Britney Spears hasn’t watched ‘Framing Britney Spears’ but ‘she’s aware of it’


People have been watching Framing Britney Spears, a docu-series airing on FX and Hulu. It’s about Britney Spears’ life and career, before and after her 2007 “breakdown” and her subsequent conservatorship. There’s been an outpouring of renewed sympathy for Britney and her situation, and it feels like the #FreeBritney movement is stronger than ever. I enjoy the fact that a whole new generation is learning about all of the crazy sh-t that happened to and around Britney circa 2000-03 too, because Justin Timberlake has always been the f–king worst. Anyway, people want to know: has Britney been watching the docuseries? She has not. She lived it.

Britney Spears has not seen “Framing Britney Spears,” but knows about the New York Times documentary that is shining a major spotlight on her conservatorship issues, a source exclusively told Page Six.

“As of Sunday, Britney hadn’t watched the documentary, but she’s aware of it,” the source said. “She had not seen any of it.”

When asked whether Britney, 39, was not given permission to view the docuseries as part of her legal restrictions, the insider shared that it was the pop star’s own decision not to watch it.

“She’s chosen not to watch it because she’s fed up with the conservatorship,” the source said. “She feels there is a hole missing in her life because of the conservatorship and that she won’t be able to live a normal life until that’s over. She knows it’s a battle for her whole life.”

In November, Britney’s attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, claimed in a court hearing that the “Toxic” singer had become “afraid” of her father, Jamie Spears, and wanted him removed from her conservatorship. “She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career,” he said.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny declined to suspend Jamie, 68, from his duties, but stated that she was open to hear arguments for his removal in the future. Bessemer Trust was named as co-conservator.

Jamie told CNN in December that he hadn’t spoken to his daughter in months. “When a family member needs special care and protection, families need to step up, as I have done for the last 12-plus years, to safeguard, protect and continue to love Britney unconditionally,” he said. “I have and will continue to provide unwavering love and fierce protection against those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her or my family.”

Despite the latest microscopic attention on her ongoing legal issues due to the documentary, a source told Page Six on Monday that Britney is “happy and lively.” The next court date over the battle for conservatorship is on Feb. 11.

[From Page Six]

Maybe Framing Britney Spears will change my mind about this, but I do believe that for several years, Britney’s conservatorship was necessary. Reportedly, even in the middle of her breakdown, she was wary of having her father as her conservator (which seems prophetic now). I know that Jamie is only fighting this hard to remain on as conservator because of money, and I’ve felt for some time now that the financial situation around Britney and her father deserves a microscopic examination. But Jamie has also been in poor health for several years now, and he literally abused his grandsons and put Britney’s visitation with her sons in jeopardy. It’s past time for Jamie to be kicked off the conservatorship, and I’m coming around to the idea that the conservatorship just needs to end entirely.

Britney Spears and boyfriend Sam Asghari  attend the 2019 Daytime Beauty Awards

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Britney’s IG.

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88 Responses to “Britney Spears hasn’t watched ‘Framing Britney Spears’ but ‘she’s aware of it’”

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  1. GG says:

    I would agree that the conservatorship was a necessary step during her mental break down and subsequent healing, but I feel like it has gone awry at some point in the last 5 years. Kevin Federline could have taken serious advantage of Brittany when they were determining custody so for that I’m glad the little leach didn’t get more than his fair share. While I’m not in a position to determine Brittany’s mental and emotional health I think a third part unrelated to her should be the head of her conservatorship should it be determined that she still needs it. Someone who has nothing to gain.

    • Julie says:

      The most frustrating part of the Britney conversation (next to people who downplay the dangers she would face left to her devices) is the assumption that “third parties” would have no stake if appointed as conservators. Like Jamie, they would be salaried by the estate. Like Jamie they would have nothing to gain by letting her out. Unlike Jamie they would have no personal stake in her overall image or wellbeing. In fact, the crazier Britney acts out here, the better it would be for their long term job security. It is incredibly rare for a person to exit a conservancy against their conservators will and for good reason. If you think Jamie has a tight grip on her, wait until she’s in the clutches of a firm.

      On the personal wing of the conservancy, sure Jamie a patriarchal little sh*t head. But he was also the only person willing and able to do the dirty work of vetting out the machiavellian boyfriends, paparazzi “buddies”, drug dealers, socialites and all the other vultures she has no instinct about. And most importantly he seems to have got her to adhere to meds. Were it not for his rules, Britney would not just have spent the last ten years on every blog and tabloid; she would probably be dead! I think even the documentary sideways acknowledges that fact. And to my mind, his “rules” are pretty much what smart celebs of her status like Beyonce and Pink implemented a long time ago. Keep your circle small and tight, don’t befriend paparazzi, speak through your work, keep out of the clubs.

      • Mac says:

        @Julie You are assuming Brittney’s family members will act in her best interest rather than theirs. There is plenty of skepticism about their motives.

      • Julie says:

        I’m assuming no such thing. I’m saying that they have far more incentive to act in her interests than an independent firm. Every single risk people claim exists with her father, will exist with an outsider and none of the protective elements will because it will be in their interests for her to appear crazy in public. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to leave a conservatorship without the cooperation of the conservator. What firm do you imagine will recommend she be released? She’d be heading from the pot into the fire and the judges on this case have known this from day 1 hence their reluctance. I believe her father’s reluctance to release her has more to do with the fact that she still needs medication and probably still has episodes they keep hidden. I dont for one second believe that he would be financially cut off in his old age, I don’t think Britney has it in her.

      • LL says:

        Clearly you don’t know anything about this situation. Jamie is no longer her personal conservator. He had to step down when he abused her children. He only cares about being her financial conservator and refuses to remove himself. Britney isn’t even asking to be let out at this point, she just wants him to be removed.

        Yes, It’s impossible to leave the conservatorship because conservatorships are meant for people who are at end of life or are clearly to incapacitated to care for themselves. Britney is neither of those things and never was. Implying that people with mental health issues deserve to be in that situation is harmful.

