The Epic Conservatorship

By Jordan Miller

“It’s my understanding that her condition is somewhat tenuous,” Commissioner Reva Goetz announced yesterday afternoon after a court hearing discussing Britney Spears’ mental condition, and whether or not more independence from the conservatorship, overseen by her father Jamie Spears along with “independent” co-conservator Andrew Wallet, would be established. “Somewhat tenuous?” Can a person’s mental illness be somewhat anything? Commissioner Goetz, the lawyer Britney filed a petition against back in February to contest the conservatorship with her father, continued to say “her [Britney’s] medical condition remains the same.” A somewhat constant-tenuous mental condition I suppose… a medical condition so severe that the popstar is deemed incapable of making her own decisions. Business decisions on the other hand, she is perfectly capable of making. Since the conservatorship has been instated, Britney has worked on two episodes of CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother,” bringing in the show’s highest ratings to date, taken several voice lessons with a vocal coach in Tarzana, California, worked daily in the recording studio overseen by manager Larry Rudolph, and attends rigorous, almost-daily workouts at Bally Total Fitness, where Bally’s Chief Marketing Advisor John Wildman just happens to be close friends with Rudolph.

Sam Ingham, Britney’s court appointed lawyer, insisted it was in Britney’s best interest to remain elsewhere today while the court hearing proceeded as “it could be harmful for her to participate.” Harmful to her? Or him? Perhaps Britney speaking up about the situation may throw a wrench in the cleverly devised plan by her money-hungry lawyers who not only take advantage of Britney, but her father & co-conservator Jamie. Britney currently pays her father $10,000 dollars a month after her lawyers filed a petition for “Order Allowing and Authorizing Payment of Replacement Compensation to [Britney’s father and co-conservator] James P. Spears,” after quitting his job to take care and oversee Britney 24/7 according to documents obtained by ETonline.com. This is on top of the $375,000 Britney owes to Mark Vincent Kaplan [Kevin Federline’s custody lawyer], the $685,985.22 she owes to Trope & Trope [Britney’s first legal representation], the $10,000 a week until July 31st Sam Ingham [court-appointed lawyer] gets, the $100,000 Andrew Wallet [other co-conservator] gets, the $175,000 the Luce Forward law firm gets, the $22,500 Clark Byam [second attorney] gets, and the $75,000 Stacy Phillips [the lawyer representing Britney in the family law case] will receive, according to a separate court document obtained by TMZ.com. The longer the conservatorship, the more money they make. Catch my drift? Britney transformed from vivacious and autonomous to sedated and quiet. Since the conservatorship, Britney has made just one public, standard statement about her stint on working with the cast and crew of “How I Met Your Mother,” “I’m having a blast!” she said in a statement to People.com, a statement I’m sure was revised and edited by her management until it had that sensational bubble gum ring we all knew and loved. No mention of how she was actually doing. The last documented candid statement Britney made was “My father’s gonna get mad,” when the paparazzi came too close to her black Escalade in a parking garage at a Beverly Hills medical center in March. When asked by the paparazzi if she “likes having her family around,” Britney sarcastically replied “oh yes.” Is it possible Britney, always known for her “answer to no one” nature, has been tamed? Or silenced… Perhaps the reason for Britney’s compliance with the extreme measurements of the conservatorship is the increased visitation with her kids Sean Preston, 2 & 1/2, and Jayden James 1 & 1/2. Since Jamie took over as conservator, Britney receives 3 visits a week with her boys, 3 visits a week more than she had at the start of the year. Is this the key that keeps Britney cooperating? The “comply with my rules or we’ll take visitation time away” approach?

There is no doubt since the start of the conservatorship that Britney’s life has vastly improved. Jamie has reined her in – no more late night trips to drugstores and gas stations, no more aimless drives and hotel stays. Her self-destructive behavior has seemingly diminished into healthy workouts and recording sessions, but at the cost of her complete freedom. At the cost of requesting permission from her conservators to see her younger, pregnant sister in Kentwood, Louisiana. At the cost of being surrounded by assistants, managers, and bodyguards, no familiar faces. And at the cost of constant monitoring including her whereabouts, text messages, & phone calls. Commissioner Goetz continued her statement saying although “there has been changes in her medication, I think in terms of her diagnosis, it’s not complete.” Goetz who has never personally met Britney, has requested a follow-up court hearing on Britney’s progress on June 17th: “Without the diagnosis, the timing of the remaining proceedings is something we need to address.” Goetz is expected to make a decision on July 31st as to whether the conservatorship should be extinguished or made permanent. With Jamie quitting his job, and the Commissioner deeming Britney still mentally incompetent just two and a half months before the final decision, all signs are leading to extending the conservatorship permanently, resulting in several million dollars in legal fees.

Controlled throughout her entire career, Britney began rebelling to break free, and began her infamous spiral downward until she hit rock bottom. In May of last year, after shaving her head in February, and rehab in March, Britney wrote a letter to her fans on her official website BritneySpears.com explaining she felt controlled, and alludes to the people who currently manager her affairs: “I had a manager from a long time ago come in and try to direct me and my life after I got my divorce. I was so overwhelmed I think that I was in a little shock too. I didn’t know who to go to… I think the whole problem was letting too many people into my life. You never know another persons intentions or what another person wants. I feel I was too open and looking for answers when I had it all to begin with. I have had to cut so many people out of my life. It is so sad, because if anyone is a family person…it is me.” She continues “I feel like some of the people in my life made more of some issues than was necessary. I also feel like they knew I was beginning to use my brain for a change and cut some ties, so they wanted to be in more control of my life than me.” This complete control illustrated through the conservatorship, shows similarities from Britney’s past she always feared; the control that began to destroy her.

With the conservatorship hearing just a few short months away, Britney will remain under the supervision of her father, bodyguards, assistants, managers, and fans. A new woman is emerging before us. Like the Phoenix who rose from the ashes, Britney will once again be on top shining brighter than her pig-tailed, belly-baring days. Only Britney can choose her path, no matter how many lawyers and commissioners swayed by the temptations of money and power try to obstruct it. As long as she gets better in the end, that’s all that truly matters. She is the pop culture icon of our generation. She is Britney Spears.

– Jordan Miller
BreatheHeavy.com

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