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What It Means When You See #FreeBritney In Your Newsfeed

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Update 9/10/19: Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, filed with the court to be relieved of his role as sole conservator for his daughter, citing “personal health reasons.” His request was approved on Monday, and Jodi Montgomery — Britney’s caregiver — was named his temporary replacement.


Update 5/8/19: Britney Spears’ mother, Lynne Spears, filed court documents requesting to be informed on matters related to the singer’s conservatorship. She requested permission for her attorney to represent her at her daughter’s hearing on Friday. The hearing will address the singer’s care and conservatorship. Spears has been under a court-ordered conservatorship since 2008 under her father Jamie Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet. Wallet stepped down as a co-conservator in March, leaving her father as sole conservator.

On Tuesday, a fan podcast called “Britney’s Gram” dropped an “emergency episode” alleging that Britney Spears was checked into a mental health facility against her will. According to previous reports, Spears checked herself in to treatment at the end of March.

Hosts of the podcast, Babs and Tess, shared a voicemail they received from an anonymous source who claimed to have worked as a paralegal in an office involved in the pop star’s legal affairs.

The anonymous source claimed Spears did not check herself into mental health treatment earlier this month. The source also claimed Spears was not taking her medication and did not cancel her “Domination” Las Vegas residency in January — it was a decision made by father, Jamie Spears.

The “Britney’s Gram” hosts said they verified the anonymous source, but there is no other proof the voicemail is legitimate. You can listen to the full podcast here.

Spears has been under a court-ordered conservatorship since 2008 when the singer was first hospitalized for her mental health. The singer’s father has acted as her co-conservator along with attorney Andrew Wallet. However, Wallet stepped down as a co-conservator in March, leaving Jamie Spears as sole conservator.

According to the Judicial Council of California, a conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a trusted individual (“conservator”) to care for another adult (“conservatee”) who cannot care for themself or manage their own finances.

Duties of a “conservator of the person” can include making arrangements for the conservatee’s health, meals, clothing and living situation, while duties of a “conservator of the estate” typically involve managing the conservatee’s finances like collecting their income, creating a budget and investing their money responsibly.

Conservatorships are usually permanent arrangements, but in some cases, they can be ended. For example, if a conservatee becomes able to handle personal and financial affairs again, the conservator or conservatee may ask the court to end the conservatorship.

Other cases of ending the arrangement include the conservator or conservatee dying, the court removing a conservator or the conservator resigning. According to an unverified tip reported by Radar Online on Monday, Britney Spears is seeking to end her conservatorship.

Fans have responded to the podcast by posting the hashtag, #FreeBritney, on social media.

Fans were also quick to notice that the pop star’s mother, Lynne Spears, was “liking” comments from fans about freeing Britney. Though Lynne Spears hasn’t posted anything directly about Britney Spears’s treatment, some have pointed to her actions as further evidence that Britney Spears is being held against her will.

If this news is hard for you, there is help available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

Image via Creative Commons/Gabriel Weinstein

Originally published: April 17, 2019
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