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    While we will never know the extend of her mental troubles she is, to me, someone who will always be vulnerable to people like Sam Lutfi – who continued to hound her for a long time after her breakdown and am sure as soon as its lifted will be back trying to push his way back into her life. However am not sure I agree with her father remaining conservator or it extending to her personal life – from what I’ve read she is happy to have the conservatorship remain over the business part of her life, its just the personal part life she wants it removed (along with her father completely).

    If there is a need for it to continue then it should be an independent and NOT anyone from her family. We all know as soon as Jamie steps away, Lynne will push herself into that void. The Spears parents have a LOT to answer for with regards to Brit.

    I haven’t seen the documentary but I think the way the media and others in the industry treated her was disgusting and likely contributed to her troubles. JT needs to beg forgiveness for the way he treated her. The same goes for Martha Stewart for that interview.

    • Golly Gee says:

      I don’t understand why the judge won’t let her have an independent conservator. It doesn’t really make sense.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I think its because Jamie has fought against that every time it has come up and I also think he’s been painting a rather unfortunate picture of Brit to the courts but it depends on what the psychiatric evaluations are saying. And remember how she was when he got ill and they changed her medication.

        I recall reading somewhere that Jamie told the court she has dementia – its clear that is not the case.

        Both parents are/were living off her. Jamie is living of her now and Lynne lived off her from when she hit the big time to her divorce from KFed. The whole family was a one point on her payroll. Lynne reportedly bought herself several multi million dollar homes and fancy cars all on Brits money.

      • Julie says:

        I’ve attempted to answer this above but the short answer is an independent conservator is STILL financially dependent on her staying under the court and worse they have no historical attachment to her as a person. All the issues people raise against Jamie would be just as prescient with an “independent” party but much much worse because there she’s well and truly a bank balance to them.

        It also seems that Jamie has no audit issues despite what the podcasts claim. That would be the number one reason a court would kick him off.

      • Golly Gee says:

        Thanks for the explanations DU and Julie. I realize there would be financial dependence no matter who the conservator was, but one would think there would be some who have a reputable history in their field who could be trusted not to exploit her and would allow her more personal freedom if appropriate. At least she would not be living with the antagonism she feels now towards her father. She seems to have liked the woman who took over while Jamie was convalescing.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Her father has been co-conservator, with Andrew Wallet (a lawyer). Her father wasn’t the only person in charge, and he had oversight from courts, etc. They have to turn in financials. If her father or her biz manager, etc. would be overcharging for their services, it would be known to the courts.

      • Julie says:

        Hollywood is littered with stars who lost a fortune to previously reputable accountants and managers. From Rihanna to Christina Aguilera. There is no such thing as a safe pair of hands for your money. If Jamie is passing the annual court ordered audits, he is the safest pair of hands in the room until she can take over.

    • Mu says:

      Dianne Sawyer, not Marta Stewart

      • Anna says:

        What Dianne Sawyer interview is this?

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Ah apols.

      • Anna says:

        @Digital Unicorn: I don’t understand.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @anna – not long after she broke up with JT she gave a primetime interview to Diane Sawyer that was a car crash. Sawyer sl*t shamed her amongst other things.

        This is the first part – you can find the rest on YT:

      • Pulplove says:

        @Digital Unicorn – I’ve just watched that 1st part of the interview and I’m shocked. I’m not American, so even though I heard Diane Sawyer’s name before and was somewhat aware she was a famous journalist in the US, I had never seen her interview someone.

        This. Was. Horrible. “Do you like your voice?”, “What happened to your clothes?”, “Everybody thought you had a different relationship to young girls.” Blech!

  3. Piratewench says:

    The documentary totally left out some of her very alarming behaviors such as speaking in the British accent, wearing the pink wig and pretending to be another person, flashing herself at the camera, and the whole reality show with Federline during which she was clearly high on something serious. Those are just a few examples.

    I do not think Jamie should have any power in her conservatorship. I think the media should absolutely be called out for the bad treatment of Britney. And I think she should be as free as possible while still making sure she doesn’t end up in another Sam Lufti situation. But I remember all her more concerning mental illness symptoms because I grew up watching her, truly care about her, and I was so scared for her. I don’t know why this documentary sweeps the more serious symptoms under the rug? She was clearly psychotic on and off, and her Instagram is scary even to this day, she doesn’t seem well still.

    • Betsy says:

      I dimly remember the stuff you mention in your first paragraph and while it sounds crazed and excessive, no one disputes that she was having massive mental health problems, and that all sounds about right for someone having serious mental health problems plus fame plus being stalked by paparazzi plus being in their early 20s. I think that would warp a lot of people’s behavior.

      • Amelie says:

        That stuff all definitely happened. I was in college when Britney was going through her massive breakdown and when I checked Perez Hilton religiously (another vulture who preyed and made bank on her) there was some insane update. She shaved her head, went after the paparazzi with an umbrella, wore multiple wigs, spoke in fake accents, walked around LA with no underwear flashing people, and there was that incident where she was driving her car with her kid on her lap. She lost physical custody of her sons because people were terrified for their safety a few months before her forced hospitalization. That probably freaked her out even more and it all came to a head when she locked herself with one of her boys in a bathroom and would not hand over her son during a custody exchange with Federline from what I remember. That is when her family was able to force her into a psychiatric hold and when they Finally got her away from Sam Lutfi who was enabling and controlling her.

    • Katherine says:

      I think the documentary pretty clearly outlines that she had some type of breakdown. I’m not sure what the value would have been in going over each example of her behavior in that time. I thought the narrative of the documentary was more adding some context to how she was viewed in those early years, laying out the broad timeline of her “decline” and questioning what the situation is now over a decade later.

      I found the look back at those ‘98-‘02 years fascinating. I was peak age to be into her, and TRL, and all the sagas around her and the boy bands and the pop girls. It was a very strange moment in pop culture in hindsight. When I think of the equivalents stars now the whole situation just seems so different, the way they promote themselves and communicate directly through social media.

      • Julie says:

        The documentarys agenda is to convince the the viewer that Britney was hard done. That’s not shade on the documentary, that’s just a fact. In omitting the more extreme evidence of illness they create the impression that she was merely having an emotionally difficult time. And who can’t relate to that? It leaves the audience thinking to themselves “hell that could have been me that year that I dyed my hair pink”.

