#FreeBritney?

Photo from onecountry.com

Britney Spears is the kind of megastar who’s always being talked about, but over the past week she’s been trending on Twitter for a new reason. A Britney Spears’ podcast called “Britney’s Gram” recently posted a “special emergency episode” claiming Spears is currently being held against her will in a mental healthcare facility. Twitter exploded with people tweeting “#FreeBritney,” convinced that Britney needed rescuing.

At the start of 2019, Britney Spears cancelled her planned Las Vegas residency with a sentimental Instagram post referencing her desire to put her family first, especially because her father was ill. People were proud of Britney for putting her needs first, but confused. Just a few minutes before her Instagram post, her team was tweeting about the residency like it would be happening. Regardless, people assumed Britney was doing what was best for herself and didn’t think much of the announcement.

Back in January, it was reported that Britney Spears had checked herself into a mental health facility because she was suffering from anxiety over her father’s serious illness. According to the hosts of “Britney’s Gram,” Spears’ paralegal claims that this is completely false. Allegedly, Spears was checked in after her father, Jamie, found out that she was not taking her prescribed medication. The paralegal claimed that Jamie checked her in and ordered her team to blame it on his illness.

On January 6, she was photographed driving to In-N-Out for lunch with her boyfriend. The outing seemed normal: Britney chowed down on a burger and drove off without any fanfare. This would be the last time she’d be seen in public for months.

At this point things got complicated. Since 2008, Britney has been under a conservatorship. For over a decade, Jamie Spears and Britney’s attorney Andrew Wallet, acted as guardians for the 37-year-old pop star. Britney is unable to vote, drive a car, or get married without permission. Her conservators also oversee her finances — purchases as small as an iced coffee are tracked and overseen by her father and attorney. They allegedly receive six figures a year for their conservatorship services in addition to the high salaries they receive as members of her team. Therefore what is even more lucrative is that they have almost complete control of her career: if they want her to go on a surely profitable tour, she has little say.

In March, attorney Wallet stepped down as conservator and left Jamie Spears alone in the role. He claimed that he was stepping down because he feared that “substantial detriment, irreparable harm and immediate danger will result to the conservatee and her estate.”

The hosts of the “Britney Gram” podcast found something even more interesting than Wallet’s resignation. It appears that in March, Britney made a file to court regarding her conservatorship. This would be her first known motion to do so since 2008.

Many fans had already been asking why the conservatorship, which was originally meant to last for a single weekend, was continuing after years of seemingly spotless Spears behavior. In the past decade, Britney has had multiple Vegas residencies, tours and hit music videos. If she truly is still too unwell to care for herself, why would her team still encourage her to work so tirelessly? With the financial advantages Jamie Spears receives from Britney’s conservatorship, is his priority Britney’s best interests, or continuing a situation that makes him money?

Shortly after the conservatorship, Britney returned to a mental health facility. As zealous tweeters continue to rally under #FreeBritney, others believe this is a conspiracy gone viral that couldn’t be true. VALLEY asked licensed graduate professional counselor Becca Ferenci about the confusing situation. She explained, “her family could legally commit her for a 72 hour hold if she’s a danger to herself or others. Then the psychiatric facility could keep her committed after that if they deem it necessary. Holds can go on beyond that in extreme cases, but in most cases at that point other treatments are taken, like voluntary inpatient treatments or outpatient programs.”

Therefore, Britney probably isn’t forcibly being held away for no reason. Whatever the real story is, the only priority is that Britney is taking care of herself. VALLEY wishes Britney the best and hopes she knows that the Internet is all  behind her!

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