'Nerve-Wracking' Day for Britney Fans Has Arrived

Spears is set to make a rare court appearance Wednesday in her conservatorship case
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2021 8:02 AM CDT
'Super Bowl for #FreeBritney' Fans Is Ready for Kickoff
Singer Britney Spears makes an appearance in front of the Park MGM hotel-casino in Las Vegas on Oct. 18, 2018.   (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

Britney Spears doesn't usually show up personally in court when it comes to her long-running conservatorship case, but that's set to change Wednesday. A day after the New York Times revealed court records indicating Spears has become "sick of being taken advantage of" under the arrangement that's been in place for 13 years—placing her mostly under the purview of her father, Jamie Spears—the 39-year-old singer will, from a remote location, offer rare testimony in a Los Angeles courtroom, though it's "unclear what specific issues she intends to address," the Guardian notes. This development comes amid a continuing #FreeBritney movement spearheaded by fans, though it's also not clear how closely their wishes and demands align with the pop star's. More from around the internet:

  • Where things stand now: Lawyers for Spears unsuccessfully tried in 2020 to remove her father as a conservator, alleging the singer was "afraid" of him. Jamie Spears is currently a co-conservator for his daughter's financials, along with the Bessemer Trust wealth-management firm. He's a co-conservator of her personal affairs too (such as her security and medical care) with care manager Jodi Montgomery.
  • Why the conservatorship exists: NPR notes the murkiness of the reasoning, pointing to Spears' apparent mental health breakdown in 2008 that seems to have started it all. But it also notes that the singer's achievements while under the conservatorship—including releasing four albums, appearing as a judge on American Idol and The X Factor, and her multimillion-dollar Las Vegas residency—"don't exactly line up with the typical profile of someone unable to look after themselves."
  • Veiled in secrecy: Much of what's taken place involving the case has played out in private, with NPR pointing out that Spears hasn't officially asked for the conservatorship to end altogether. But last year, Spears' attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, filed a motion to open everything up to the public, saying that Spears was "vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret," per NBC News.
  • Pleading her case: So how could Spears end the conservatorship, if that's her wish? Reuters details the process that's involved, which can be jump-started by Spears herself.
  • #FreeBritney: The secrecy swirling around the case extends to how Spears feels about the movement trying to liberate her, made up of fans who insist the singer is being kept against her will, doesn't have control over her social media, and has been threatened or otherwise intimidated into keeping quiet about her situation. Those fans are hoping for answers directly from Spears on Wednesday. "It's nerve-wracking, because finally we're going to have some answers and some insight," one of the leaders of the movement tells CNN. "We've been hearing from everyone around Britney, but not Britney herself."
  • Vindication: That's how the Cut frames Wednesday's proceedings for fans who've stuck by Spears, even when others poked fun of them for their dedication to her plight. "This is the Super Bowl for #FreeBritney activists," one activist says, telling the outlet she's flying out from Kansas to rally on her birthday outside the LA courthouse where Spears will be piped in.
(More Britney Spears stories.)

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