        But Britney was much worse than what people colloquially call a “breakdown”. She was displaying symptoms of acute illness. One time she pulled a paparazzi aside took him into a store and had sex with him in the store room as the owner of the store and a gaggle of paparazzi waited outside laughing and jeering. And yes there’s some video of this. It appears that Jamie did a good job scrubbing the internet and buying the silence of the specific pap but it’s impossible to wipe anything away completely. Now ask yourself how long a girl like that would survive on her own? The documentary doesn’t want you to worry about what happens to the unprotected.

        Here’s the story of an unprotected woman. There was a beautiful actress by the name of Maia Campbell on a 90s sitcom with l l Cool j and Alphonso Ribiero. Gorgeous and from a very educated family lineage. Long story short; she had bipolar, resisted medication, her family could never get a 5150 hold to stick and unfortunately once her mother passed the family will to put her in a conservancy disappeared. She started self medicating with hard drugs, a series of men depleted her TV and modelling money and then you guessed it they started pimping her out. She is frequently spotted on the streets of Atlanta and people like to exploit her by taking video and posting on social media. She was on an OWN therapy show which could have been her turn around but (like Lindsay Lohan) she didn’t have family willing to impose structure she needed to make it stick. THATS the reality that Britney escaped and that the documentary doesn’t want you to think about. It’s certainly the reality that the various judges on this case have had to grapple with which is why they they have consistently ruled as they have.

      • Sandra says:

        @Julie and @Piratewench – was the footage of her smashing the pap’s car with an umbrella with a feral look in her eyes, shaving her head, the multiple times she was checked into the hospital for psychiatric episodes, the helicopters flying over her house and the horrific paparazzi footage of her in the ambulance looking terrified and like she had no idea where she was not enough?

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @sandra – was that pap that Adnan guy? The one she dated?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “But Britney was much worse than what people colloquially call a “breakdown”. She was displaying symptoms of acute illness.”

        Yes, this sooooo much.

      • Julie says:

        @Sandra that umbrella was scene was a classic documentarian manipulation tactic.
        It picked a rational response to extreme taunting and presented it as if that is why she ended up in a conservatorship. That was a mental health issue NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS EPISODE and they know it. Locking yourself in the house with your two infant children while half the LAPD are outside warning you not to harm the kids….that’s a mental illness episode. I dont know if it’s bipolar or schizophrenia or even both as schizoaffective disorder but I do know it’s not just the stress of fame as they put it.

      • Piratewench says:

        Katherine I guess what I mean is, the examples they gave in the documentary could be explained away by the extreme harassment she was put under. For example the umbrella moment. You better believe if someone followed me like that, during one of the worst times of my life when I had just been denied the right to see my own babies, I would act out at some point against those harassing me. So in the greater context that incident does not necessarily show a mental health breakdown so much as a final straw moment.
        But it seemed to me that this documentary was seeking to use the harassment to explain away her entire “breakdown”, for lack of a better word. And there were things happening that were not due to the harassment, such as the multiple personalities and exhibitionism of her own private parts. I have so much compassion and no judgement for her, but I also think she has deeper issues that may not ever resolve fully and she needs some protection. But again, I think Jamie has to go. She can clearly make many decisions for herself and she shouldn’t be in the care of someone she does not trust. And she should be as free as possible while still being protected.
        I would just hate to see her cut free from all care, and then see her end up ever driving around in a bad state and being preyed upon by opportunists, ever again. There’s probably a middle ground here.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      The thing that concerns me about the documentary is that they don’t know her diagnosis. Essentially, this is just fueling the demand to know the “why” behind her care. She deserves privacy, and her medical information shouldn’t be up for public debate. The courts know her medical challenges better than we will, yet people keep saying they are wrong.

      • LL says:

        We don’t need to know her medical diagnosis to know that she didn’t deserve to be put in a conservatorship. A conservatorship is NOT a business. If it was only about getting her healthy, then she would not have been working non stop throughout it.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “We don’t need to know her medical diagnosis to know that she didn’t deserve to be put in a conservatorship.”

        That is 100% not true. A medical diagnosis can absolutely be a legitimate reason for a conservatorship. A person can be allowed to earn income while under a conservatorship, but that doesn’t make it a business. Not sure were you are getting your assumptions.

      • LL says:

        I wasn’t arguing that some people don’t need to be put into conservatorships for medical reasons. In fact, I can’t think of any reason why someone would be put in a conservatorship for anything non medical.

        If Britney is so incapacitated that she needs a conservatorship, then she should not have been working as hard as she did for all of these years. Of the facts we do know, she pays for both sides of lawyers and everything related to her conservatorship without getting any say. This was always about money.

        When Andrew Wallet (former financial conservator) asked for a raise he literally said that Brit’s conservatorship is a HYBRID-BUSINESS model.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Like most business managers/financial advisors for celebrities, their work is divided into 2 parts: personal and business. She has personal matters that need substantial work and oversight (cost to run multiple estates, staffing, living expenses, etc.), then you also have business expenses (costs to put on show, making sure she gets paid for fragrances, royalties, appearances, etc.). Her conservatorship addresses both sides of her needs.

        You don’t understand the way things work in financial management, so you see one word, “business”, and are reading into it.

        The reasons to need a conservatorship can be complex, so your assumptions that she should not be performing or that her medical diagnosis doesn’t necessitate a conservatorship is so ill advised.

      • LL says:

        I’m sorry but who are you to tell me what I do and do not understand?

        I understand the ins and out of business. I also understand that you can hire people to do those things for you without being forced into a conservatorship.

        Obviously Britney’s situation is complex, but you seem to making a lot of assumptions yourself.

        Sorry if I don’t think that anyone should have their rights taken away so that other people can make money. Maybe that’s just me. Or maybe you have some other motive.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Who am I? Someone with knowledge and experience. 😉

        “I don’t think that anyone should have their rights taken away so that other people can make money.”

        You are making serious allegations that you have NO factual basis to make. Her rights weren’t taken away *”so”* that others can make money…she had her rights taken away because courts and judges REPEATEDLY determined that it is necessary for her well being and they have reviewed evidence and medical records. The people who do the work that her vast estate requires do make money for their WORK, but it is because they are performing a service.

        That you’d think judges would ruin their own careers so a person unrelated to them could get money is absurd and conspiratorial. Qanon level BS.

