#FreeBritney: Everything we know about Britney Spears' 12-year legal battle over her own fortune

Britney Spears
Britney Spears
Photo: Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic/Getty Images
  • Britney Spears hasn't been in charge of her own life and finances since 2008.
  • After her public meltdown and ever since, the singer's fortune, estimated at $59 million (R976 million) has been under her father, Jamie Spears' conservatorship.
  • On 22 August the court will decide whether or not Jamie will continue to be legally in charge of the singer's career.

Britney Spears has been in a 12-year-long battle over her conservatorship – the legal matter that prevents her from being in charge of her own finances, as a result of her physical and mental state. Since 2008, her father, Jamie Spears, has had legal guardianship over Britney and her career.

According to Business Insider, it all started when the 38-year-old had a very public meltdown in the late 2000s which saw her infamously shave her head.

Shortly after, she checked into rehab, several times, as well as a psychiatric hospital, which led to her court-approved conservatorship in 2008.

Ever since, Jamie Spears has been in charge of her estate and has the power to approve and reject business opportunities and even restrict the singer from seeing visitors. Lawyer, Andrew Wallet, has been managing her financial assets.

According to Entertainment Tonight, while Jamie requested to extend the conservatorship in 2019 – which he has requested to do once more, and it has since been granted until 22 August – Britney spent $1.1 million in legal conservator fees last year. Her father took home $128 000 of that amount.

Britney's fortune is currently estimated at $59 million (R976 million).

Fans of the Toxic singer have started the #FreeBritney hashtag – which dates all the way back to 2009 – it has since gained steam as her legal battle continues. They say Britney is being controlled and manipulated.

With concern mounting for the 38-year-old, both her sister, Jamie Lynn Spears and her brother, Bryan Spears, have broken their silence.

Jamie shared a message on Instagram last week, reports Harper's Bazaar, talking about respecting someone's privacy and how important it is when they're dealing with mental health issues.

When a user commented, demanding to know about what's going on with her sister, she said: "You have no right to assume anything about my sister, and I have NO right to speak about HER health and personal matters. She is a strong, badass, unstoppable woman, and that's the only thing that is OBVIOUS."

Meanwhile, their brother, Bryan, revealed during the As NOT Seen on TV podcast, that Britney has long wanted to get out of the conservatorship.

"She's been in this thing for quite some time now. Obviously there was a need for it in the beginning. Now they've made some changes, and all we can do is hope for the best," he said.

He added: "She's always wanted to get out of it. 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. She's wanted to get out of it for quite some time."    

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24