#FreeBritney is trending across the internet this week, but what is actually going on? Is the Princess of Pop actually missing? Is she doing alright? Should someone go get her?
First, let’s go back to 2007. A harrowing time for Spears, she went through an extremely public breakdown, during which she was excessively partying, attacking paparazzi and getting hit-and-run charges. It all basically stemmed from her divorce filings with Kevin Federline and the possibility of losing custody of her children, but nevertheless, it was messy. However, let’s remember she was only 25; it was rough.
After it all went down, Spears was apparently placed under a conservatorship controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, which basically means that a judge appointed Jamie as Britney's guardian to handle her financials and daily life. Britney is still held to this conservatorship.
Jumping forward a decade: A few months ago, as Spears was preparing for her new Las Vegas residency show, Britney: Domination, she shared on her Instagram that she’d be pulling out of rehearsals and postponing the show. The reasoning, she said, was to be with her father, who had been recently hospitalized. “I will not be performing my new show,” she wrote. “A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time.”
As far as we knew, Spears was taking time out of the spotlight (her social media has been basically empty since January) to do just that.
Earlier this month, however, reports circulated that Spears had checked herself into a mental health facility. Around the same time, an Instagram post (her first in months) read “We all need to take time for a little ‘me time.’ :).” All seemed fine -- in fact, we tend to applaud celebrities for taking responsibility for their mental health. Demi Lovato, for example, has been laying low since completing a rehabilitation program following an overdose over the summer.
Buuut it seems this isn't actually the case.
Basically, everyone thinks Britney is being held in this facility against her will, per Jamie’s order.
A podcast called “Britney’s Gram” aired an episode titled the now-trending hashtag #FreeBritney and revealed that they received a call from a paralegal who was allegedly involved with the conservatorship. According to the podcasters, the message (which they play during the episode) alluded that Jamie’s health was never a concern, and that it was a guise in order to get Britney into rehab after she refused to take medication as prescribed. The message revealed that he threatened to pull the Vegas show if she didn't comply with his orders regarding her medication, which, to an extent, he has.
If this is the case, then it’s reasonable to believe that Spears has actually been in the facility against her will since January, when she announced her father’s “illness.”
“We just kind of got chills. We do believe this person is credible,” Tess Barker, who co-hosts the podcast, told Inside Edition. “We had a responsibility to release this information because if it is true, we think there are serious civil rights violations going on, to say the least.”
Britney’s mom, Lynne (who’s been divorced from Jamie since 2002) has apparently also been liking Instagram comments that corroborate the story. Tell us what’s going on, Lynne!
Basically, the entire conservatorship situation is being completely brought to light now, revealing that Britney can't do a lot without her team's (really, father's) approval. Which, for a 37-year-old woman who went through some sh*t in her 20s, is ridiculous.
What do we think about it?
I would like some more clarity on the whole conservatorship thing. According to Entertainment Tonight, Jamie can decide things about Britney’s life down to if she gets married. While it’s understandable that a person should be under some form of care when they go through something like Britney did, at what point does it let up? This was over 10 years ago without a single (public) hiccup!
Her daddy can still put her in time out? In rehab? At what point, then, does a judge get to decide that she can handle herself?
And the other side of this is whether or not this actually legal. As the co-hosts of “Britney’s Gram” said, there could be some serious civil rights issues at play here.
What does everyone else think?
Everyone’s hoping for Brit’s safe return.
On The Talk this past Wednesday, co-hosts and guests were wearing #FreeBritney shirts and discussing why this is such an issue. “I've always been a Britney fan and I want her to be getting the help she's getting, but not under duress,” singer Eve said on the show.
Sharon Osbourne chimed in with digs at Jamie, basically saying that he should have better things to do with himself. “I know nothing, but nothing would surprise me. It's time for her to have a life. And maybe her dad can find a job,” she said.
Meanwhile, the #FreeBritney initiative is thriving on social media, not only to get her out of a facility she didn't willingly check into, but to get her out of the conservatorship entirely.
Need a drink?
Let’s all take a shot to prepare to break Britney out.
- 1 part tequila
- 1 part stronger tequila
- Lime in hand