If you’ve been on Twitter recently then you’ll have seen the #FreeBritney campaign that has literally gone viral. Now, we love a good conspiracy theory, and we love Britney Spears, so naturally, we couldn’t ignore this. But after delving into this story it appears there is much more to it than meets the eye and it’s pretty confusing tbh. So obviously, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to all the drama surrounding the Britney drama. Trust us, it’s a lot. Sit back, grab some tea and read on…
When did this start?
Let us set the scene for you. Back in January Britney announced that she was postponing her much-anticipated new tour, Domination, and would be on an “indefinite work hiatus” due to personal family issues. A couple of months prior, Britney’s dad, Jamie, has been hospitalised and almost died; Britney said she wanted to “focus on her father’s health and recovery.” On 3 April TMZ reported that Britney had checked herself into a mental-health facility for a voluntary 30-day stay following “emotional distress” over her father’s health issues. Sounds legit right?
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I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination. I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart. However, it’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make. A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand. More information on ticket refunds is available on britneyspears.com. I appreciate your prayers and support for my family during this time. Thank you, and love you all… always.
So WTF is #FreeBritney?
On 16 April the superfan podcast Britney’s Gram released a “special, emergency episode” called #FreeBritney which included an anonymous voicemail from someone claiming to be a former member of Britney’s legal team (the podcast hosts called them a “very, very credible source”) who said she was being held against her will at the mental-health facility with no planned release date.
After the episode aired it sent waves through Twitter sparking diehard Britney fans to start the #FreeBritney social media campaign which has been fuelled with FBI-level investigations from fans, conspiracy theories and rumours. Even Britney’s mother and sister were liking #FreeBritney comments on social media sparking even more debate that the rumours are true.
What is the conservatorship?
We all remember Britney’s infamous and highly publicised 2007 breakdown, right? Well, since then her father, Jamie, along with a lawyer named Andrew Wallet have had co-conservatorship over Britney since 2008; Wallett suspiciously resigned in March making Jamie her sole conservator. So for the best part of 11 years, Britney has basically had no control over personal or financial decisions, she can’t get married or even drive under the terms of her conservatorship. For reference, conservatorships are a pretty big deal and are usually only used for the elderly or people who have been seriously injured and can’t look after themselves or adults with serious developmental disabilities.
Why would she be held against her will?
According to Britney’s Gram, the anonymous source claimed Jamie Spears noticed Britney wasn’t taking her medication and cancelled the Domination tour because she refused to take it, telling her to blame the cancellation on his illness. The source went on to say that Britney had not willingly entered the wellness facility, although the TMZ report states that a conservator cannot force a conservatee to take medication or force them into an institution against their will. There have been other rumours as well that her dad had her committed because she was making noise about breaking free from the conservatorship – Britney herself even filed some sort of motion with the court to do with the conservatorship – but obviously, we don’t know if these are true or not.
But is this actually real?
Well, maybe. Several celebrities have publicly supported the #FreeBritney movement including singer Eve, drag queen and Britney impersonator Derrick Barry and Real Housewives star Luann de Lesseps – not to mention the Britney superfans online. There was even an actual demonstration at West Hollywood Bowl on 22 April, with fans gathering to demand action from lawmakers regarding the conservatorship and holding up signs reading “Free Britney” and “Truth will set her free”.
Wait, so is Britney ok?
Since making the announcement about her tour back in January, Britney has barely been seen in public and has only posted on Instagram a couple of times, which is pretty unusual for her. The last time she was seen was 6 January driving through an In-N-Out drive-thru with boyfriend Sam Asghari – driving is something she is explicitly not allowed to do under the terms of her conservatorship. Since then there have been no paparazzi shots of Britney until Easter Sunday when she was spotted at a hotel in Beverly Hills with Sam on what was referred to as a “day trip” from the wellness facility.
Finally, on 24 April she posted a video on Instagram (her first since checking into the facility) to address the rumours along with a lengthy caption telling fans “don’t believe everything you read and hear”, adding “Your love and dedication is amazing, but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way. If you could do that, I would be forever grateful. Love you”. She also posted another video showing her working out with the caption “Who knew stress would be a great 5 pound weight loss. Yay for me”.
TMZ also caught Sam Asghari out and about in LA earlier this week and he said “Nobody needs to worry, she’s doing amazing. She’ll be back soon.”
Obviously, we hope Britney is ok and that the rumours aren’t true, but until she addresses everything in a tell-all interview we’ll just have to sit back and watch the story unfold. In the words of Chris Crocker “Leave Britney alone!”