Free Britney movement
The Free Britney movement is an Internet social movement. Members with the movement are working for American Britney Spears to be freed from her years-long and court-ordered conservatorship (the appointment of court-ordered guardians or protectors by court judges). The Free Britney movement was begun in 2008. The movement became popular in 2019.
The background change
In 2008, Spears was placed into a three-day psychiatric hold two separate times. At the time, she was experiencing serious conflicts which affected her personal life. Those conflicts include divorcing her then-husband Kevin Federline in late 2007, attacking paparazzi, shaving her head and losing the custody of her two sons with Federline. Just after the second hospital visit, Spears' father Jamie filed to put a temporary conservatorship on her. The conservatorship was made permanent later in 2008. Jamie was the conservator for Britney's personal affair and co-conservator for her finances with Andrew Wallet. Wallet was in charge starting in 2009. He resigned his position in March 2019. Due to stress from her father Jamie's afflictions, Britney went into a mental health facility the same month. She was released the following month from the mental health facility.
The inception and outcomes change
In April 2019, a podcast that involved Britney, titled Britney's Gram, put out voicemails from an anonymous party saying they were the former members of her legal team. The anonymous party also said her planned second residency was canceled by her father Jamie due to Britney not always wanting to take her medication. They then said Britney was involuntarily held in the facility beginning in January after she violated rules that banned her from driving. Finally, they said the conservatorship was originally scheduled to end in 2009. Shortly after the podcast episode, a movement to end the conservatorship, called #FreeBritney, became widely known. In May, the Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny, the judge over the case, ordered an "expert evaluation" of the arrangement during a hearing. In September 2019, her former husband Federline was then granted a restraining order against Britney's father Jamie just after what might have been a physical dispute between Jamie and one of Federline's and Britney's sons. The order was sought when Federline said Jamie broke down a door to get his grandson. When the grandson was in his room, Federline said, Jamie grabbed him.
The Los Angeles divorce attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan stated there was a disagreement that took place when Britney and her sons were visiting Jamie at his home. According to Kaplan, the disagreement led to a serious act of physical violence that was observed by Britney's and Federline's older son Jayden. Kaplan credited Britney for removing the children from the area.
Britney Spears gave notice to the court on June 23, 2021 and talked about having trauma. She described the conservatorship as "abusive". She then expressed her wishes for choosing her own legal representation and to marry and have another child. She asked Penny to dissolve the conservatorship without further evaluation. The request to end the conservatorship, however, was later denied by Penny. During a court hearing in July 2021, Britney Spears was given the right to choose her own lawyer. Judge Penny then approved the replacement of Spears' previous lawyer Samuel Ingham with Matthew Rosengart. The new lawyer said he would be working to dissolve the conservatorship.
A public response change
From 2019 to 2021, the #FreeBritney movement gained support from many celebrities. They included singers Miley Cyrus and Cher and media personality Paris Hilton. The singers Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, the earlier of whom was Spears' past boyfriend, also voiced their support. The latter also said Spears' conservatorship was "unacceptable".
U.S. Burgess Owens, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz invited Spears to testify on her conservatorship to United States Congress. In relation to Spears' case, U.S. Senators Bob Casey Jr. and Elizabeth Warren called on the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to give them data on conservatorships so they could make policy-related recommending on the system. Casey Jr. and Warren called for more federal oversight on the guardianship system in the United States after Spears' testimony. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nonprofit organization, decided they would help Spears in dissolving the conservatorship if she requested to do so. They filed an amicus curiae to support Spears' plea to choose her own legal representation.
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