Earlier this month, Miley Cyrus performed a 20-minute set at the Beale Street Festival in Memphis. During the set, the pop singer performed her hit single Party in the USA which contains a reference to the pop icon Britney Spears. While the crowd sang along to the line “And a Britney song was on,” Cyrus cried out, “Free Britney Spears!”
#FreeBritney is the rallying call for internet fans who have become concerned over the legendary pop diva’s lack of control over her own life. The impassioned exclamation has reignited concern over whether or not those in Britney Spear’s inner circle have her best interest at heart and claims that they may even be holding her against her will.
In 2008, Spear’s father, Jamie Spears, and her lawyer, Andrew Wallet, placed the pop star in a conservatorship. Under a conservatorship, a guardian is appointed by a judge to manage an individual’s financial affairs and/or daily life if they are deemed to be unable to do so themselves. Spear’s remains bound to this conservatorship to this day despite the fact that she is now 37 years old, the mother of two teenage boys, and worth an estimated 56 million dollars.
The conservatorship has been a long-standing controversy with the New York Times weighing in on the subject in 2016. However, the controversy took an alarming turn last year after Spears canceled her second Las Vegas residency, citing concerns over her father’s health. Not long after, her team put out a press release that announced the performer would be taking “an indefinite work hiatus.” Spears promptly disappeared from public view, and fans were understandably concerned.
However, that was only the beginning of the events that would spark the #FreeBritney movement. In March, TMZ reported that Spears had checked herself into a mental facility due to the stress caused by her father’s illness. A month later allegations surface on the podcast Britney’s Gram that Spears had actually been at the facility since January and was being held there against her will for an indefinite period of time.
But wait, there’s more. Andrew Wallet abruptly resigned as Spears co-conservator. In a court document obtained by The Blast, Wallet recommended “the issuance of amended letters of conservatorship of the estate occur immediately and without delay,” and that, “[s]ubstantial detriment, irreparable harm, and immediate danger will result to the conservatee and her estate if the relief requested herein is not granted on an ex parte basis.”
While the nature of the “immediate danger” Wallet refers to is unclear, could his resignation be seen as a moment of conscience in the face of the pop star’s stolen freedom? It’s hard to say, but it is a strange turn of events.
Spears herself has taken to social media to denounce the allegations of mistreatment lodged against her father and others. The status of Britney Spears conservatory case is to be discussed before a judge on May 10, 2019.