      • LL says:

        Yeah, because judges and courts have never gotten it wrong before.

        Quit trying to gaslight me and go actually look at the facts.

  4. manda says:

    I agree that the conservatorship was likely necessary at some point, but it seems like a family member living off the ward is a conflict of interest. They should have appointed a law firm or money management firm or something to handle the property, and family could have been appointed to make medical decisions.

    I have watched half of the show (is it a series on Britney, or a series and one of the shows was on Britney? I thought the latter?) and it really is sad

    • Tiffany :) says:

      They did appoint a lawyer who was co-conservator with Jamie until he stepped down recently. They didn’t put everything into her dad’s hands without oversight.

  5. Snuffles says:

    At one point, her day to day existence was bad enough to drive anyone crazy. She started so young and had so many in her life seeking to control and use her, I doubt she ever had a chance to develop into a normal, functioning adult.

    I had an encounter with her once not long before she had her public breakdown. I was living in West Hollywood and my friend and I just got off the bus and was walking across the parking lot of the mini mall near our apartment. Suddenly there was this HUGE commotion and men swarming with cameras. Like a dozen. At first I thought it was an episode of cops, that’s how intense it was.

    I saw a couple of people come out of the pizza parlor and these dudes, with big ass zoom lens cameras were literally in her face, screaming for her attention, barely giving her enough room to walk. She and her assistant got into their car, and they continued to swarm. My friend and I had to walk through the crowd and I remember peeping into the car wondering who it was and saw Britney and her assistant looking like a deer caught in headlights.

    The paps only broke when she started pulling out of the parking lot and they all started screaming “Go! Go! Go! Follow her!” And they all jumped in their cars and began chasing her at top speed like it was a military invasion.

    It was FREAKY! And immediately felt sorry for her thinking this must be her daily life. Just getting some pizza! It was crazy. And extreme even for a celebrity. I lived in LA for 14 years and saw PLENTY of celebrities out in the wild. Usually at the mall, grocery stores or at a club. I mean, I found myself standing next to Kanye in my local grocery store buying yogurt once and no one was bothering him. Just normal shit and they weren’t getting trailed by paparazzi. The most I would see is maybe a handful of fans getting excited and approaching or just saying Hi.

    But Britney couldn’t even navigate her daily life without a swarm. So, yeah, no surprise she had a breakdown. In fact, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

    • Sandra says:

      This story makes me so sad and sickened. They show it on the documentary too – how the paparazzi mistreated her like she wasn’t even human, like she didn’t deserve any dignity. The one pap made me want to vomit when he said something along the lines of, “well, she liked it at first.” My god. It was truly a hard watch.

      • Jenn says:

        Sandra – I know, that made my jaw drop! I turned to my husband and said “To this day he is literally unable to process the fact that he contributed to her breakdown.” Denial is powerful.

    • Amy Too says:

      I also wonder how much of actually living with this conservatorship for 15+ years has contributed to any issues she still has. You hear about women whose husbands or families get them admitted to a psych ward or a sober house or some other highly restrictive environment under false or exaggerated pretenses, and even if they weren’t mentally ill before, they can become so. It’s traumatizing. She’s been living in an alternate reality for nearly two decades now where everyone else has major control over everything she does professionally and medically and personally and legally. It seems like the longer she stays under the conservatorship the easier it is to say “she wouldn’t even know how to live without it now. She couldn’t handle the freedom. She’s been so isolated and protected for so long now.” It’s sort of a vicious cycle. The more control you exert over her and the longer you exert it for, the more dependent she becomes on the people “in charge” of her, thus fulfilling the requirements for her to need to have a conservatorship. Can’t they try loosening up a bit at a time? Personal before medical before legal before financial? And it seems like the whole point now is that they want to prevent her from making any mistakes at all. Nothing embarrassing, no bad relationships, no PR gaffes. But that’s not how anyone lives in real life. People make mistakes. They do stupid and embarrassing things sometimes. They can still learn and mend and come back from them. Is she truly a physical danger to herself or others?

      I also wonder if a sibling might make a better conservator. I would much rather have my brother than my parents in charge of everything I do. A sibling has less of an innate, built in sense of authority over you than a parent. A sibling is of the same generation as you and can understand the world as you would be living in it and the things that would matter or be important to you, whereas a parent might be less likely to let you have a cell phone or social media or video chat or get a little Botox or a skin treatment or whiten your teeth or whatever else because the parent is like “I didn’t have those things when I was your age. Technology is scary to me, who knows what kind of trouble you could get into. And your looks aren’t important to me,” whereas a sibling might realize that those things are important and normal for a person of your age to do/have. And it just seems like a sibling would be more empathetic and less invested in keeping the control. But maybe I’m just thinking about my brother vs my parents.

  6. lili says:

    I remember the Britney craze it was something I’ve never seen before. I feel so bad for her. She was this lovely beautiful young girl. She happened to meet Justin Timberlake, a serial cheater and a bad person loving PR – Britney and J. Jackson, how he treated them both and his wife Jessica.
    Something is wrong with her but her father is for $. Doesn’t she have anyone else? Someone who will at least care about her wellbeing?

  7. Chisey says:

    I’m inclined to agree that a conservatorship was necessary because she was not well and needed to get help. But the part of the documentary that shocked me was that from the jump she said she accepted the conservatorship was going to happen, but that she didn’t want her dad to be the conservator. This seems like a completely reasonable request – there are professional conservators out there, and I can see how someone might want to avoid the family baggage of having a parent as conservator. But the judge said there was a medical opinion her lawyer was not allowed to see saying she was not competent to retain counsel so she could not hire him, she had to have court appointed counsel. The documentary does not speak to the court appointed counsel so I don’t know if they tried to get a professional conservator put in place instead of her dad. But telling her she’s not allowed to make a very reasonable request of having someone else as conservator really rubs me the wrong way. And the situation makes me even more uncomfortable when she says she’s scared of her dad and that he violent towards her kid. The position of conservator is ripe for abuse. The conservat-ee is so vulnerable. I understand she wasn’t in a position to make good choices on who to trust, but surely she should be allowed to say no to a particular person?

