By Anna Kerr / Arts and Entertainment Editor
During this past summer, the #FreeBritney movement came alive. After years of speculation that pop singer Britney Spears was being controlled by her management team and her father, that speculation has been confirmed.
Rumors began circulating about Spears being under conservatorship back in 2008, when a court-appointed her father, Jamie Spears, to be her conservator, allowing him to take control of her finances, her social media accounts and her day-to-day schedule. Fans immediately noticed a difference in her behavior, social media activity and performance on stage.
“I have a picture of me in my Free Britney shirt that I love. I love her music and think she represents feminism well because she is not afraid to be herself,” junior Virginia McGrew said.
“She represents taking risks and is a great 2000’s icon. She sets the standards for female musicians today.”
After many years of rumors flying around about the conservatorship, Spears finally shared information with her fans about the abuse she has endured. Back in 2008, she suffered a mental breakdown, which led to a series of psychological evaluations of her mental health. The court ordered her father, James “Jamie” Spears, to take control of her belongings and finances because of concerns raised by her mental health evaluation results.
Jamie Spears has controlled her for the past 13 years, forcing her to work 10 hours a day, 7 days a week and constantly make new, better music. Moreover, he threatened to have her admitted to a mental hospital again, if she did not follow his rules. Along with Jamie Spears, her management team also kept her on a tight rehearsal schedule.
Now that Britney Spears has taken her case to court, new evidence has surfaced. Many students are intrigued by this information because their favorite childhood star is going through a difficult legal process to regain control of her life.
“I love Britney so much. My Britney phase in 7th grade was a huge deal to me, and I am a true activist in the Free Britney campaign,” sophomore Annie Lea Choate said.
Britney Spears has been vocal about her ordeal on all her social media platforms, updating fans as this process continues. She has obtained her own legal team to fight against her father and management company. It was not until recently that Jamie Spears officially agreed to step down from his role in her conservatorship, according to court documents filed on Aug. 12.
“His response indicates that while he is willing to step down, he may be looking for some concessions, which could be as simple as money — or, it could be something as innocuous as ‘clearing his name,’” NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos said in a statement with NBC News.
Over the past few months, Spears has become more open and transparent with her fans on social media, as she has reclaimed control of her Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok accounts. She now uses her social media presence to further the #FreeBritney movement, and she started a fundraiser to share the message on social media and other platforms.
Britney Spears also appeared in court on June 23, publicly testifying about her experiences under Jamie Spears’ conservatorship over the last 13 years.
“Britney Spears’ case challenges us to consider a larger question: in what ways does it disadvantage women in our court system for too long denying them the autonomy to decide what is best for themselves?” Director of Equity and Inclusion MarQuis Chappell said.
Seeing this female icon being taken advantage of by a dominating male, some may claim that the progress made by feminists over the years is being reversed. The #FreeBritney court case is an example of the exploitation of women by America’s legal system.
However, many years of spreading the #FreeBritney movement have brought justice for her conservatorship. The legal battle is far from over, as Spears is also threatening criminal charges against Jamie Spears. Many Harpeth Hall students will continue to follow this story closely as Britney gets justice for the abuse that she has endured.