“We ain’t done”: What happens now Britney Spears is free
In a landmark decision, Britney Spears has been freed from her conservatorship after almost 14 years.
“Effective today, the conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is hereby terminated,” Judge Brenda Penny said after the hearing on Friday.
Ms Spears appeared at the hearing virtually, and later shared a clip of her fans celebrating outside the courthouse.
The decision comes two months after her father Jamie Spears stepped down as her conservator.View this post on Instagram
The singer’s lengthy legal battle began gaining traction on social media in 2020, with a group of fans called the #FreeBritney movement being behind most of the growing attention.
Outside of their full-time jobs, fans began investigating the details of Ms Spear’s conservatorship, looking for clues on her social media pages, examining court documents, and holding demonstrations outside court hearings and concerts to raise awareness of the situation.
Now that she’s free, some of her fans have begun teaming up with disability rights advocates to increase awareness of the estimated 1.3 million Americans living under conservatorships.
Speaking to a small gathering of the movement near the White House in October, disability rights campaigner and lawyer Jonathan Martinis called for the movement to expand beyond freeing Britney.
“We ain’t done,” he said. “And we ain’t going anywhere until Free Britney becomes Free the People.”
Jasmine Harris, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said Ms Spears would likely still be under the control of her conservator had she not been able to speak out in open court.
#FreeBritney protestors celebrate outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse following Friday’s hearing. Image: Getty Images
She also said the #FreeBritney movement has raised awareness about how these kinds of arrangements trap people with disabilities.
“This affects young people with disabilities across the country. And so this deserves our sustained attention,” she told The Guardian.
Judy Mark, the cofounder and president of Disability Voices United, which worked with the movement, agreed that Ms Spears’ freedom could be attributed to the movement.
“That never would have happened a year ago,” she said. “All of this changed the day Britney Spears got on the phone and spoke to the judge about how bad things are and the only way that happened is because of the #FreeBritney movement.”
Ms Mark said the fight for those still under conservatorships needed to happen, while people still remembered what happened to Britney.
“We realise this is a moment in time that we must take advantage of,” she said.
“The moment may not come again.”
Image: Getty Images