    • Betsy says:

      Especially when that person has been violent. I don’t think it’s a big ask to have a court appointed and neutral conservator and I can’t figure out why the courts didn’t let her get one.

    • manda says:

      Wow, I haven’t finished the doc, so I haven’t seen that! OMG! I used to represent the department of social services in adult guardianship cases (in maryland). Yes, the court would generally take steps to immediately appoint the person an independent attorney BUT if that person had money and some attorney they wanted to hire, then they were free to do that. I’ve never heard of a medical opinion being used in that way, although it makes sense, and I’m guessing they had some sort of hearing about it? I agree, it should not be her father. She was not comatosed, they should have honored that request. I think it is a major conflict of interest that he lives a super cushy life off of her

    • Golly Gee says:

      Yes! If due to medical reasons, Britney is not competent to choose, why won’t the judge appoint an independent conservator?

    • Tiffany :) says:

      There was a lawyer that was co-conservator with her dad until just recently.

    • Jenn says:

      Yes! The documentary made a point of saying Britney Spears seemingly doesn’t WANT to be in charge of her own finances — she’s aware of the extent of her executive dysfunction — so she very reasonably asked for a fiduciary! (She probably gives away money to anyone who asks, as illustrated by the story where she handed out money around Kentwood. I think it’s a trauma/ocd/”scrupulosity” thing, actually — speaking as someone who retains a fiduciary.)

      And they made the point, multiple times, that conservatorships exist to protect the elderly with dementia — people whose conditions will only deteriorate — which means there is literally no precedent for actually getting out of one. The one word that was conspicuously absent from the documentary was “ableism,” but maybe people still aren’t ready to talk about how our culture constantly uses ableism to justify power imbalances.

  8. Desert Lizard says:

    I have worked with people who have serious mental illness for over 25 years. I’ve seen them do terrible things and I’ve seen them do amazing things. None of them, even with medication, could do what Britney has done. They could not make her music, they could not have done a Vegas residency. The people I am talking about do not have Conservators or Guardians, they are not under the control of anyone legally but they do have Case Managers who work with them. Admittedly, millions of dollars are not involved but the point is they manage their day to day lives with help but they do no require that kind of legal control. The co-Conservator for Britney, attorney Wallet, resigned after asking for a raise based on an anticipated workload for Britney. Based on that alone, I think there needs to be a re-evaluation of Britney’s need for Conservatorship. She may need a lower level of guidance and care at this point. Without a thorough evaluation, it’s all conjecture.

    That documentary raised a lot of questions. I hope they get answers soon.

  9. Stigma is real says:

    Britney has been widely reported to have bipolar 1. I would never diagnose another person because I’m not a doctor, but I also have a severe form of this disorder. For me this involves less of the daily ups and downs (that’s more bipolar 2), but very intense psychosis during mania. Which for me has happened about every three to five years, usually accompanying major life stressors or medication changes. Some people go much longer stretches without an episode. That’s the main reason I am curious about Britney’s strict conservatorship. Bipolar is cyclical. I don’t know Britney’s real situation, but I can’t imagine my family controlling my life during the long stretches that I’m “normal.” However, I do appreciate that they hide my car keys when my brain takes off for the moon. A lot of people seem to think that once you “go crazy” you are lost for life. That’s usually not the case.

    • LL says:

      Right! I don’t understand all of these comments saying that the conservatorship was necessary. This is not a normal way to treat somebody with mental illness. It’s harmful to people that have similar issues because it creates the idea that if they get help, they could have their entire life taken away.

      We don’t know Britney’s medical history, and we shouldn’t. But there are other ways to help her live a stable and healthy life without taking away all of her civil rights.

      • Jenn says:

        The ONLY way I can imagine they’re justifying a conservatorship… is if they think she’s going to do something self-destructive in a permanent way the moment the conservatorship lifts. I think they’re using the conservatorship like a jail “watch” or a 5150, and I think that’s what the documentary is actually trying to communicate without explicitly saying it.

        She has suffered major trauma. She is exhausted. I said to my husband, I want her to go to a caring clinical setting where she can just sleep for four years straight, and when she’s ready, enter a residential DBT program where she can regain everything she lost or missed out on as a young person. She had NO coping skills or life skills when she became super-famous, which was devastating.

  10. February-Pisces says:

    I think we need to remember Britney isn’t even fighting against having a conservatorship, she fighting to get her dad kick off and replace with someone independent. She never wanted him to have it, she knows her father and if she believed his intentions were good, she probably would be ok with it. But she know they are not, I think he is just a cash cow to her. She ultimately deserves to have the right to choose who should be in charge.

    Also I was appalled at the Diana sawyer interview. What really disgusted me was when she brought up that comment about that woman who said she would ‘love to shoot Britney if she had the chance”. When she told Britney that, it was like Diane was somehow blaming Britney herself for another woman wanting to shoot her. It was like “what do you have to say for yourself Britney?” Why didn’t Diane go and ask the woman why she wants to got around shooting young women, instead of blaming Britney for someone wanting to shoot her.

    And that family feud segment was disgusting also. I managed to watch the whole doc on YouTube, but I’m sure it’s probably been taken down now.

    • Merricat says:

      The Sawyer interview made me ill. This was not good journalism, and we were complicit by accepting it as such. I hope Diane Sawyer also feels sick about it. Jesus.

      • February-Pisces says:

        It reminded me of Meghan’s treatment now. Like she gets attacked by someone, then she gets blamed for being attacked. Why not persecute the person making the attack instead.

  11. Maliksmama says:

    I see I’m in the minority. It’s very clear to me at least, that Brit isn’t well. At all. I don’t see dad or the conservatorship as bad things. I believe if he hadn’t intervened, Brit would be dead now.

    Brit’s never taken a significant amount of time off to heal. We don’t know if she’s performed because the contracts were signed prior to her breakdown or if she was in some type of compromise with dad.

    I don’t know what’s going on with her medical care, but whatever it is, it’s not helping. Dad being ill isn’t helping either. Whoever’s been hired as her caregiver has failed. Where have Brit’s mom, brother, and sister are in all of this? I don’t recall any of them objecting to dad because he doesn’t have Brit’s best interests at heart. Are they helping dad but in the background?

