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How conservatorships like Britney Spears' work?

The conservatorship has the power to restrict her visitors and take out restraining orders in her name

How conservatorships like Britney Spears work?
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Los Angeles: Britney Spears told a judge at a dramatic hearing recently that she wants an end to the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money for 13 years.

How do conservatorships work?

When a person is considered to have a severely diminished mental capacity, a court can step in and grant someone the power to make financial decisions and major life choices for them.

The conservator, as the appointee put in charge is called, may be a family member, a close friend or a court-appointed professional.

With a fortune of more than USD 50 million comes secrecy, and the court closely guards the inner workings of Spears' conservatorship.

Some aspects have been revealed in documents. The conservatorship has the power to restrict her visitors. It arranges and oversees visits with her sons, ages 14 and 15; father Kevin Federline has full custody.

It has the power to take out restraining orders in her name, which it has used more than once to keep away interlopers deemed shady. It has the power to make her medical decisions and her business deals.

She said at the hearing that she has been compelled to take drugs against her will, has been kept from having an intrauterine device for birth control removed and has been required to undertake performances when she didn't want to.

Who has power over spears?

From 2008 until 2019, her father had power over her life choices, and he and attorney Andrew Wallet controlled her money. Now, he has financial control only, and must share that role with the Bessemer Trust, an estate-management firm. Jodi Montgomery, a court-appointed professional, now acts as conservator over her personal matters.

Why are so many calling to #freebritney?

Fans who dote on Britney Spears' social media posts and public statements, trying to decipher her every utterance, dance move or shared meme, have increasingly coalesced into a movement after becoming convinced she was being controlled unfairly.

Key were two women who in 2017 turned their hobby of picking apart Spears' Instagram posts into a podcast, Britney's Gram. "It led to the hashtag #FreeBritney."

Hearings brought dozens of protesters to the courthouse, carrying signs like CONSERVATORSHIP IS SLAVERY and THIS IS TOXIC.

Fans said after the most recent hearing that they felt vindicated by Britney Spears confirming much of what they have said.

Why was it imposed in the first place?

In 2007 and 2008, shortly after she became a mother, she began to have very public mental struggles, with media outlets obsessed over each moment. Hordes of paparazzi aggressively followed her every time she left her house, and she no longer seemed able to handle it.

She attacked one cameraman's car with an umbrella. She shaved her head at a salon. She lost custody of her children when she refused to turn over her boys after a visit, she was hospitalised and put on a psychiatric hold.

How does spears feel about all of this?

Britney called the conservatorship abusive" and stupid. She said it does "me way more harm than good". She said she wanted control of her own money and to do simple everyday things. She did acknowledge in a court filing last year that it did have some value when it was first established, saying it rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin and made her able to regain her position as a world-class entertainer.

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