In a now deleted post on Instagram from Monday 28 March, Britney Spears continued to speak out against those who have wronged her in the past. This time, the post seemed to slam mother Lynne and evil sister Jamie Lynn along with Spears’ infamous ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake.
On Monday night, the post included video footage of Spears dancing to Dusty Springfield’s ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’, donning a polka dot dress. The singer detailed in the post that she was called by Jesus to speak out against those who had “betrayed her the past two decades.”
As you can imagine, fans managed to nab screenshots of the caption where the 40-year-old popstar also proclaimed she was told that her ex “did the same thing” as her family—he used her.
Spurred on by the comment that said ex “served with his first album using your name and claiming you did him dirty,” fans took note that the mystery ex in question is probably Timberlake. His hit album Justified featured the smash single diss track to Spears ‘Cry Me a River’—which he allegedly wrote just two hours after their split.
The song, which peaked at number two on Official Charts, featured lyrics such as “But you didn’t know all the ways I loved you, no. So you took a chance and made other plans,” and “You don’t have to say what you did. I already know. I found out from him.” It’s hard to not assume Spears to be the heartbreaker from his side of the story.
The two dated from 1999 to 2002 after meeting on the set of The Mickey Mouse Club as youngsters. The split, however, was heavily publicised and played an important part in Spears’ fall from grace as cheating rumours soon circulated on her end as the reason for the couple’s demise. In the following years, the ex-NSYNC singer’s solo career skyrocketed, with a slew of songs that painted Spears as the player. The ‘Toxic’ singer was subsequently painted as the villain of the story, and the tragic backstory behind Timberlake’s broken-hearted ballads. A Spears lookalike was even used for the ‘Cry Me a River’ music video.
Reaching new levels of stardom as Hollywood’s IT boy, Timberlake went on to become a rom con icon, while Spears was still held prisoner by the constraints of her conservatorship.
Hollywood Life noted that in Hindsight, Timberlake’s 2018 autobiography, the R&B singer opened up about writing ‘Cry Me a River’. “The feelings I had were so strong that I had to write it, and I translated my feelings into a form where people could listen and, hopefully, relate to it,” he wrote in the memoir. “People heard me and they understood it because we’ve all been there.”
In February 2021, Timberlake apologised to both Spears and Janet Jackson—whose scandal is a whole other ordeal. About time too, since the apology takes place almost two decades after it was due. Maybe the New York Times’ documentary Framing Britney Spears, released on Netflix that same month, gave him the extra push he needed…
Taking a stand against her mother, Spears began the same post with “Dear child… your mom had a serving with her book at the exact time when you needed her most… all for WHAT? FAME and ATTENTION!”
The ex-Disney star seemed to be referring to her mother’s 2008 memoir Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World published soon after her daughter’s public breakdown following the break up with Kevin Federline.
Amid her public crusade, the scathing Instagram post also fired shots at her younger sister Jamie Lynn. Spears wrote in the post: “Then your blood, [during] one of the hardest times in your life, guess what your sister does[?] A book too… All for what?” The aptly dubbed ‘Princess of Pop’ took issue with Lynn’s “betrayal” as she also released her own book, Things I Should Have Said, which mentions the music icon more than 300 times.
“Knowing doing a book is the last thing you would ever do… well because you ran away from drama and created a dream world for yourself… that’s why artists play characters to escape!” Spears continued.
The post stands as a response to all the harm she fell victim to under years of a restraining conservatorship and countless public slammings. I think we could all do with “a life supply of McDonald’s french fries” too, after that.
Britney Spears needs no introduction—from the Mickey Mouse Club to her recent choreography videos on her Instagram account, it’s safe to say that Spears has lived her whole life in the spotlight, which can usually come with more negatives than positives. On Tuesday 14 July, @DietPrada posted an Instagram post about Spears’ conservatorship and revealed that the pop singer hasn’t legally controlled her life and fortune in 12 years. What is the conservatorship about and is the #FreeBritney movement founded on something real?
