The Britney Army rallies the troops, but is the fight justified?
It’s not the first time BreatheHeavy has typed the words “Free Britney.” In 2008, shortly after Britney was placed in a conservatorship, which she still remains in today, BH publicly denounced the legal restraints she was under and championed the initiative… but to no avail. The pursuit put the site at risk of closure and created a rocky dynamic with Britney’s team since. I’ve come to understand that the conservatorship and her father, Jamie Spears, Britney’s conservator over her personal affairs, were instrumental in plucking the pop star out of a vortex swirling into oblivion.
In the years that followed, the conservatorship played a pivotal role in keeping Britney away from potential people and substances that could derail her progress, however a lingering cloud of doubt grew as she distanced herself from her public troubles. The million dollar question: why is Britney in a conservatorship, typically meant for people who are so incapacitated that they cannot function, yet she can record albums, perform, make music videos and give interviews? And if she is in fact deemed so mentally unfit to manage her own life, than why is she continually thrust into the limelight? On one hand, fame, performing and stardom is all she’s ever known, and working could potentially provide structure and routine – key facets to maintaining stability (can you imagine how scary it would be to lose everything familiar?). There are elements of this we do not understand, nor is it our right to, so where do we go from here?
Shocking new allegations aired on the latest episode of the BritneysGram podcast have rocked the world of Britney. The podcast, run by comedians Tess Barker and Barbara Gray, was originally a place to gab about Britney’s quirky Instagram posts (dubbed ~the happiest place on the Internet~), but it’s taken a turn. Instead of poking fun at our fav’s sparkly memes and sassy cat walks, it started shining a white hot spotlight on an aspect of Britney’s life that’s shrouded in mystery: the conservatorship. The show has a hotline where fans can call in and leave a voicemail, and they received one that’s got everybody talkin’.
They aired a voicemail from a man who claims to have worked as a paralegal at a law office connected to Britney’s conservatorship. Barker and Gray say they have vetted this individual. They call him a “very, very credible source.”
The unidentified man offers a different explanation as to why ********** was cancelled, and claims Britney has been in a mental health facility since mid-January… against her will. It’s worth mentioning BreatheHeavy cannot confirm the allegations.
“What is happening is disturbing to say the least,” the voicemail begins. “Britney was in rehearsals for **********. It came to Jamie Spears’ attention that Britney was not taking her medication as prescribed. She was missing a lot of doses and full on not taking them. They got her to the doctor, the doctor said, ‘OK if you don’t want these medications, let’s get you on a new one.’ Well, she refused to take the new one. So Jamie said either you take this medication or the show’s off and I’m pulling my support and you can’t do it. Britney did not follow Jamie’s instructions, and he was true to his word – he pulled the show. He said verbatim, ‘blame it on my illness,’ and that’s when we get the early January Instagram.”
This of course conflicts with Britney’s Instagram post in which she says she had to postpone the show due to her father’s illness. It also refutes claims she’s in a mental health facility because his health condition was so severe, it sent her spiraling.
The voicemail continues: “Fast forward a couple days… Britney’s still not following through with her medication… She is seen with Sam [Asghari] driving. It’s a big rule that she broke. Britney has been in the mental facility since mid-January. Of course, the statement said she entered last week… it’s not true. She’s been in there since mid-January, and there is no timeline… there is no end in sight for this stay at this mental facility to end. She did not want to go… Elsewhere he said, “This was not a decision she made at all.”
Barker and Gray’s source also sheds light on the conservatorship’s early days.
“The conservatorship was supposed to end after the Circus Tour in 2009,” the source says. “The idea was: go on tour, show us you’re stable and well and that this conservatorship will help you regain custodial rights.”
He goes on to say that Jamie Spears planned on filing a petition following the Circus Tour to end the conservatorship, and “when that didn’t happen… Britney had another sort of mental break.”
Fans have thought for years that leading up to, and during the Femme Fatale era, Britney was not her typical self.
BritneysGram created a #FreeBritney graphic, and stans swiftly began changing their profile photos to it. The hashtag even began trending on Twitter.
Hours after the podcast was published, Britney’s mom Lynne posted a meme on Instagram that read: “When God’s warriors go down on their knees, the battle is not over; it has just begun.”
One fan wrote in the comments section: “I really hope you are supporting Britney in trying to end this conservatorship. I really hope your ailing ex husband isn’t keeping your daughter somewhere against her will.”
