125K Want to #FreeBritney

Fans seek end to 12-year conservatorship despite singer's claim she's 'happy'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2020 9:50 AM CDT
125K Want to #FreeBritney
This April 12, 2018, file photo shows Britney Spears at the GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

A #FreeBritney protest is planned Wednesday outside a Los Angeles court, where Britney Spears is to appear remotely to discuss her conservatorship case. So why exactly do fans think the singer—shown recently lounging in a pool and doing yoga on a beach—needs saving? Well, it's complicated. The 38-year-old has been under a conservatorship since 2008, around the time of her highly publicized mental breakdown. While "the terms of the arrangement have never been publicly released," per the BBC, it's known Spears is not fully in control of her financial and career decisions. According to Newsweek, she can't drive and can only vote or marry with permission. Some fans even claim she's being held against her will—a commenter on her social media posts asked that she wear yellow if she needed help, and she then did—and that her social media posts are fake.

"For those of you who don't think I post my own videos ... you're wrong," Spears announced in a video shared last year, per the BBC. "I get how some people might not like my posts or even understand them, but this is Me being happy," she added in a video shared this month. But that hasn't stopped fans from trying to end the conservatorship, which is to extend until at least Aug. 22, per Page Six. Indeed, a White House petition seeking that end has over 125,000 signatures. On the eve of Wednesday's hearing, Spears' sister spoke out about mental health on Instagram, stressing "how important it is to respect the situation with privacy for the person, and the family trying to protect their loved ones, no matter how it may appear to the public." In a comment, she then referred to her sister as "a strong, badass, unstoppable woman," per People. (More Britney Spears stories.)

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