Britney Spears’ Brother Bryan Publicly Addresses the #FreeBritney Movement

Britney Spears’ brother, Bryan, has spoken publicly about the conservatorship which his sister was put under in 2008.

Addressing the #FreeBritney movement on the As Not Seen on TV podcast, Bryan said that Britney had “always wanted to get out of” the conservatorship because of the limitations it placed on her life.

“It’s very frustrating to have. Whether someone’s coming in peace to help or coming in with an attitude, having someone constantly tell you to do something has got to be frustrating,” he said.

Bryan, 43, said that while fans suspected she was being “held against her will in some capacity,” it was a “great thing for our family”.

“We kind of came together and not everybody agreed with it either; everyone had their own opinion like, maybe we should do it this way or that way,” he said before adding, “But at the end, I think we made the right choice.”

Jamie Spears, Britney and Bryan’s father, served as conservator until he had to relinquish his rights due to ill health and his oldest child, described it as a “sacrifice”.

“In general, he’s done the best he could given the situation he’s in,” he said.

Britney’s legal status will be re-evaluated in August and the family is “hoping for the best”.

“She’s been surrounded by a team of people since she was 15, so at what level does everyone just walk away or get reduced?” he said, also adding that she hasn’t conducted “everyday tasks” and that it will be an “adjustment”.

Bryan recalled Britney’s very public meltdown in 2007 (which lead to the conservatorship) as “scary” and that the family was “caught by surprise” by the entire ordeal.

“Obviously there was a need for it in the beginning that, I assume everyone knows the issues that were going on,” he added.

Britney Spears
The Spears family. Getty Images.

Britney Spears’ Voice Was Retrained to Give Her That Iconic “Baby Voice”

Update: July 15, 2020

You’ve likely seen the #FreeBritney hashtag trending across various social platforms on and off for the last few years but as we head closer towards Britney Spears’ conservatorship hearing on July 22, more information is coming to light. We’ve done our best to break it down below (scroll half way down the page), and will continue to update this story as it evolves.

Since 2008, Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship, meaning that she has the rights of a child in the eyes of the law.

In a social post by Brandon Hase, reshared on Instagram page @dirty2000s that’s now going viral, it’s claimed that Spears’s voice was retrained to sing in the iconic baby voice we all know.

The post also says that the style of singing was believed to be “more iconic and would create a brand and career for her instead of her real voice”. Changing the way she has used her vocal cords has reportedly caused damage, which is why she now lip-syncs.

In 2006, the Oops I Did it Again singer allegedly wanted to make an album called Original Doll, however, it was cancelled after her label realised she wanted to do it in her real voice.

The post also points out that within months of her initial hospitalisation in 2007, she was back working — and after one year, her father petitioned to have the conservatorship made permanent due to her allegedly having early onset dementia (in her 20s). The arguement now, is that if Spears is so unwell, why is she still working at such a hectic pace? Since the conservatorship began she has released four albums, done three worldwide tours, a four-year residency in Las Vegas, was a judge on X-Factor, released multiple perfurmes and a lingerie line.

Spears has a court hearing coming up on July 22 regarding her conservatorship and all temporary orders will be extended until August 22.

See the full post that’s doing the rounds on Instagram.


The Britney Spears Conservatorship, #FreeBritney, and How We Got Here

Because this all began in early 2008, we’re going to do our best to break it all down for you and help you understand exactly what’s going on in the world of Britney Spears

2008 — Hospitalisations and the beginning of the conservatorship

It was January 4, 2008, when Britney was first placed under a 5150 hold, which is an involuntary 72-hour psychiatric evaluation. After a long night regarding a custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline, paparazzi were on the scene to capture the heartbreaking photos seen around the world of Britney being wheeled out on a gurney and into the ambulance, which they followed to the hospital. Classy! Despite a 5150 being a three-day evaluation, Britney was released from the hospital the next day.

