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Britney Spears ‘ has spent more than a decade under the control of a conservatorship which regulates every aspect of her life and includes restrictions on her spending, her visitors and even the kind of phone she can have.
It was imposed on the pop star 12 years ago following her highly-publicised breakdown and she has recently been fighting to have her dad Jamie removed as one of her conservators.
The singer’s life is being examined in a new documentary Framing Britney Spears, which airs tonight, and it shines a light on the conservatorship and the campaign by fans who think she’s being controlled against her will.
While the singer has publicly insisted the conservatorship is “voluntary”, the #FreeBritney movement has grown and followers are openly debating whether she should be allowed to take charge of her life once again.
Even other celebrities including Miley Cyrus – who has chanted “free Britney” at her gigs – have weighed in on the matter, while a petition that has been sent to the White House in a bid to force a review.
Britney’s lawyers have been back in court seeking major changes to the way the conservatorship is run.
She asked for her father Jamie to be permanently removed as her conservator following a bout of ill health and have a “qualified corporate fiduciary” appointed to look after her finances, according to court documents.
As the singer gears up for more legal wrangling, we take a look back at how the conservatorship came into existence and how it shaped the life of the one of the world’s most high-profile pop stars.
Life seemed to start going wrong for Britney back in 2006 as her marriage to Kevin Federline crumbled and she was seen driving with her son Sean Preston on her lap.
She filed for divorce from the dancer less than two months after giving birth to their second son, Jayden James, and it sparked a custody battle between the pair.
The singer seemed to slide into a life of partying, and checked in to rehab in Antigua in February 2007 but leaves after just one day.
Two days after quitting rehab, came Britney’s now infamous head-shaving incident when she was seen hairless and full of rage attacking a photographer’s car with an umbrella.
After going in and out of rehab several times, Britney finalised her divorce, but later loses custody of the kids after being stopped over a motoring offence.
She spent months fighting to regain custody of her kids, and it all came to a head in January 2008 when she was admitted to hospital.
Britney was pictures being removed from her home strapped to a gurney, and she was placed on a 5150 Hold for a mental evaluation.
She went through this hospitalisation process twice during a deepy darkly time and it signalled a very public unraveling of one of music’s most famous faces.
Later that year, her father Jamie filed a petition with the Los Angeles County Superior Court for an emergency “temporary conservatorship” – putting him in charge of his daughter’s estate and physical well-being.
The orders are usually put in place to protect the elderly or infirm, or those with diminished metal capacity.
The arrangement was made permanent by the end of the year with attorney Andrew Wallet being appointed as co-conservator to keep an eye on Britney’s finances.
It became clear from court documents filed as part of the arrangement, that Jamie had been given power over almost every aspect of the singer’s life.
He was given leave to negotiate business deals for her, sell her property and even restrict her vistors.
Britney was even forced to account for everything she bought so her purchases could be included in annual spending reports to the court.
TMZ also reported Britney was desperate to get her hands on an iPhone, but Jamie is believed to have said no because of worries about social media and outside parties contacting his daughter.
The website reported the phone issue was previously brought up by Britney’s legal team, but the judge overseeing the case sided with her father on the matter
The website also reports among the restrictions Britney lives with is a ban on entering liquor stores due to previous issues with alcohol.
Throughout late 2008, Britney appeared to be focused on getting her life back on track.
She managed to regain visitation rights to her two sons, made a documentary and released a comeback album, Circus.
The following year, she headed off on a world tour and found love with her agent Jason Trawick.
Throughout the next few years, Britney continued to land big work projects – appearing in TV shows, joining The X Factor US and releasing new music.
However, throughout this time her life was still being controlled by the conservatorship which continued to be extended at every review.
By 2017, she’d landed her first Las Vegas residency and it looked like brand Britney was full steam ahead once again.
Britney was earning a fortune as she raked in $500,000 per concert and by the end of the residency she’d played a whopping 248 shows.
The singer was busy planning her second Sin City residency, Britney: Domination, when her family was thrown into crisis as dad Jamie suffered a ruptured colon.
Jamie survived, but it threw Britney into a tailspin.
In January 2019 she announced she was cancelling the Las Vegas shows and checking into rehab for a month.
She explained in a statement: “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.”
During her hiatus from work, the #FreeBritney movement really started to take hold.
In a podcast called Britney’s Gram, concerns were raised about the conservatorship with the hosts alleging Spears was effectively being “held captive”.
The hashtag trended on Twitter and it didn’t go unnoticed by the Spears camp, with Jamie sued a pro-Britney blogger named Anthony Elia for allegedly spreading false information about the conservatorship.
Britney even addressed the fuss herself with a post on Instagram, writing: “I wanted to say hi, because things that are being said have just gotten out of control!!! Wow!!!
“There’s rumours, death threats to my family and my team, and just so many things crazy things being said.
“I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that’s happening is just making it harder for me. Don’t believe everything you read and hear.”
She seemingly addressed the issues of the conservatorship as she added: “My situation is unique, but I promise I’m doing what’s best at this moment
“You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want!”
However, it did little damper the talk.
Asking for change
As #FreeBritney rumbled on, the conservatorship was extended but months later Britney is now applying for major changes – including removing Jamie – who was paid $130,000 a year for his services.
In documents filed in court in the US, Britney’s attorney Samuel D Ingham III argued the arrangement needs to be changed “substantially” in order to reflect “the major changes in her current lifestyle and her stated wishes”.
He also suggested he expects the proposed changes to be contested by Jamie, who recently spoke out to deny a raft of false claims about the conservatorship.
In an interview with the New York Post, Jamie shot down conspiracy theories and angrily rebutted claims he was taking his daughter’s money.
He said: “All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything. The world don’t have a clue.
“It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.
“I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year. How the hell would I steal something?”
This content was originally published here.