ENTERTAINMENT

Britney Spears' Dad Calls #FreeBritney Movement 'A Joke,' Defends Conservatorship

In recent weeks, the pop star's family has been speaking out against claims that the conservatorship placed on the 38-year-old is holding her "hostage."

Britney Spears’ dad, Jamie Spears, has spoken out against an ongoing theory that his daughter is being controlled.

Over the weekend, the elder Spears talked to the New York Post about the #FreeBritney movement that’s bubbled up all over the internet and insisted: “All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything. The world don’t have a clue.”

Since 2008, after Britney Spears was was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, her father and attorney Andrew Wallet were given a temporary conservatorship over the pop star that has since become permanent. The conservatorship means that the singer’s financial affairs and daily life is managed by someone else. 

The hashtag #FreeBritney was created as part of on ongoing effort and plea from fans to remove that conservatorship, which many believe is holding the singer “hostage.” While fans have been calling for Britney Spears’ freedom since the conservatorship took effect, the movement exploded over the last few months as fans have spent a lot of time in lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus watching and rewatching many of Britney’s videos to look for coded messaging. As a result, they’ve come up with all sorts of explanations for Britney’s behavior on Twitter and TikTok.

Jamie Spears stepped down from his role in the conservatorship last year, leading to his daughter’s care manager, Jodi Montgomery, to step in. A hearing had been scheduled for July 22 to observe the status of conservatorship, but was reportedly thwarted by “Zoombombers” popping into the confidential Zoom call about the issue. The judge postponed the hearing as those not legally involved were in attendance. Seen below, many protesters showed up outside a Los Angeles courthouse on the day of the hearing to share their thoughts on the conservatorship. 

Supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a courthouse in downtown for a #FreeBritney protest as a hearing regarding Spears
Supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a courthouse in downtown for a #FreeBritney protest as a hearing regarding Spears' conservatorship is in session on July 22, 2020, in Los Angeles, California.

Jamie Spears pushed back on the rhetoric about his daughter from fans to the Post, claiming “it’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.” He also addressed the rumors that he’s stealing money from his daughter: “I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year. How the hell would I steal something?”

The 68-year-old also shared that he loves his daughter and that the conservatorship is “our business.”

“It’s private,” he said.

Britney’s father speaking out amid the controversy comes on the heels of his other two children, Bryan and Jamie Lynn Spears, also chiming in publicly on the matter.

During an appearance on the “As Not Seen on TV” podcast last month, Bryan Spears claimed that his sister’s conservatorship is “a great thing for our family.”

“We kind of came together and not everybody agreed with it either; everyone had their own opinion like, maybe we should do it this way or that way,” he said. “But at the end I think we made the right choice.”

In this April 12, 2018, file photo, Britney Spears arrives at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, California
In this April 12, 2018, file photo, Britney Spears arrives at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, California. 

Also last month, Jamie Lynn Spears spoke out on Instagram about mental health and addressed her big sister without mentioning her by name. 

The youngest Spears shared screenshots of people expressing sympathy for Kanye West after he posted some troubling tweets and wrote: “If you deal with mental illness or care for someone dealing with mental illness, then you know how important it is to respect the situation with privacy for the person, and the family trying to protect their loved ones, no matter how it may appear to the public, and as the public we must learn to do the same.”

When a follower mentioned Britney Spears in the comments and insisted Jamie Lynn Spears address the pop star’s “OBVIOUS mental illness,” the younger Spears fired back: “You have no right to assume anything about my sister and I have no right to speak about HER health and personal matters. She is a strong, badass, unstoppable woman, and that’s the only thing that is OBVIOUS.”