On January 31st, Britney was placed under a second 5150 — with rumours that her family had been working with the LAPD to get Britney back to the hospital — and while hospitalised, the courts placed Britney under the temporary conservatorship of her father, Jamie Spears. When Britney tried to hire a lawyer to resist the conservatorship, she was deemed mentally unfit to select her own attorney, although she does have a court-appointed legal advocate.

The conservatorship covers not only her business and financial matters but also all of her personal affairs, down to what she wears and who she dates. Basically? If Britney wants $20 of her $47 million estates, she has to ask permission. If her dad wants her to brush her hair before she leaves the house, she has to do it. If papa Spears doesn’t like Britney’s boyfriend, she has to dump him. She’s not allowed to drive, she’s not allowed to vote, she’s not allowed to get married or pregnant, amongst other restrictions. It’s a whole thing.

Two months after being placed under conservatorship, Britney made her first guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother, and by the time September’s MTV VMA awards rolled around, Britney became the most awarded woman of the night. In a highly-promoted return to the spotlight, promos of Britney with host Russell Brand ran on TV in the lead up to the event, with no mention of the quite literal elephant in the room.

The next month, the conservatorship — which had been due to end in December of 2008 — was made permanent.

In the lead up to the release of her Circus album, MTV aired a documentary titled Britney: For The Record, in which Britney spoke about her life being too controlled, and compared her situation to a life sentence without parole.


Britney celebrated her 27th birthday with the release of her album Circus on December 2, 2008, and by March of 2009 — just 14 months after her second involuntary psychiatric hold — she was back on the road with The Circus Starring Britney Spears world tour.

She did, however, make another bid for freedom and attempted to hire her own lawyer. In a leaked voicemail from Britney to a lawyer, Britney claimed that her father was using her visitation with her sons Sean Preston and Jayden James as leverage to get her to go along with the conservatorship. Under the conservatorship, she cannot have custody of the boys, but has been given extended visitation that amounts to at least a 50/50 split with ex-husband Kevin Federline.


The early 2010s, The X Factor and Jason Trawick

Throughout the early 2010s, fans began speculating that Britney — looking noticeably lethargic on stage and less-than-enthused when giving interviews — was being heavily medicated and essentially forced to perform when she didn’t want to.

Meanwhile, legal experts were questioning the star’s consistently heavy workload, and whether she still needed to be under conservatorship if she was able to maintain such a schedule, seemingly without trouble.

In 2011, Britney announced her Jamie-Spears-approved-engagement to Jason Trawick, who had joined her management team before their relationship became romantic in 2009. When the question of whether this would see the end of the conservatorship was raised, Jason was added as co-conservator of Britney’s personal affairs (but not her finances). When the couple split near the end of 2012, Jason resigned as co-conservator, making Jamie Spears the sole conservator once again.

Everything remained pretty much the same through Britney’s next album era and the beginning of her Las Vegas Piece Of Me residency, as she remained, for the most part, unenthused through the promotion of Britney Jean. A critically panned album that was heavily promoted as being her “most personal record yet”, many fans believe Britney Jean barely even features Britney herself singing, alleging instead that the majority of the album’s vocals are by Myah Marie, Britney’s backup singer.

A widely-circulated interview clip from the era, in which Britney ponders the notion of throwing herself off a cliff, has been used by fans as an example of her headspace at the time and desire for both freedom and control over her own life.


The Glory era, and the Las Vegas residencies

In 2015, however, Britney suddenly became reinvigorated, performing her Vegas shows with more energy than fans had seen in years, and seemingly having a good time. Notably, she also wore a top with the words “YOU DON’T OWN ME” bedazzled on it while performing.

This energy carried through to 2016’s Billboard Music Awards, where she performed a medley of hits and received the Millennium Award.

Things were looking up. Later in 2016, she would go on to release her ninth studio album, Glory, and appear generally happier and more relaxed than she had in years, both on stage and while doing the promotional rounds for the album.

While appearing on The Jonathan Ross show in the UK, fans in the audience reported that she spoke about the conservatorship in relation to her past music and how she had been “strategic” about making sure that this album was true to her vision. The talk of the conservatorship did not make it to air.

