We’re at the one-week mark since Britney Spears’ internet-breaking statement in court, and it’s still unclear what the ultimate impact will be. On Tuesday afternoon, TMZ published, and then quickly deleted, a story claiming that Britney’s attorney had filed a petition to end the conservatorship. It appears that this was an unfortunate misfire, and despite Britney’s apparent desire for the conservatorship to be terminated, it doesn’t look like any formal paperwork has been filed yet.
So while we wait for any legal progress on the #FreeBritney frontier, all we can do is overanalyze the situation and come up with new theories about WTF went wrong here. Since Britney spoke last week, one of the biggest internet scapegoats has been her sister, Jamie Lynn Spears. While Jamie Lynn’s role in the conservatorship is less prominent than her parents’, many feel that she hasn’t done enough to support her sister, and that her continued silence signaled approval of the toxic situation.
On Monday, Jamie Lynn Spears finally spoke out on the situation in a series of videos posted to her Instagram story. She seemed frustrated by the negative attention she was receiving, and distanced herself from the particulars of Britney’s situation, saying “This situation does not affect me either way, because I am only her sister who’s only concerned about her happiness.” She specified that she’s “made a very conscious choice” to only participate in Britney’s life as her sister and aunt to her two sons, and said “I am not my family.” She added that she thinks Britney should be able to end the conservatorship if she wants to, but basically said she has nothing to do with the whole situation.
So like, okay, Jamie Lynn isn’t involved in the same way her parents or the attorneys are, but is she really that detached from the whole situation? Ehh, not exactly. Actually, legal documents show that Jamie Lynn was quietly added as a trustee for her sister in 2018. Seemingly, this means that if Britney passed away, it would be Jamie Lynn’s responsibility to make sure her money was placed in the trust designated to take care of her children.
That role makes sense, but some Britney fans have taken issue with Jamie Lynn’s claim that she has “nothing to gain” from Britney’s financial situation. Financial disbursement records posted by a fan account on Twitter show that Britney’s funds were used to pay for several of Jamie Lynn’s flights in just a two-month period in 2012, totaling around $2000. Jamie Lynn claimed on Instagram that she’s paid her own bills since she was 10, but apparently that doesn’t extend to seat upgrades on United flights. It’s impossible to know the exact nature of Jamie Lynn’s involvement in this whole situation, but people are skeptical of how she’s portraying her relationship with Britney.
So Jamie Lynn is serving mixed signals, but yesterday, both of Britney’s ex-husbands came out in support of Britney’s quest to end her conservatorship. Kevin Federline’s attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, shared a statement of support for Britney, saying she “has not been served well by the conservatorship and it’s not consistent with what she wants. I think that she should be able to challenge that. And if it’s what’s best for her, Kevin supports it.” K-Fed and Britney have a complicated history with each other, but Kevin isn’t the biggest fan of Britney’s father either—he still has a restraining order against Jamie stemming from an incident in 2019, when Jamie allegedly got into a physical altercation with his grandson, Sean Preston. Kaplan noted that when it comes to the kids, “the best thing would be for their mom to be healthy and happy. And if either of those things aren’t true, it doesn’t provide the best setting for custody to be exercised.” That lawyer-speak isn’t the most satisfying, but at the end of the day, K-Fed clearly wants Britney to be okay.
In other ex-husband news, Jason Alexander (the one from the 55-hour marriage) shared some passionate words with another fan account. He acknowledged that he’s “really just an outsider in all this,” but said that despite being forced to sign an NDA, he “cannot in good faith stay silent” about what he observed in his time with Britney. He wrote, “Even back in the day we all saw signs of Jamie’s greed. He had his daughter on a tight chain then just like he does now.”
Jason declined to share details, saying it’s not his story to tell, but said that if Britney decides to do an interview or write a book someday, “the things she reveals will be bone chilling to the core.” You just know Oprah is foaming at the mouth right now. But really, when the 55-hour ex who has been the butt of every joke for 17 years feels like he can’t stay silent, you know sh*t is really bad. Is Jason Alexander suddenly kind of iconic?
Aside from these people in her life, Britney Spears has received a massive outpouring of support in the last week, with celebrities like Cher, Mariah Carey, and Christina Aguilera calling for the end of the conservatorship. While the rest of the world is rooting for Britney, hopefully Brit’s attorney is hard at work on the paperwork to request termination of the conservatorship—how long does it take to fill out a form?
Images: Image Group LA / Contributor
If you, like many others, have not stopped thinking about Britney Spears since Framing Britney Spears came out, you may be eager to learn that there should be some very important updates in the conservatorship happening soon. On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported that Britney Spears will speak to the court about her conservatorship. A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge set a hearing for June 23 to allow Britney to talk about the “status of the conservatorship”, which may be one of the most significant updates since #FreeBritney began. Her lawyer, Samuel Ingham III, did not indicate what the pop star plans to say at the hearing, although TMZ is reporting she may declare that she wants her father out as her conservator.
