On Friday, Britney Spears and her legal team will appear in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom and demand that a judge set her free from an overbearing and highly restrictive conservatorship that has governed every move of her life since 2008. No one is opposing her request. Her court-appointed temporary conservator Jodi Montgomery, a California-licensed professional fiduciary, said that ending the conservatorship was in Britney’s best interest. Spears’s mother Lynne agreed.
Even her 69-year-old father Jamie, who had been at the helm of the conservatorship until he was suspended from his role in September 2021 — and by all accounts was ruling it with an iron fist since its inception — has asked the court for its termination.
Leading up to the hearing, the 39-year-old pop icon has been vocal on social media about her anxiety ahead of the hearing, which she says feels like a dream that might finally come true. She has also shared her anger over being robbed of the ability to live her life and has lashed out against her father, her mother, and her sister for their alleged complicity.
She posted on, then later deleted from, Instagram: “so thank you for exiting out of my life and finally allowing me to live mine !!!! Psssss do I know how mean I sound ??? Yes … I 100 billion percent I do 💯👍🏼🤷🏼♀️ !!!!”
Ahead of the hearing, here’s a refresher on how we got to this pivotal moment.
June 23: After 13 years of a consistent practice of sealing the courtroom during conservatorship hearings when certain matters were discussed, Britney addressed the court and asked that the courtroom be kept open to the media and the public.
At that hearing, she shocked the world when she alleged that she had been forced to go on tour; was put on lithium, which left her so substantially impaired that she couldn’t have a conversation, against her wishes; and was sent to a $60,000-a-month rehab program against her wishes after refusing to do a dance move. She also said she had an IUD forcibly implanted in her body and that her “so-called” team wouldn’t let her remove it.
“I just want my life back,” she said. “It’s been 13 years and it’s enough.”
July 6: Britney’s court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, who has represented her since the conservatorship’s inception, submits his resignation.
July 14: After initially trying to retain a lawyer in 2008 within days of the conservatorship being imposed on her, Britney was finally granted the right to hire her own attorney. She picked Mathew Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor with the Greenberg Traurig firm who has represented Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sean Penn, and Steven Spielberg and was known as a power litigator. Within hours of his appointment, Rosengart began requesting that Britney’s father be removed from the conservatorship.
July 22: Britney’s mother Lynne backed up her daughter’s request to remove her ex-husband from his role of managing Britney’s estate and finances. Lynne said that since the start of this now 13-year conservatorship, Jamie has maintained “absolute control over [Britney’s] money and her health-care decisions” and the relationship between Britney and her father has “dwindled to nothing but fear and hatred” due to Jamie’s behavior.
September 7: Instead of complying with Rosengart’s repeated requests for him to step down, Britney’s father filed a motion with the court asking for the entire conservatorship to be terminated.
Jamie said he made the decision after hearing Britney pleading to “let her have her life back.”
“As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” according to Jamie’s filing. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.”
Rosengart deemed Jamie’s move an attempt to rehabilitate his image and to impede Britney’s ability to investigate his conduct from 2008 onward.
September 22: Britney files her own request with the court demanding the expeditious end to her conservatorship.
September 24: The New York Times documentary Controlling Britney Spears aired on FX and Hulu, detailing new shocking allegations including the bombshell that Britney’s private communications, with her attorney as well as in her bedroom, were consistently recorded and reviewed.
September 28: Netflix airs its Britney vs Spears documentary that details how Britney reportedly tried unsuccessfully to hire an attorney in 2009 to advocate on her behalf. The documentary also alleged that Britney’s conservatorship was so restrictive that she needed to get permission to go out to dinner or even buy books for her children.
September 29: Judge Brenda Penny, after a contentious hearing, granted Britney’s repeated request to suspend her father from his role as conservator over her $60 million estate.
November 1: Britney’s father files court papers stating that “the mission has been successful and it is now time for Britney to retake control of her life.” Jamie’s court papers said, “Not tomorrow or next week, now. “