At The Story Exchange, we believe in a woman’s — indeed, any person’s — right to financial freedom. So yes, we’re solidly Team #FreeBritney.
The movement concerns pop superstar Britney Spears, who is entrenched in a lengthy court battle to free herself from a 13-year conservatorship that has given control of everything — including her $60 million net worth — to her father, Jamie Spears.
When she recently spoke for herself in court, she said that his control extends well beyond money matters. She described the arrangement as “abusive,” and urged judge Brenda Penny in a virtually given statement to put an end to it.
“I’ve lied and told the whole world ‘I’m okay and I’m happy.’ It’s a lie. I thought … maybe if I said that enough. Because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized,” Spears confessed. “You know, fake it till you make it. But now I’m telling you the truth, okay? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
In the gutting, lengthy statement, she asserted that she was prescribed and administered lithium without her consent, and has been forced to keep an intrauterine device implanted, despite her desire to have more children, among other indignities.
She also mentioned the financial aspect of the situation directly. “It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money,” Spears said at one point. She later added, “I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people — it makes no sense. The laws need to change.”
The conservatorship was first put in place in February 2008, following hospitalization in the wake of a messy custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline. At the time, it was a temporary arrangement, but in October of that same year, it was made permanent.
The conservatorship has gotten increasing amounts of attention over the years, with a growing number of fans taking up the #FreeBritney mantle. A New York Times documentary released earlier this year, “Framing Britney Spears” brought her plight to the attention of millions more.
Now, she wants out. “I deserve to have a life. I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three year break and just, you know, do what I want to do,” Spears said as she concluded her statement.