How #FreeBritney movement ended Britney Spears' conservatorship of 14 years
The grand finale of the #FreeBritney movement took place at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Friday, November 12. Hundreds of Britney Spears fans gathered outside the venue to witness the decision that would change the popstar's life forever. The hearing got underway at around 1.30 pm, and a little over 30 minutes later, the judge ruled to end Spears' conservatorship and gave her back control of her life and wealth.
"The court finds and determines that the conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required,” ruled Judge Brenda Penny. "The conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is hereby terminated.” The ruling sent a crowd of Spears fans in the street outside into raucous shouts and screams as their idol was given the power to make her own decisions about finances and medical care after nearly 14 years.
Britney Spears' dad REMOVED as conservator, 'Free Britney' campaign comes full circle
#FreeBritney: Fans protest Britney Spears's conservatorship, say she should control her own finances
The pop star was not on the call during the hearing, but her father, and former conservator Jamie Spears, was and so was her mother, Lynne Spears. Britney's lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, who was in the court, said, “Ms. Spears...obviously fully maintains the position that it is time after more than a decade for the conservatorship to be terminated entirely,” he told the judge. "The record is clear... that the time has come today to end the conservatorship.” Jamie's lawyer, Alex Weingarten, said his legal team had “nothing to add. "We affirm our position," Weingarten said. “My client wants the conservatorship to end immediately.”
Spears credits #FreeBritney movement for her win
Spears has never taken her fans for granted and ahead of Friday's hearing, which was supposed to be the final step in dissolving the conservatorship, Britney herself wore a '#FreeBritney' t-shirt. "Good God I love my fans so much it’s crazy!!! I think I’m gonna cry the rest of the day !!!! Best day ever … praise the Lord … can I get an Amen," an emotional Spears wrote on Instagram Friday afternoon, sharing a video of her fans gathered at the courthouse.
An hour later, she posted again alongside a photo of a yellow dress. "I can’t freaking believe it !!!! Again … best day ever !!!!" The 39-year-old pop star's fiancé, Sam Asghari, also shared a brief Instagram video of her modeling a #FreeBritney t-shirt that features the tagline: "It's a human rights movement." He even got the couple's dog in on the action, cryptically captioned the post: "Loading…"
How the #FreeBritney movement grew
Roughly 500 people gathered before the hearing to cheer on the pop star. Some fans drew "Free Britney" in block letters on the street in pink chalk, while others decorated a pink Christmas tree in her honor. "We cannot believe this is real life," Jared Lipscomb, who became involved in the #FreeBritney movement in 2019, told USA TODAY. "We cannot imagine how she might be feeling," Lipscomb added, noting the #FreeBritney movement may now "morph and evolve" to focus on widespread allegations of conservatorship abuse. "If one movement can do this, who knows what else we can do."
The #FreeBritney movement represents the unwavering support of Spears fans to demand the end of the conservatorship, has had its highs and lows. There was a time last year when things spiraled out of control, with Spears admitting, "There are rumors, death threats to my family and my team, and just so many things, crazy things being said." However, the fans remained adamant in their support toward their idol.
The momentum of the movement picked up dramatically in February, following the release of the New York Times' documentary 'Framing Britney Spears,' which highlighted the controversies surrounding her conservatorship. The public outcry against the conservatorship also made headlines after Spears delivered an emotional testimony at a June court hearing, in which she called her conservatorship "abusive" and pleaded for it to end.