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A February post being reshared gives the false impression that Britney Spears won a court fight to have her father removed from a conservatorship that controls her affairs.
Her win in one court ruling was relatively small and her father still retains control over much of her life through the conservatorship, which she continues to fight in court.
Five months after first being shared, a widely recirculated post about Britney Spears leaves a misimpression of the 39-year-old singer’s court fight with her father over control of her personal life.
"BRITNEY WON!" the Feb. 11 Facebook post stated. "The judge declared that Britney Spears's father will no longer be able to make decisions about her private and financial life. Jamie (her sister) can no longer make decisions about Britney Spears' life either. Now let's go for canceling the guardianship for good: next date March 17. #FreeBritney #EveryoneWithBritney."
The post, from a now-closed account for fans of "Glee" actress Heather Morris, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Spears won a relatively small court ruling on the day of the post. But her father remains largely in charge of her affairs through the conservatorship, which she is continuing to fight in court.
Here, from news reports, is a timeline of the case.
2008: After Spears was sent twice to a psychiatric ward, her father, Jamie Spears, successfully petitioned the Los Angeles County Superior Court to become her co-conservator, giving him control over her treatment, finances, security, visitors and daily life. The other co-conservator was lawyer Andrew Wallet.
2016: Spears said she wanted the conservatorship ended as soon as possible, saying it had too much control, according to a June 2021 report by the New York Times, citing confidential court papers.
2019: Spears said in court she felt forced by the conservatorship into a stay at a mental health facility and to perform against her will, according to the Times.
August 2020: Spears filed court papers opposing an extension of her father remaining her conservator, but a court approved the extension until at least February 2021.
Feb. 11, 2021: On the same date as the Facebook post, a judge continued the split-powers arrangement, overruling Jamie Spears’ objections to Bessemer Trust being appointed. It was a victory for Britney Spears in that her father did not regain full control of her finances. But the conservatorship remained in place, Jamie Spears still co-manages her finances and he remains in charge of other affairs.
June 2021: Spears told the court the conservatorship was abusive and asked for it to be ended, saying she felt she had been forced to perform, was given no privacy and was made to use birth control, take medication and attend therapy sessions against her will. A judge refused to remove Jamie Spears as conservator.
July 14, 2021: An afternoon court hearing is scheduled. A judge is expected to consider Spears’ request to select her own attorney.
Britney Spears won a court ruling that was touted by the Facebook post, but despite what the post claims, Spears’ father remains in control of much of her affairs through a conservatorship that Spears is continuing to fight in court. We rate the post Mostly False.
Facebook, post, Feb. 11, 2021
Refinery 29, "Here’s What Britney Spears’ Latest Court Victory Actually Means," Feb. 12, 2021
New York Times, "Britney Spears Quietly Pushed for Years to End Her Conservatorship," published June 22, 2021; updated July 6, 2021
CBS News, "Britney Spears' conservatorship, explained," July 7, 2021
Los Angeles Times, "Britney Spears hasn’t fully controlled her life for years. Fans insist it’s time to #FreeBritney," Sept. 18, 2019
Fox News, "A timeline of Britney Spears' conservatorship," June 23, 2021
Fox News, "Britney Spears' conservatorship extended until 2021," Aug. 22, 2020
NPR, "Judge Rules Against Britney Spears' Father In Conservatorship Dispute," Feb. 11, 2021
Washington Post, "Britney Spears’s conservatorship is back in court — and back in the public eye," Feb. 11, 2021
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