Britney Spears’ conservatorship is a legal guardianship which is usually enacted for those incapable of making their own decisions. It was approved in 2008, after Spears had several infamous mental breakdowns. This arrangement means that her financial assets, estate and some other personal assets are under the control of her father and a lawyer. Even though the conservatorship was supposed to terminate this year, it was instead extended until the end of August for now.
Technically, the conservatorship means that Britney Spears hasn’t legally controlled her life or fortune for the past 12 years. Understandably, it has been a very controversial topic among fans, who constantly populate the #FreeBritney hashtags on Twitter and Instagram after a fan site originally began the #FreeBritney campaign in 2009 as a response to the conservatorship.
Some people are persuaded that the singer is being manipulated and entirely controlled by her father and her team, and Diet Prada went as far as to analyse Spears’ lyrics, proving somehow that her’ albums are cries for help. Even celebrities like Miley Cyrus have publicly expressed concern for Spears. While this possibility could definitely be real, it is important for people to look at the entirety of the story.
On the one hand, the #FreeBritney movement is convinced that Spears has been restrained by this conservatorship for years. On the other hand, those close to Spears have said several times over the years that the conservatorship is meant to help the star and explained that Spears is still involved in business decisions. The problem here is that no one knows the absolute truth yet, and in the meantime, videos and pictures shared by the star are not reassuring anyone.
A conservatorship is just another term used to describe a legal guardianship, which is typically granted to someone who is incapable of making decisions, such as people with mental disabilities or dementia—in other words, it’s an extra help highly needed in some cases. But in this situation, law experts told the Los Angeles Times that a conservatorship was “unusual for someone as young and productive as Spears.”
As most people know, in the late 2000s, Spears had several highly publicised mental breakdowns. During this time, she famously shaved her head, was spotted driving her SUV with her son Sean not strapped in a car seat but instead seated on her lap, and was seen hitting a photographer’s car with an umbrella. The list goes on. Following these incidents, Spears went to rehab many times and was committed to a psychiatric hospital twice.
This period led to Spears’ court-approved conservatorship, which was approved at the end of 2008 after her father, Jamie Spears, petitioned for an emergency “temporary conservatorship.” Jamie Spears was then granted oversight of his daughter’s health as well as her estate, which involves everything from negotiating business opportunities to restricting visitors. Attorney Andrew Wallet was also assigned to help manage her financial assets. In 2019, Jamie Spears requested to extend his daughter’s conservatorship to more than 10 states.
While the exact details of Spears’ conservatorship aren’t known, it has been confirmed that her financial decisions need to be documented in court reports. According to Business Insider, Spears’ most recent financial documents “showed that as of 2018, she had a net worth of $59 million. That year, she spent $400,000 on living expenses and $66,000 on household supplies. She also spent $1.1 million on her legal and conservator fees that year. Her father took home $128,000 of that.”
When presented by her family, the conservatorship is also said to protect her from toxic people. In 2009, Sam Lufti was accused of saying he was her former manager and being a bad influence during her mental breakdowns. Shortly after that, and again in 2019, Spears was granted a restraining order against Lufti.
In 2019, after remaining incredibly active in her career since her conservatorship was implemented, Spears checked into a mental health facility, which prompted the #FreeBritney supporters to express concern yet again. At the same time, Spears’ lawyer resigned as co-conservator without giving a reason for his resignation, which left Jamie Spears as the only conservator. In May 2019, during a status hearing, Spears allegedly asked the judge to consider ending the conservatorship, which was refused.
There seems to be even more to the story, with Spears’ mother apparently being involved in the #FreeBritney movement and the conservatory getting extended twice in 2020. And yet, things remain unclear. This prompts the question: where does the line lie between protecting someone—famous or not—their mental health and their family, and exploiting them? Was Spears lied to and set up, or has she simply always received the help and support she needs?