The battle for Britney Spears' freedom from her father Jamie Spears' conservatorship has been a hot-button issue all summer. What began with concerned fans fearing that the pop star was being held in the strict, years-long conservatorship against her will gained legitimacy last week when Britney herself asked the California court to remove her father as her sole court-appointed conservator. The #FreeBritney movement is now gaining even more legal authority with the support of the ACLU, who sees the case as a disability rights issue. “People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights," tweeted the organization in support of the singer. "If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship, we are here to help her.”
Britney's conservatorship began in 2008 after two visits to a psychiatric ward. Since then, the singer's rights have been considerably stripped away; Jaime allegedly forbade Britney from driving a car, voting, spending money without permission, and has had her calls and messages monitored.
“This issue is getting attention right now because of Britney Spears’ fame. But she is only one of untold thousands nationwide under or at risk of guardianship or conservatorship," said Zoe Brennan-Krohn, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Disability Rights Project. "The ACLU has advocated for expanding supported decision-making, an alternative to conservatorship or guardianship where people with disabilities can choose trusted support people to help them direct their lives, without court intervention or loss of civil rights.”
On August 18, Britney's attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, asked that Jodi Montgomery, the temporary, licensed professional conservator overseeing her case since September, be named permanent conservator of Britney’s personal affairs and that the singer is “strongly opposed” to having her father return to his conservatorship role.
Jamie is not giving up. Along with calling the #FreeBritney movement a "conspiracy theory," Jamie reportedly filed his own petition with the court, asking that he and Andrew Wallet — the attorney who previously oversaw Britney's finances before voluntarily resigning in March 2019 — be reinstated as co-conservators. According to documents obtained by People, Jamie is asking that he and Wallet be granted “power to obtain all documents and records,” including “all contracts, information relating to credit cards, bank statements, estate planning documents, receivables, and any and all powers of attorney” in regards to his daughter's estate.
The next court hearing regarding the co-conservator request is set for September 16.