It’s a legislative move to reform conservatorships, b*tch.
She’s a pop star, an icon, a legend — and under her 13-year-and-counting conservatorship, Britney Spears seems to be living a life of confinement. Amid mounting public concern for the celeb’s well being, members of the House of Representatives are coming together for a bipartisan bill that could help Spears carve out a pathway to a more independent life. So, it appears even Congress agrees the #FreeBritney movement is one we can all get behind.
The Freedom and Right to Emancipate from Exploitation (FREE) Act (also dubbed the “Free Britney Act”), was proposed by Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, and Republican Rep. Nancy Mace on July 20. If the legislation passes, it would allow individuals under legal conservatorships to petition to replace their private court-appointed guardian with a public guardian “free from any financial conflicts of interest,” per the legislation’s text. Additionally, the bill would assign an independent caseworker to people under conservatorships to ensure they aren’t being abused or exploited.
“Abusive conservatorships can be an unending nightmare, and tragically we don’t know how many people are being held captive against their will under the broken guardianship system,” Crist said in a July 20 statement. “We do know, however, that we need federal safeguards to protect persons under guardianship from abuse and exploitation,” he added.
In a court testimony released on June 24, Spears gave a harrowing account of the past 13 years of her life under the guardianship of her father, Jamie Spears. Spears detailed in her testimony how she was allegedly pushed to work against her will, pressured into taking high dosages of mood-altering medications, and forced to stay on birth control by her team of doctors, managers, nurses, and therapists.
“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good. I deserve to have a life. I've worked my whole life,” Spears stated during her testimony, alleging how anything that happened to her had to be approved by her father. “I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone. And I'm tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does by having a child, a family, any of those things,” she added. Jamie has denied oversight of the alleged abuses. Even through these struggles, Spears still hasn’t given up hope. On July 14, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny approved Spears’ request to hire her own lawyer to represent her best interests in court moving forward.
People all over the world have rallied behind Spears’ fight for emancipation through the #FreeBritney movement, and it’s definitely having an effect on Capitol Hill. If the FREE Act is passed, it won’t just help Spears, it’ll help countless individuals exploited under predatory conservatorships petition for emancipation.