    I’ve always thought Brit should’ve taken a permanent hiatus after her breakdown. I mean years out of the public eye to heal mentally, physically and emotionally. That didn’t happen. And here we are.

    • Snuffles says:

      You’re right. They keep pushing her to keep going and keep the money coming in.

      I remember a while back reading how Britney wished she could take time off and just be a normal 20 something. Go to college, maybe study dance in Europe, etc. But was never allowed to.

    • chisey says:

      My understanding is that when the conservatorship was initially put in place, Brittney’s whole family was in favor of her dad being named conservator because they were really worried that she was under the influence of bad people and were scared for her. This was when they filed for a restraining order against this guy who was acting as a manager and who they said were drugging her and isolating her etc. However, since then, I think that Brittney’s mom has come to believe that her dad is no longer a good choice and supports Brittney in trying to get an independent conservator. The documentary had an interview with her brother where he said he supported her dad, but he framed very weirdly in terms of strong-willed women in his family making it hard for the men – I don’t know if he spoke about it more reasonably elsewhere or if there was a better context, but that snippet was not sympathetic.

      And from what I understand, one of the big issues is that Brittney doesn’t want to work so much, and people believe that her dad is the one who keeps pushing her to work because he gets a percentage of her income. The first time I heard this conflict it was framed sympathetically – that he felt the routine of steady work was good for her, etc. I was inclined to think that he had her best interests in heart. But since then it has been framed as his pushing her to work so much because he gets a percentage of the income. With the accusations of violence, and Brittney’s mom coming out to say that he is not a good choice, my opinion has changed. I think it’s totally possible that he had her best interests at heart at the beginning, but since then he has become greedy and is also unwilling to accept that she is in a better place psychologically now than she was during her breakdown and should have more of a say. I don’t really see a good reason to not let an independent conservator replace her dad at this point, at least for a little while.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I am wary of anything Lynne Spears says as she was/is just as greedy for Brits money as Jamie is. Brit cut her mother off financially when she got divorced from KFed, hell even when Jamie took over he and Lynne rekindled their romance which then ended again – I always thought Lynne did it to try and worm her way back into managing Brit’s money but Jamie wouldn’t allow it.

        Brit has always been a cash cow to her whole family and don’t get me started on the Felicia woman – she always gave me stalker vibes.

      • Maliksmama says:

        I think dad believes keeping Brit “busy” helps her mental state. I think he’s disregarding what her medical team is advising because “he knows his daughter better than anyone”. I think a lot of old school folk don’t really understand mental illness and what it takes to maintain/control the symptoms. And believe that busy minds are “healthy” minds. I think dad’s in this category. I don’t believe he doesn’t have his daughter’s best interests at heart.

        However it may be time for a new conservator. To give dad time to recuperate from his illness and to bring in a disinterested third party.

      • Julie says:

        Even though they’ve never stated her diagnosis, there’s consensus that it’s either Bipolar or Schizophrenia. That means she probably goes periods between episodes. The best thing for her in those periods is work. Yes thats folksy advise but it’s confirmed by neuropsychology. A days work triggers positive brain chemistry and even more so, when it’s physically active work. In Britneys case I think she also gets extra dopamine from the attention, as most performers do. And it gives your vacations value.

        She’s now refused to work which should be respected. But I don’t think she understands that Jamie gets his salary regardless. Refusing to work only harms herself

      • molly says:

        Britney hasn’t worked in over three years, and based on what she shows herself doing these days, some structure would probably be a good thing. Maybe she doesn’t want to work anymore, and that’s just fine, but I don’t for one second believe she has a fulfilling life. She lives in a mansion, flies on jets, and gets to literally twirl around with no responsibilities all day, so it’s certainly not a bad life, but I don’t blame anyone for thinking a steady schedule would have been a benefit to her.

    • Case says:

      I agree completely. It’s abundantly clear she still struggles a lot (or perhaps has an altered mental state due to medications that help her deal with her mental health problems) and I don’t think “freeing” her is really the best idea. Getting someone neutral to be her conservator? Yes, absolutely. But don’t think the conservatorship in itself is a bad thing.

    • molly says:

      Scroll through Britney’s instagram feed, and it’s extremely clear that she’s not well. She looks to have all the time in the world right now to do whatever she wants, and she fills her days with kinetic sand, dead eyed photo shoots in the yard, and dance recitals in the foyer. That’s not a woman who can manage a multi-million dollar empire OR the daily responsibilities of washing her face.

      • Chaine says:

        ITA. On her Instagram she always seems medicated and jittery and dresses like she is cosplaying her younger self. She will post the same selfie over and over and over. She is obviously mentally and emotionally fragile. She does not appear to have any friends, just the guy who is likely being paid to play the role of her “boyfriend.” It’s so sad.

      • GrnieWnie says:

        It’s always kind of weird to me how fast she talks…have you ever noticed that on her Insta? She speaks so fast, it almost seems like she’s trying to appear ‘with it’ and alert. And yet at the same time, she comes across as detached.

      • LL says:

        First of all, we don’t know what’s going on with her instagram. We do know that she has a social media team running her page. Cassie Petrey, her social media manager, has said that Britney sends them content that they post for her. She could be telling the truth and they just post whatever Brit wants. In that case, there are a lot of different reasons why her ig content is so out there. Her meds could be making her loopy. Maybe being locked inside her house all day with no access to the outside world has made it difficult her to relate to people (I mean, can’t we all relate to that one a little bit right now).

        Her social media team could also be editing the videos or directing them in a certain way to make her seem crazier than she is. They are paid by the conservatorship and not Britney.

        I actually think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. She has said she doesn’t want to work until her dad is removed, so maybe she isn’t creating enough content and her team has to struggle to push stuff out. Hense the same selfies posted over and over again.

        Bottom line is, we don’t know what’s going on with her instagram.

    • Jenn says:

      @Maliksmama – I don’t think you’re in the minority. By which I mean, I don’t think anyone disputes the fact that she’s still sick — just that perfect mental health and wellness isn’t a prerequisite before going out and living your own life. (I don’t think you’re arguing that, either; I’m just explaining my perspective as someone who believes the conservatorship itself is ableist.)