Lynne liked the comment, among many others.
Brit’s little sister is also in a difficult position in the #FreeBritney era. She hasn’t publicly spoken about Britney’s situation, but she did post an interesting meme in her Instagram stories on the same day that read: “they don’t deserve you, stay busy.”
The campaign began picking up momentum over the day, so much so that fans stormed Britney’s Instagram posts with the hashtag #FREEBRITNEY. Someone with access to Britney’s account muted the hashtag and began deleting fans’ comments.
britney’s team can keep deleting our instagram comments but they’ve done nothing. the hashtag #freebritney is already trending and we will not stop. britney is a human, not a property. #FREEBRITNEY pic.twitter.com/I6XeacFKZb— femme fatale (@sotypicallybrit) April 16, 2019
Britney’s longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, was also mentioned by Mr. Voicemail. According to him, Rudolph played a major role in Britney’s latest mental health stay, and, according to the source, is quoted from a closed-door meeting as saying: “At the very least this will help with ticket revenue when we re-announce Vegas.”
Britney’s former manager, Adam Leber, is very aware of the podcast (he’s briefly mentioned in it). Leber released a statement about it: “Heard about this podcast. I Haven’t listened, but I haven’t worked with Britney in 2+ years and am not involved with her affairs. I wish her nothing but love…”
Heard about this podcast. I Haven’t listened, but I haven’t worked with Britney in 2+ years and am not involved with her affairs. I wish her nothing but love… https://t.co/PvlA2Y0Kb9— Adam Leber (@AdamLeber) April 16, 2019
In April, E! News reported Britney was spotted getting her hair done at an LA salon. Later that day, a fan-photo of Britney at a salon began circulating on Twitter; it seemed to corroborate E!’s report. If Britney is being held against her will, how was she able to check out – even briefly?
Britney got her hair done today in a hair salon pic.twitter.com/pfVRtp1oOh— Its Britney *****! (@BritneySpeaus) April 15, 2019
Things to consider
BritneysGram felt confident enough with their source to publicly claim some wild and salacious allegations. There are a couple of things to consider when deciding whether you want to believe them or not. For instance, why would this person risk getting entangled in a nasty lawsuit if they were the real deal? If he was a paralegal at a law office connected to Britney’s conservatorship, than we can assume he had employment at Andrew Wallet Law (the former law offices connected to Britney’s conservatorship). It can’t be that hard for people close to the situation to identify him and pursue legal action. There’s also the ethical element to all of this – a paralegal working on a case, whether in past or present, has a responsibility to their client to withhold sensitive information from the public. However, it appears this person felt a moral obligation to act as a whistle blower. Or… is making this up entirely.
Andrew Wallet acted as Britney’s conservator for more than a decade – he oversaw her financial handlings and claims to be instrumental in keeping her away from drugs and alcohol, however he resigned in March with haste. Several months ago, a judge approved his request for a raise in salary (~$35,000 per month).
According to documents obtained by The Blast, Wallet states, “The conservatorship is engaged in numerous ongoing business activities requiring immediate attention and it therefore is in the best interest of the conservatee that the acceptance of Wallet’s resignation and the issuance of amended letters of conservatorship of the estate occur immediately and without delay.”
Wallet adds, “Substantial detriment, irreparable harm and immediate danger will result to the conservatee and her estate if the relief requested herein in not granted on an ex parte basis.”
There’s speculation that either Wallet knew a storm was coming and had to bow out before it consumed his professional life, or he witnessed something so terrible happening to Britney that he felt compelled to resign. It was originally reported Wallet had plans to retire, but it’s odd to announce a retirement shortly after getting a sizable pay increase.
Ultimately, fans are rallying behind the #FreeBritney initiative because if Britney is in a circumstance against her will, then something needs to be done. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Britney is a very complex person. Stratospheric superstardom exacerbated her mental health issues, so extreme measures were put in place to make sure she stayed alive. Here we are more than 10 years later still questioning the use of the conservatorship. Is Britney in a mental health facility against her will? Is she being forced to take medication? Can Britney function without a conservatorship? Does she have anyone to turn to in the event she wants out of it? Should she be out of it? There are so many unanswered questions that surround Britney Spears, because her team’s approach is silence…. and it’s deafening.