It was a moment that shocked the world… Britney Spears walking into an LA hairdressers and picking up a pair of clippers, before shaving her head in front of photographers.
Days later, the pop megastar then attacked a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella, before speeding away.
These events in 2007 were the beginning of what was described as “Britney’s meltdown”.
Following further struggles, the singer lost custody of her two sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline, and was involuntarily hospitalised in a psychiatric ward.
Under California state law, Britney was placed under a temporary conservatorship by her father Jamie Spears and a lawyer called Andrew Wallet, giving them complete control of her assets as she was deemed unfit to look after herself.
Now, a new documentary, Framing Britney Spears, examines how Britney, 39, went from being a performer “completely in control” of her own rapid rise to fame, to having her career, estate, personal life and her finances being primarily controlled by Jamie 13 years on
The bombshell programme claims that Jamie was never very close to his daughter.
One contributor, Kim Kaiman, a marketing executive at Britney’s first record label, Jive Records, says: “The only thing Jamie ever said to me was: ‘My daughter’s gonna be so rich, she’s gonna buy me a boat.’ That’s all I’m gonna say about Jamie.”
Meanwhile, Britney’s former assistant and long-time family friend Felicia Culotta says she remains confused about the conservatorship arrangement, “especially for somebody Britney’s age and somebody capable of so much”.
In January 2019, Britney announced that she was going on an “indefinite work hiatus” and cancelled her planned Las Vegas residency, before going back into psychiatric hospital.
A podcast then alleged Jamie had cancelled Britney’s residency due to his daughter’s refusal to take her medication, and she was being held on the psychiatric ward against her will.
It was also claimed Jamie had said his daughter had dementia and was unable to look after herself – despite the fact that during the conservatorship Britney managed to perform three world tours and a Vegas residency, release four albums, and appear as a judge on the US X Factor.
This led to the #FreeBritney movement, a campaign by fans of the 100million record-selling star to have Jamie’s control over his daughter removed by the courts.
Britney herself has expressed a desire for her father to be removed from his conservator role, something that was rejected by a US court in November, despite the singer’s lawyer saying the pair don’t have a “viable working relationship”.
Another court hearing was scheduled yesterday in Los Angeles. And, following the release of Framing Britney Spears, several stars – including Miley Cyrus and Sarah Jessica Parker – have publicly declared their support for her.
Despite multiple attempts to speak to Britney for the documentary, director Samantha Stark says they never heard anything from the singer: “We tried every which way to get a smoke signal to Britney about the documentary, but there is such a tight circle around her that we don’t know if she got those requests or not.
Britney Spears undergoes dramatic transformation as she says 'out with the old'
“We didn’t get a ‘no’ from her. We never got anything from her.”
But, perhaps in reference to the documentary’s release, Britney shared a performance of her song Toxic on social media saying she was “taking the time to learn and be a normal person”.
She added: “Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life, it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens.”
● Framing Britney Spears is available on Hulu in the US and is set for UK release this spring.
What is a conservatorship?
This is a term used in the US for a form of legal guardianship over an adult.
A guardian is appointed to manage the life of someone unable to make decisions due to poor physical or mental health or old age.
The conservator may be only of the "estate" (financial affairs), but may be also of the "person", taking charge of overseeing the daily activities, such as healthcare or living arrangements.
What is the UK equivalent?
If a person still has the mental capacity to make their own decisions, they can appoint a lasting power of attorney who will make decisions for them in the future if they cannot make them themselves.
This can relate to either or both money and property, and health and welfare.
If the person lacks the mental capacity to make decisions, the Court of Protection may appoint a deputy to manage their affairs.
There are two different types: one for decisions about a person’s property and financial affairs, and one for decisions about their personal welfare.
Deputies are usually close relatives or friends. In Scotland, they are known as guardians.
Britney isn’t the first famous face to have control of her life handed over to someone else. Here are three others who have been under conservatorships…
The actress struggled with drugs and alcohol and was hospitalised in 2013 after several driving and drug-related arrests.
She was released into the conservatorship of her mother, Lynn, who still has complete control over Bynes’ affairs and finances.
Last year Bynes got engaged to Paul Michael. But under the terms of her conservatorship she cannot marry him without her mother’s consent, which Lynn has so far refused to give, saying she doesn’t believe Bynes is in any capacity to make decisions.
For nearly 20 years in the 1970s and 80s, the Beach Boys genius was under the supposed care of a doctor called Eugene Landy.
Wilson suffered from alcohol and drug issues, and was addicted to food, with his weight ballooning to 21st.
In 1992 Wilson was put under a conservatorship after his brother and cousins filed a lawsuit against Landy, which meant he had to stay away from the psychologist and leave his affairs in the hands of his conservator.
In 2011, US actor and comedian Mickey Rooney and his estate were placed under a conservatorship after allegations the Hollywood legend was being abused by his stepson Christopher Aber and feared he was going to be kidnapped.
Court papers claimed Aber deprived Rooney of medication and food and kept him a virtual prisoner in his own home.
The temporary restraining order was eventually replaced by a confidential settlement between Rooney and his step-son.
Rooney died in 2014 aged 93.
- Britney Spears
Source: Read Full Article