      I agree with your later comment, your belief that Jamie Spears genuinely believes keeping Britney “busy” keeps her “well” (I seem to recall him saying as much at some point over the years?), that he’s “old-school” and doesn’t understand mental health, and that continuing to “work her” is in all likelihood a major contributor to her continued poor health. I also agree with your belief that she has needed, this entire time, to be “on hiatus” so she can work on acquiring life skills and processing her traumas.

  12. Sof says:

    I was surprised the documentary went from Britney’s crisis right to the Circus tour. They didn’t include the making and promotion of Balckout, neither her infamous VMAs appearence. I remember that at the time it was a huge deal, even people who didn’t like her felt bad about it because it was obvious she was in no condition to perform and was being forced to.

    And that interview with the paparazzi made me so angry! The way he tried to justify himself saying she “really didn’t mean it when she said we should leave her alone”.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Blackout and Circus are 2 of my fave Brit albums – professionally she proved she was more than her image but sadly her personal demons got more coverage than some of her best work (IMO) did.

      • Watson says:

        Blackout was definitely my favourite. So many nuggets of truth in those songs. Brit gave us her all and so many people took advantage of her. The whole thing is so disgusting and sad.

  13. Watson says:

    Justin timberlake deserves as much shit if not more than Diane sawyer. What a total creep.

  14. JennyJazzhands says:

    Britney still does not strike me as a person who can care for herself, by herself. I think she would be broke or worse if left to her own devices.

  15. candy says:

    Because I have a mentally ill brother, I believe in the concept of conservatorship for a vulnerable person. I watched the documentary and Britney still seems quite mentally ill to me. That said, her story and the abuse she endured as a woman and as a teen in the spotlight is profoundly sad, and provides a good justification for her breakdown. Justin is trash!

  16. Amelie says:

    So I haven’t watched the documentary yet but I vividly remember the intense 2007 breakdown and it sounds like the documentary glosses over all of it. Like Britney maybe had a bad few days of an episode and then was forced against her will due to one or two incidents? Well I remember all of it and it wasn’t just bad, it was terrifying. Britney was hunted by the paparazzi like Princess Diana and all the while she clearly was exhibiting signs of diminishing mental health and reason. And during all of this, the paparazzi recorded her descent reveling in her erratic and frantic behavior but nothing was done for months. I was avidly reading Perez Hilton’s blog back then (ugh I know, I haven’t read his stuff in a decade at least!) and every hour there seemed to be some sort of insane update. Different wigs, Britney not wearing underwear in public, fake accents, head shaving, umbrella attacking, driving with her kid on her lap, that creep Sam Lutfi who accompanied her everywhere and who preyed on her, the relationship with the paparazzi guy, and that alarming lackluster VMA performance where she walked around the stage looking lost and drugged out in a sparkly bikini…

    She lost physical custody of her sons before the incident where she locked herself in a room during one of her visitation days and refused to come out to hand off one of her boys to Federline. That is the incident that triggered the 5150 hold and what finally brought about the conservatorship. Britney’s family was able to get her away from the creepy Samt Lutfi and got her away from the paparazzi boyfriend. She was properly medicated and able to function on a day to day basis without driving aimlessly around LA which is what she was doing. She was able to regain visitation with her kids which Federline allowed. I don’t think she ever was able to regain physical custody of her kids by the way, which was probably due to the conservatorship. But after that terrifying incident of locking herself away with one of her boys, I definitely get it.

    The conservatorship was 100% necessary. It was that or Britney would have died in some tragic way. It wasn’t just about her physical and emotional safety, but also the safety and emotional well-being of her sons. It was also determined to be the best way to reunite Britney with her sons which did happen. Kevin Federline isn’t a saint but we’ve never heard of him blocking access or trying to take her sons away from her. He has always advocated he wanted Britney to be a part of their lives. But it’s been over a decade since all of the scary stuff so I would understand wanting to reevaluate the conservatorship. Britney’s sons are teenagers now and don’t need constant supervision like they did at the time when Britney was put under the conservatorship and couldn’t be trusted with their daily care.

    I don’t know where I stand on Jamie. It’s clear he saved his daughter from a horrible fate all those years ago but it doesn’t look like he was the best person for the job long-term. The best solution would be working towards ending the conservatorship so Britney can have total freedom. But I wonder if she’s able to take care of herself without a strict structure in place. She’s always come across as sweet but so immature and juvenile in interviews. It’s like her mental capacity peaked at the age she became famous and she became stuck there. She hasn’t done a sit down interview in years so impossible to know where she stands on her own. But I’ve always suspected if left to her own devices, she would go off her medication and we would have a repeat of her 2007 spiral. It’s a sad situation and not sure there is one right answer.

    • Olivia says:

      It definitely doesn’t gloss over her breakdown I don’t know where people are getting this. It’s just not a tik tok (meant in the journalism way not the app way) of every event as it unfolded. But IMHO it’s not at all ambiguous she suffered a massive mental health crisis or series of episodes. They include the head shaving, the umbrella incident, and the footage of her going to the hospital surrounded by media and helicopters. I mean I’m not sure how adding each individual event would demonstrate something further than was already quite clear in the documentary. The whole piece to me is more an examination of how Britney had her image manipulated and how she was treated by the media during a specific period in time. It’s a really interesting look back with the benefit of hindsight and some critical analysis of the media landscape at the time. And then it gets into the unknowns surrounding her conservatorship. Which despite a lot of people having theories, much of the specifics of her conservatorship ARE unknown.

    • Jenn says:

      As Olivia said, it definitely does not gloss over those well-documented episodes of erratic behavior — all of which, as I remarked downthread, are pretty garden-variety in the context of behaviors associated with C-PTSD/BPD/developmental trauma disorder. (I think the documentarians probably know her problem is DTD, but ethically they can’t say it.)

      The point of the documentary isn’t to diagnose her, though. Rather, it’s that we KNOW MUCH MORE about mental health today, and we fight harder against its stigmatization (because, for one thing, shaming makes mental illness worse!) than we did 10 years ago when celebrity tabloid culture openly mocked mental illness. The other thing worth noting is, at the time her conservatorship was put in place, many healthcare professionals still believed that BPD (by any name) was completely untreatable. We now know this is utterly false, and that developmental trauma is actually *extremely* responsive to treatment — which makes the Spears’s ongoing conservatorship absolutely galling and outrageous.

