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Forbes: "The Great Britney Spears Debate: Does she still need a conservator?"


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The Great Britney Spears Debate: Does she still need a conservator? Back in 2008, it was clear – the pop superstar needed serious help. Rehab didn’t work. Therapy wasn’t enough. Without dramatic court intervention, Britney Spears’ career – and her very life in fact – were at risk.

Britney herself credits her father, Jamie Spears, with saving her life. When he was appointed as one of her court-ordered conservators, Jamie Spears (along with attorney Andrew Wallet), assumed legal responsibility for making all of Britney’s decisions. Where does she live? How does she spend her money? What career moves should she make? And even, can she get married?

Conservatorship, called guardianship in many states, is a dramatic remedy saved for only adults who lack the ability to make proper decisions for themselves. Typically, it’s used for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia, or adults with long-term problems like traumatic brain injuries. Before Britney, the long-term use of a conservator for an out-of-control young celebrity was unheard of.

But Britney certainly needed extraordinary help after her public meltdowns in 2007 and 2008 that included shaving her head, locking herself in a bathroom with one of her sons, battling substance abuse, and more. Her parents made the difficult decision to ask a court to intervene, and in the process, turn her life around.

To this day, the conservatorship remains in place. Jamie Spears and Andrew Wallet have to report to the court each year how every dime that Britney owns is managed and spent. Because conservator court proceedings are a matter of public record, anyone can go to the courthouse and look up how much Britney spends on manicures, Starbucks, child support, and more each year. And she cannot spend money on anything without her conservators’ permission.

The process has been used to protect Britney through years of ups and downs. There have been custody and support disputes related to her divorce from Kevin Federline, lawsuits filed against her by former manager Sam Lufti and others, and contracts to negotiate for her to serve as a TV judge and mentor on The X-Factor, among many others. Throughout it all, Britney has been able to focus on what she does best – sing and perform her music and be a mother to her two boys, now ages 12 and 13.

But the conservatorship process can’t continue forever, can it?  Big changes on that front are certainly coming. Andrew Wallet recently stepped down as one of her conservators, leaving Britney’s father as the sole decision-maker. And Jamie, age 66, suffered a serious health crisis when his colon suddenly ruptured in November, 2018, leading to two different surgeries. Britney’s planned second Las Vegas show was postponed so she could be with her father during his long recovery. She said publicly that her father nearly died from his condition.

At the same time, there also have been recent reports that Britney’s growing relationship with boyfriend, Sam Asghari, may be progressing towards marriage. If tabloid reports are to be believed, a family friend says that Jamie is against the idea of another marriage for Britney because of the legal complications that a marriage would create. Without her father’s permission, Britney cannot get married — at least, she can’t marry while the conservatorship remains in place.

With these difficult issues lingering, Britney’s career keeps moving forward. Her upcoming Las Vegas show, Dominion, is on hold indefinitely, but not forever. Her first show was too successful – bringing in a reported $138 million during its four-year run – for there not to be a sequel. In fact, Britney Spears is guaranteed $500,000 per show for the next Vegas run. Beyond that, there is a new Britney-inspired musical comedy, Once Upon A One More Time, coming to Broadway soon, featuring 23 Britney Spears’ songs. But all of this success makes the unresolved questions even more difficult to answer.

Will Jamie, with his health concerns, step aside and turn the decision-making over to Britney? Or is the concern over her mental health too great for her to take on this responsibility? And if Jamie cannot continue in this role, will a stranger be given the authority to make these decisions?

One thing is certain – the status quo that has worked so well for Britney Spears over the course of more than ten years is likely to change soon. On one hand, the conservatorship has worked, so it makes sense to leave it in place, even if Jamie is no longer able to handle the role. But on the other hand, many celebrities have multi-million dollar deals, difficult family dynamics, and other complications to manage and do so without someone else possessing the authority to make their decisions. Even celebrities with troubled pasts still have the right to decide when and whom to marry. Shouldn’t Britney’s growth and success over more than ten years have earned her that right too?

If the court overseeing her conservatorship does not feel that she is ready to take this on, then the answer will be “no,” unless her father approves. And right now, he likely is t0o focused on recovering to make difficult decisions with long-term implications like these. So Britney Spears is left in limbo, for now.

Regardless of how you view this issue, one thing is clear – guardianship and conservatorship proceedings can save lives, but can also go too far. These are court-imposed remedies of last resort, because taking away someone’s rights to decide where and how to live, spend, and marry should never be done unless truly necessary.

Perhaps we’ll all find out in the near future if Britney Spears is ready for her basic rights as an adult to be restored.



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18 minutes ago, MyQueenBritney said:

Part of me is wondering what Team B is gonna do to cover this up.

We all know that when a bad story about Britney starts circulating they always post or release something to distract.

There's nothing to cover up though. Everything related to the conservatorship is out for he public (except for her medical records) and the court hasn't found her able to make her own decissions yet. Multiple articles about it have been written and none of them have pointed out anything illegal. It's the way it's supposed to be. But it's sad to think that Britney herself doesn't know what will happen with her. If her father dies, someone else will have to take his place and as I said before I think Jamie wanted to make sure that that person wasn't Andrew Wallet. 




