Britney Spears says she ‘welcomes’ Free Britney movement in dramatic court filing seeking to ‘regain her autonomy’
Britney Spears has called for her conservatorship case to be open to public scrutiny, insisting that the Free Britney movement “is far from a conspiracy or joke”.
On Wednesday (September 2) Britney’s court-appointed attorney Samuel D Ingham III filed a motion at Los Angeles Superior Court opposing a request by her father, James ‘Jamie’ Spears to keep the case sealed.
Jamie Spears has long argued that Britney’s conservatorship is a private family matter. He has described members of the Free Britney movement as “conspiracy theorists”, and dubbed the campaign to end the arrangement “a joke”.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Ingham released a statement from Spears: “Far from being a conspiracy theory or a ‘joke’ as James reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of James’ aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimise the amount of meaningful information made available to the public.”
In the filing Ingham cited the California constitution, and added: “The public has a legitimate interest in understanding how its court system operates… At this point in her life when she is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans.
“Although the sealing motion is supposedly for her ‘protection’, Britney herself is vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret.”
Britney Spears has been under the conservatorship of her father since 2009.
Britney Spears was placed under the conservatorship of her father since suffering from a mental health crisis in 2008.
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The arrangement, typically used for the old, infirm or disabled, has been scrutinised by disability rights lawyers as one that erodes agency. Those with detailed knowledge of the case have stressed that conservatorships often greatly limit what say, if any, the person under the arrangement has on who their guardians are.
Indeed, Britney attempted to strip her father Jamie – who has been in charge of her affairs for much of the past 12 years – from the conservatorship with a flurry of legal filings.
Through her legal counsel, the star said she was “strongly opposed” to her father being re-installed as a personal conservator, in which he oversaw her mental health care, among other things, after he briefly stepped down due to health reasons in 2019.
Instead, in a devastating blow, the courts moved to extend her guardianship through February 1, 2021.