  17. Louise says:

    Does the documentary gloss over Britney’s 2007 breakdown? I haven’t watched it and that’s what it sounds like. Well I remember all of it and it wasn’t just bad, it was terrifying. Britney was hunted by the paparazzi for months like Princess Diana and all the while she clearly was exhibiting signs of diminishing mental health and reason. Every hour there seemed to be some sort of insane update. Different wigs, Britney not wearing underwear in public, fake accents, head shaving, umbrella attacking, driving with her kid on her lap, that alarming lackluster VMA performance… It all came to a head when she locked herself in a room during one of her visitation days and refused to come out to hand off one of her boys to Federline. That is the incident that triggered the 5150 hold and what finally brought about the conservatorship.

    The conservatorship was definitely necessary. I don’t think Britey would have survived without it. It wasn’t just about her physical and emotional safety, but also the safety and emotional well-being of her sons. It was also determined to be the best way to reunite Britney with her sons which did happen. Kevin Federline isn’t a saint but we’ve never heard of him blocking access or trying to take her sons away from her. But it’s been over a decade since all of the scary stuff so I would understand wanting to reevaluate the conservatorship. Britney’s sons are teenagers now and don’t need constant supervision like they did at the time when Britney was put under the conservatorship and couldn’t be trusted with their daily care.

    I don’t know where I stand on Jamie. It’s clear he saved his daughter from a horrible fate all those years ago but it doesn’t look like he was the best person for the job long-term. I do wonder if Britney’s able to take care of herself without a strict structure in place. She’s always come across as sweet but immature and juvenile in interviews. It’s like her mental capacity peaked at the age she became famous and she became stuck there. I’ve always suspected if left to her own devices, she would go off her medication and we would have a repeat of her 2007 spiral. It’s a sad situation and not sure there is one right answer.

    • Julie says:

      It totally glosses over the mental illness and frames it as understandable stress from being hounded. It completely neglects the fact that she was being hounded precisely because she was rejecting all the security protocols her peers were using. She was acting erratic and therefore attracted attention which further excerbated her illness.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        People also forget that mental illness runs in the Spears family which apparently started showing itself with Brit in her teens. I think fame and the rumoured long term drug abuse only made it worse. Even her own mother said that she knew Brit was taking drugs, drugs that were being given to her by her handlers. Lynne saw all this and yet did nothing but spend Brits money and write books about her.

        There are reasons why Britney does not have a good relationship with either parent.

  18. Amando says:

    The fact is…Britney is not well. Anyone who has viewed her Instagram and followed her life/career in any way in the past 15 years should know this. I don’t believe she can manage her life and finances on her own, but I don’t think her father should have AS MUCH control as he seems to have over her. It seems time to loosen up some restrictions and place a new caregiver as she has requested.

    • Ange says:

      I’m all for this whole thing being examined further and Britney having more say in everything. Where I get annoyed is with (usually 20 something aged) people insisting she’s perfectly well and never had any real mental health issues etc. I’m a bit older than Britney and I remember just how bad she got, denying that there was ever a mental health issue is just silly and somewhat insulting really. Britney can have a mental illness AND have more control over her own life, there’s no need to act like they can’t both be true.

  19. Lea says:

    I think Britney suffers from some mental illness and needs long term care. That being said, whatever your illness is, I think you are still entitled to some freedom. She sure needs someone to take care of her business affairs. She also needs someone to ward off parasites like Sam Lutfi and Adnan Ghalib.
    But right now we have lots of different people who have nothing to gain testifying that her freedom is extremely restricted.
    She is not allowed to have any friends nor to form any kind of acquaintance with anybody. She is not allowed to drive a car so she has to ask permission to leave her house.
    There were several instances were people testified that during her residency she was literally forced onstage when she expressly said she didn’t want to perform.
    Even her boyfriend now has said on Instagram that things were very difficult for them both.
    In my country even if you suffer from something like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, nobody can control your life like this. Such a conservatorship doesn’t even exist.

  20. KnivesOut says:

    I think she has serious behavioural issues as part of her overall mental health condition(s). She couldn’t make herself go into the courtroom during her custody hearings in 2008, for example. She’d sit in the car and be unable to force herself to go in. She invited that pap guy to get intimate in a public bathroom. Probably drugs and alcohol completely damaged her brain during her early years. Also there’s no way she reads her own press. I think she’s very vulnerable to criticism (used to cry at stuff written about her as that 2008 Rolling Stone article outlined) and is protected from all that. I think she’s barely functioning as a human being in all the practical meanings of the word and I do think her boyfriends all do double duty as carers and are compensated for that. Justin Timberlake, Sam Lufti, that Adnan guy, etc, all used/exploited her in some sense, but I think she just never had that inner core of toughness to repel these types of users.

    • Jenn says:

      Resilience, I think, is what you mean (by “inner core of toughness”). Resilience is something you learn in childhood, and you can absolutely still learn it as an adult. What you are describing in your comment — the poor boundaries, the naivete and revictimization, the self-destructive substance abuse, the inappropriate sexual contact, the impulsivity and executive dysfunction, the “sensitivity” (emotional dysregulation), even the history of giving money away and driving recklessly — are all behavioral outcomes of C-PTSD, better known as BPD, but better described as “developmental trauma.” It is VERY IMPORTANT to stress — because other people with developmental trauma can absolutely read and internalize your comment — that trauma does not make a person a “lost cause.” And implying that a human being is “too far gone” just feeds into the hopelessness and helplessness-narrative people with C-PTSD already struggle to live with.

      Britney’s reactive behaviors are unexceptional in the context of C-PTSD; the only “unusual” thing about them is that they were so well-documented. But people, there is HELP for C-PTSD, BPD, and developmental trauma!! Please know this!!! There are so many more resources today than there ever were before, and C-PTSD is *ultra-responsive* to the right type of CBT.

  21. Rose says:

    Guys….just because you have a mental illness, no matter what it is, doesn’t mean you have to give up ALL of your autonomy and be unable to make ANY decisions for yourself. There’s a huge difference between mental illness and age associate cognitive decline, which is what conservatorship was designed for.