I didn't know this:

Before Britney, the long-term use of a conservator for an out-of-control young celebrity was unheard of.

and this is concerning:

One thing is certain – the status quo that has worked so well for Britney Spears over the course of more than ten years is likely to change soon.

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As much as I hate what the conservatorship stands for, nobody outside of the family/inner circle is in the position to dictate what Britney is and isn’t capable of.

Album and touring success does not equal complete stability. As much as I would love Britney to regain independence, if you inspect her dealings in any close way, it’s clear she’s still a very fragile and vulnerable person. You could argue a lot of the success she has enjoyed since 2007 is BECAUSE of the conservatoriship ensuring structure and consistency, not despite it.

Unpopular opinion, I know, but if she wanted to and was ready to get out, she would.



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17 minutes ago, Marcanthony said:

Jamie is against the idea of another marriage for Britney because of the legal complications that a marriage would create.


How so?

Because in a marriage the couple become a partnership, own things together, share accounts, properties etc Sam would have crazy access to the inner workings of Britney’s life and could hypothetically manipulate that.

Think of K-Fed, 11 years later and he’s still taking Britney to court over things.

While Britney is being ‘owned’ essentially how can another person come into her life as a spouse — they can’t be owned too!

Thats why Jason became a co-conservator, to be her spouse he had to also be her handler in a sense. It’s very f**ked up.

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Here we go again. This report is like a rerun. Slightly updated but it’s still a repeat of something that’s already been written. The Spears family (no real shade there), the legal system and those with their hand out for Britney’s money all have had Britney exactly where they want her for 11 years!! They have full and total control over her, her brand, her relationships and her finances. It will stay that way until she dies, not just if or when Jamie dies before her.

It’s been eleven years, guys. I’ve gone from hopeful to pessimist to realist in that amount of time. Could they change it so she’s legally free on the personal front but keep the financial hold? Yes, of course. The obvious preference is to keep both cships active indefinitely no matter what. Every few years or so her team floats this BS story about the cship ending, about Jamie “thinking about” ending it, about Britney being in a good place and confident she can handle her own life. They say the cship could end maybe if a marriage happens with Jason, David, Charlie, Sam or who dafuq ever. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

They ran basically the same game, same story by Forbes back when Britney was “engaged” to Jason Trawick (2011-2013). How long ago was this? Haven’t we read this same story already? Don’t we already know Sam’s (or insert random male name here) relationship fate with Britney? You should.

The only real debatable thing is whether or not Britney still needs ONE conservatorship or even TWO conservatorships at this point? No matter how she appears in public to us, no matter what she supposedly says or feels, there’s her dad, doctor(s) and a team of lawyers, plus people on her managerial or business team who have an invested interest in the ‘Britney brand’ and likely they even all have a say in if they feel it’s better for her image/brand/finances to not be under a cship. These people’s opinion carry more weight than Britney’s but just as much weight as her dad’s word. Their opinion or reservations will be taken into consideration as to whether Jamie, the Drs, the lawyers and the judge believes Britney is ready and able to take care of herself, her 2 sons and or have a legal say in who handles her finances.

Eleven years of no. It’s not gonna change just because her dad is sick or because of some guy she’s dating. But I’m very glad Forbes is keeping their eye on this situation. It’s unlikely things will legally change. I think we can accept that reality, considering we don’t know what Britney’s really I mean REALLY like or we have no idea what her mental state is today. Just based on how she looks, behaves and just in general, it looks as though she’s still very much in need of looking after. Her condition may still be fluid. Public Britney and private Britney are likely two extremely different people. So Is she the way she is now due only to medical reasons or is it because of how she’s been handled for 11 years? A mixture of both? Probably so.

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14 minutes ago, Just Because said:

 I don’t think she  is stable enough to  manage her financial and business  affairs. 



How would you know when we barely know who she is anymore? We don't know anything about her private life, anything. How would you be able to make such a judgement? 

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That conservatorship isn't going anywhere until them boys turn 18.

10 years ago, everything moving forward for Britney's career was crucial and it was in their best interests to protect her from any further damage, for example, they protected her from having to testify in that Sam Lutfi case because it would've revealed some damning stuff that her team don't want out.

But as her career starts to wind down in the next 5 years, I don't think they'll care so much and she'll want her complete freedom back. She's mostly self-sufficient now with day to day stuff anyway, they'd probably have to phase it out so that's it not all at once.

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3 minutes ago, I am Max. said:

How would you know when we barely know who she is anymore? We don't know anything about her private life, anything. How would you be able to make such a judgement? 

You're right we can never officially know...but the only judgement I can make is by what we DO see of her...and that is her barely being able to answer extremely simple questions in interviews...her looking worried and disheveled pretty much anywhere we see her whether in candids or on stage. With what is actually presented of her...I would definitely not say she is a stable person. Maybe she is completely different behind the scenes? I don't think so though...

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