Britney Spears Is Finally Free From Her Conservatorship
#FreeBritney is no longer an activist rallying cry: it's now a fact. The conservatorship that has controlled Britney Spears' finances, personal life and medical decisions since 2008, and which for many years was controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, was terminated Friday afternoon in a Los Angeles courtroom.
For most of the time she was under the conservatorship, the singer has said, she masked her true feelings about the situation, but she began speaking out publicly this summer, asking for the legal arrangement to be terminated.
The conservatorship was split into two parts: the conservatorship of Spears' estate, which controlled all her income and financial decisions, and the conservatorship of Spears' person, which was in charge of her well-being and health. Jamie Spears had been suspended as conservator of her estate in late September, after the singer accused her father of exploiting her. Since then, the conservatorship of her estate was placed with a certified public accountant named John Zabel. Since 2019, the conservator of Britney Spears' person has been a licensed personal fiduciary and care professional named Jodi Montgomery.
The singer and her lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, had asked the court to end the conservatorship with no further medical or psychological evaluations of Spears.
Still, the battle between the singer and her father is far from over. In a court filing last week, Rosengart requested to depose Jamie Spears and asked for materials related to the alleged surveillance of Britney Spears, which The New York Times reported in a September documentary. Rosengart has also hired forensic accountants to look into how the elder Spears used his daughter's money over the course of the conservatorship.
Spears' case has thrown a spotlight on thorny issues around conservatorship, which is generally used for elderly people and individuals with significant disabilities.
Activists argue that such legal arrangements are ripe for abuse, or limit conservatees' civil rights. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have used the attention around Britney Spears to champion reforms.