Britney Spears has failed in her bid to remove her father, Jamie Spears, from controlling her business and personal affairs. The 38-year-old pop star had been seeking to remove the 12-year court-appointed conservatorship but it has been decided that no changes will be made.
Britney had asked for her care manager Jodi Montgomery to permanently replace her father as her conservator. In a closed-door Los Angeles court hearing, it was decided to extend the current arrangements until February 2021, according to a court document posted online by fans.
Britney's father was appointed conservator in 2008 after the pop star was hospitalised for psychiatric treatment. When Jamie suffered from a bout of ill health last year, Jodi took over in a temporary capacity but she hasn't been given the green light to take the role permanently. Britney's lawyer had submitted documents ahead of the private hearing saying she was "strongly opposed" to having her father return to control her affairs.
The documents gave no reasons for why Britney feels so strongly about this. Britney has not performed publicly since October 2018 after she pulled out of a Las Vegas concert residency last year and briefly entered a mental health facility. Outside the courthouse, some two dozen fans from the small but vocal #FreeBritney campaign held a demonstration, shouting "The conservatorship has got to go!"
Supporters of the campaign believe Spears is being kept prisoner and that she is sending cryptic signals begging to be freed through her social media accounts, which usually consist of selfies or her dancing at home. "I'm here to support Britney and I believe that she deserves her basic civil rights and to be able to spend her money on her terms," said Timothy, 26, who flew from Minneapolis for the rally.
Spears has not publicly commented on the campaign but her father has dismissed it as a joke. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday offered its support to Spears. "If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship, we are here to help her," the ACLU wrote in a tweet.