her case prior to media attention that were not acted on, it is completely plausible that Britney may have never received justice if it were not for the #FreeBritney movement.
Hopefully Britney’s case causes a ripple effect, exposing other unjust conservatorships, because her case is unfortunately not an isolated incident.
“By only fighting for [celebrities like Britney Spears] , our moral standards in this nation are dramatically deteriorating,” senior Bethany Padilla said. “Britney deserved freedom, but not anymore than any other person.”
Under a conservatorship, a person loses their personal liberties, civil rights, and freedoms. Although there is no exact count of the number of conservatorships in California currently, it is estimated that 1,459 people were on temporary Lanterman-Petris-Short conservatorships, and 3,672 were on permanent conservatorships, in 2019-2020.
Conservatorships should be kept as a last resort, yet for some reason, there are thousands of cases of perfectly capable conservatees that go unnoticed. Britney’s freedom is well deserved and a step, finally, in the right direction. Hopefully more conservatees receive justice and laws in California can be altered to protect citizens more efficiently.