Britney Spears Posts #FreeBritney After Being Allowed To Choose Her Own Lawyer
A judge approved the singer’s request to hire her own lawyer in a move that could lead to ending the conservatorship she has called “abusive.”
Britney Spears has officially joined the “Free Britney” movement by using the hashtag in a celebratory Instagram video after a judge granted the pop star the ability to hire her own lawyer — a major step in Spears’s ongoing conservatorship battle.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny granted Spears approval to hire prominent Hollywood lawyer Mathew Rosengart on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. Spears’s new representation comes after her court-appointed lawyer Samuel D. Ingham stepped down earlier this month, along with co-conservator and financial company Bessemer Trust.
The swift change in the superstar’s legal representation follows her explosive testimony on June 23, when she called the conservatorship “abusive” and told the court, “I just want my life back.” Bessemer Trust said in a statement that it was requesting to withdraw after Spears’s hearing and “respects her wishes” to end the conservatorship.
After the court approved Spears, 39, to hire Rosengart as her lawyer, the singer posted a joyful video doing cartwheels and riding a horse on Instagram. In the caption, Spears wrote: “Thank you to my fans who are supporting me ... You have no idea what it means to me be supported by such awesome fans.” At the end of the caption, she wrote, #FreeBritney — the first time she has acknowledged the fan-motivated movement that helped push her conservatorship into the public eye.
Spears has been under a court-ordered conservatorship since 2008, when she was 26, after widespread speculation about her mental health. The legal agreement has given her father Jamie Spears authority over her finances and professional decisions. In February, a Los Angeles judge ordered Jamie Spears to remain a co-conservator alongside Bessemer Trust. In March, Spears filed a petition to remove her father as conservator, similar to efforts her legal team made with middling success in 2020.
Fans formed the “Free Britney” movement in 2019 after speculating that Spears’s father had outsized authority over her decisions, even as she continued to earn her team millions as a performer. Spears confirmed fans’ assumptions during her June court hearing, telling the judge she has been mandated to work, was forced to take prescription medication, and has been prevented from getting married or having children.
“It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through. And that’s the main reason I’ve never said it openly,” Spears said in her June testimony. “I honestly don’t think anyone would believe me.”
On Wednesday, Spears reiterated her wish to have her father removed from controlling her finances and life, telling the court, “I’m here to get rid of my dad,” adding that she was scared of him. A lawyer for Jamie Spears reportedly said he would not voluntarily step down as conservator.
Spears previously requested that the conservatorship be terminated without her having to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, but has not yet filed an official appeal. She also said last month she wanted to sue her family. The hiring of her own lawyer is likely the first step to pursue both legal actions.
The “Toxic” singer’s case has gained global attention from celebrities, politicians, and fans after a New York Times documentary called “Framing Britney Spears” was released in February and broke down her current legal situation. Since then, the “Free Britney” movement has accelerated. Now, it’s even gained the support of the pop star herself.