With each passing day, new details of Britney Spears’ conservatorship are making into the light of day. This time, it is a detailed article by famous journalist Ronan Farrow that has brought to light some harrowing details of the pop icon’s years-long conservatorship. He revealed that on the eve of her recent bombshell court hearing, Spears called 911.
A new investigation by Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino on Britney Spears’ conservatorship got published in The New Yorker on Sunday. When Spears made the call, it sent her entire family into a frenzy. They all started asking each other, speculating what Spears would say in her hearing the following day. Farrow wrote:
They were worried about what Spears might say the next day, and they discussed how to prepare in the event that she went rogue.
However, we do not know the contents of her phone call, despite California emergency calls are part of public record. But, Farrow and Tolentino still found out about the call from their sources in Ventura County and her close friends.
Further details about Britney Spears’ conservatorship in the article
Since her conservatorship in 2008, her father Jamie Spears has handled all her financial affairs, her professional career, and even her health. In her infamous hearing, Britney Spears said that she is not even allowed to get married or remove her IUD and have more children. Moreover, she said her conservators chose a doctor that always gave her the wrong medications. The 911 call is of special importance as well, as her friends reveal more harrowing details about her life. Her friend Sam Lutfi told Farrow
The last time she called me, she was at Ralphs, in Calabasas. After she hung up, I got a call from the same number—it’s an Asian doctor, who says, ‘Wow, this is surreal, Britney just borrowed my phone.’ Five years ago, she borrowed a phone at the gym and just made off with it.
Lutfi further revealed that the last time he saw Britney Spears was in 2015. And back then, the last time they spent together was quite concerning for him, as he said:
My opinion is that this conservatorship has drastically affected her mind-set. They made her a zombie. That is not the same girl.
Moreover, another friend of Spears, Jacqueline Butcher, also revealed some horrifying stories of abuse to Farrow. She revealed that Spears can’t even contact her own legal team and any attempts are frustrated by her father Jamie. If he ever found out about Spears having any contraband phones, he’d have them confiscated. Furthermore, after her mental health crisis in 2008, Spears was also displeased by the custody agreement of her sons Preston and Jayden with ex-husband Kevin Federline.
How the custody agreement and conservatorship came into existence
Moreover, Ronan Farrow also outlined how the dubious agreement over the childrens’ custody came into being. He and Tolentino wrote:
Early in January, 2008, as a visit with her boys came to an end, Spears began to cry. ‘I just want to keep my kids with me,’ she said. ‘Why do they have to go?’ A bodyguard had arrived to take the kids back to Federline’s house. Every extra minute with them put her in violation of the custody agreement: she could either give up the kids at that moment or give up the right to see them later. Eventually, she handed Preston to the bodyguard, but she went into a bathroom with Jayden and refused to come out…Federline’s lawyer called the police and the fire department, which in turn called an ambulance.
Afterward, the custody case moved at “remarkable speed” as Butcher told Farrow how swiftly they took the kids away from Britney Spears and gave birth to her highly oppressive conservatorship:
The whole process was maybe ten minutes. No one testified. No questions were asked… A conservatorship was granted without ever talking to her. And, whatever they claim about any input she had behind the scenes, how could you have assessed her then? Shouldn’t you wait a week, then interview her? She never had a chance.
The conservatorship hearings took place without Spears’ presence, according to Butcher, while she was still in the UCLA Medical Center. And that was against the law, as the conservatee should be given a five-day notice before the conservatorship becomes effective unless the judge decides they could suffer “immediate and substantial harm”.
After Britney Spears’ court hearing
After Spears shredded her conservatorship apart in court, her father’s lawyers immediately tried to discredit her statement. They undermined its validity, but Spears’ own legal team was expecting that to happen in future hearings as well. Moreover, Farrow and Tolentino asked disability rights lawyers among other experts about the situation Britney Spears finds herself in. They said:
Should Britney get out, just watch. The first mistake she makes, fingers will wag, and people will say this would never have happened if she were under guardianship.
So, as Farrow wrote, the situation is such that:
If a conservatee functions well under conservatorship, it can be framed as proof of the arrangement’s necessity; if a conservatee struggles under conservatorship, the same conclusion can be drawn. And if a conservatee gets out, and stumbles into crisis or manipulation—a likelihood increased by time spent formally disempowered—this, too, might reinforce the argument for their prior legal restraints.
Despite the #FreeBritney movement and even with the possibility of Britney Spears being finally freed, it looks like she will have to live a very precarious life, always fearful of stumbling into problems again.