Shortly after the end of Britney’s Piece of Me residency, the long-rumoured next residency, Domination, was announced. From there, it seemed like it was all systems go. Britney was posting clips from her high energy dance rehearsals where she seemed in good spirits, until out of the blue, she announced the cancellation of the entire show, citing her father’s ill health.


Okay, we’ve made it this far, and this is where things get really confusing.

Three days after announcing the cancellation of Domination, Britney was spotted driving through a drive-thru. A reminder: one of the conditions of the conservatorship is that Britney isn’t allowed to drive.

Following this, Britney went off the grid, both figuratively and literally, with no posts being uploaded to her Instagram between January 13 and April 4 in 2019.

#FreeBritney begins

Britney’s return to Instagram was prompted by the podcast Britney’s Gram. Hosted by comedians Tess Barker and Barbara Gray, the podcast received a voicemail from a man who claimed to be a former paralegal who worked on Britney’s conservatorship case and was concerned for her wellbeing.

He alleged that Britney had stopped taking her medications at some point during the rehearsals for Domination, which prompted Jamie to offer an ultimatum: Take your meds, or I’ll cancel the show. She refused, so Jamie cancelled the residency.

Although news broke in April that Britney was in a mental health facility, the podcast’s source claimed that she hadn’t been there for a week, as was being reported, but rather, that she had been institutionalised in mid-January 2019 after the photo of her driving with boyfriend Sam Asghari surfaced.

With #freebritney trending and Britney’s own mother, Lynne Spears, liking comments from fans stating that Britney had been hospitalised against her will, Britney returned to Instagram in a short video.

Assuring fans that all was well, Britney called the rumours surrounding her hospitalisation “out of control” and said that she “just needed time to deal”.


At an annual hearing regarding the conservatorship last May, Britney allegedly asked the judge to “consider ending” the conservatorship. With fans picketing the hearing outside the court, both Jamie and Lynne attended the hearing, and Lynne filed a motion to be kept up-to-date with everything regarding Britney’s medical situation.

Meanwhile, Andrew Wallace, one of the lawyers working on Britney’s conservatorship case resigned in May and asked that he be removed from the case ASAP, writing: “Substantial detriment, irreparable harm and immediate danger will result to the conservatee and her estate if the relief requested herein is not granted on an ex parte basis.”

A source close to Britney told CNN that it’s not the first time Britney has asked for the conservatorship to end, but said that it wasn’t surprising, either.

“Of course she wants it to end, because she’s not of the right mental state to understand her issues,” they said. “She has a mental illness and that doesn’t mean she needs to be locked up. It puts her somewhere in the middle. She’s working on it. It’s a struggle on a daily basis.”

This source — who is in favour of the conservatorship — maintained that Britney entered the mental health facility in late March of her own free will.

“When her dad got sick, it really affected her,” the source explained. “She couldn’t focus on her tour and she started to miss doses of her medication. Anyone who knows anything about taking prescription medication knows that you can’t just get on and off of it.”

Cut to August, when Kevin filed a restraining order against Jamie on behalf of his sons, alleging that Jamie physically assaulted his eldest son. The request was granted, and a revised custody agreement left Britney with 30% unsupervised custody.

After Judge Brenda Penny’s May order to have an expert evaluate the conservatorship case, there was a follow-up hearing in September, which fans also picketed, and it was around this time when Britney made some cryptic comments about her love for freedom on her Instagram.

Although the conservatorship remained in place, Jamie Spears requested that he temporarily be replaced as conservator of Britney’s personal wellbeing, citing his own ill health as the reason. The request was granted, and Jodi Montgomery — Britney’s longtime care manager — was made conservator of Britney the person (Britney’s finances remained under Jamie’s control). This temporary shift expired at the end of January, and Jamie is once again Britney’s primary conservator.

After a brief hearing at the end of January 2020, the court decided to push the full hearing back to April 23, 2020, with the full conservatorship staying in place until then. The hearing has since moved to July 22, 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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