That seems likely, as it’s not exactly a secret that Britney and her father don’t see eye to eye, especially when it comes to the conservatorship. In November 2020, Igham said during a hearing, “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” and warned, “She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.” He also said Britney is a “high-functioning conservatee” who has not spoken to her father “in a very long time.” (Jamie Spears’ attorney argued the reason Britney and Jamie haven’t spoken is because Ingham prevented it.)
Recently, Britney has been advocating for her father to be removed as her conservator. In March, she petitioned to remove Jamie from his role as conservator and replace him with Jodi Montgomery, the temporary conservator who took over when Jamie stepped down as conservator of Britney’s person due to health reasons in September 2019. (He remained co-conservator of her estate along with Bessemer Trust.) A judge denied the petition to remove Jamie but appointed Bessemer Trust as co-conservator, which has yet to actually take effect because the attorneys are still arguing over it.
Since the conservatorship came under renewed public scrutiny in 2019, Britney has remained largely silent on the matter, posting cryptic videos on her Instagram in smudged eyeliner and various crop tops, the color of which some fans believed to be a code signifying she needed help. In March 2021, Spears broke her silence regarding the Framing Britney Spears documentary, saying on Instagram that although she “didn’t watch the documentary”, she was “embarrassed by the light they put me in”. She said she “cried for two weeks.”
And what about Britney’s mom? In November 2020, Lynne Spears advocated for the end of the conservatorship, saying in a statement that her daughter’s relationship with her ex-husband had become “toxic” and that it was “time to start fresh.” But her motives might not be so pure, either. Earlier this week, Jamie Spears’s lawyers came for Lynne after she attempted to object to the firm’s $890,000 in attorney fees, writing in a court filing obtained by PEOPLE that she “not acting in the best interests” of Britney. The filing also states, “Despite having zero involvement in her daughter’s conservatorship until very recently, Lynne Spears is asserting claims as if she were a party directly involved in the litigation (which she is not).” Legal burn.
The response also accuses Lynne of taking advantage of Britney’s personal troubles: “Lynne Spears is the one who exploited her daughter’s pain and trauma for personal profit by publishing a book about the Conservatee.” The book in question is titled Through The Storm, and in it, Lynne reveals the age at which Britney lost her virginity and alleges the singer used cocaine shortly after.
In March, after Jamie’s role as conservator came under fire yet again after House Republicans called for a Congressional hearing on conservatorships, citing the #FreeBritney movement, an attorney for Jamie Spears said, “Any time Britney wants to end her conservatorship, she can ask her lawyer to file a petition to terminate it; she has always had this right, but in 13 years has never exercised it.” The attorney added, “Britney knows that her daddy loves her, and that he will be there for her whenever and if she needs him, just as he always has been — conservatorship or not.” True or not, I don’t want to hear the word “daddy” come out of a lawyer’s mouth—just not my kink.
Even though legal experts have argued that a conservatorship is highly unusual for someone as young and active as Britney, and disability rights advocates have pointed out that guardianships (such as a conservatorship) can be very harmful and lead to abuse, her father has consistently maintained that Britney reserves the right to petition the court to end the conservatorship at any time, and has chosen not to. Hopefully, after hearing from Britney herself, we will finally have answers and can (my brain: don’t say it, don’t say it)
leave Britney alone feel assured that she is making the decision she feels is best for her.
Images: DFree /Shutterstock.com
As a not-so-closeted Britney fan, I was more excited to watch The New York Times Presents, Framing Britney Spears than I was when I found out WFH meant I could wear the same unwashed sweatshirt and leggings every day. And I wasn’t disappointed. Framing Britney brought me facts about Britney’s career, conservatorship, struggles with the spotlight, and more, wrapped up in a tight hour and a half. It even briefly touched on her four-year relationship with Justin Timberlake, which immediately brought me mental flashbacks of obsessing over their denim-on-denim AMAs look. You know the one. The documentary, though, showed how Justin weaponized their relationship to launch his solo career, make headlines, and ultimately sell records. That was enough to send me into the deep dark interwebs to dig up everything I could about this guy.
Peeling back the layers and piecing together his history revealed a seriously disgusting picture, and a pattern of him exploiting female artists and taking advantage of the music industry’s sexist double standards for his own gain. I’m here today to expose more of Justin’s horrible behavior, so next time you want to cue up “SexyBack”, you’ll think twice.
The Early Days: Britney & Justin Become The “It” Couple
Britney and Justin met in 1993 when they were on Mickey Mouse Club alongside Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling. Justin went on to join *NSYNC and Britney went on to pursue her solo career, and they began touring together in 1998. In 1999 they began dating while still on tour, with their relationship ending in March 2002.
At the time, Britney was redefining what it meant to be a female pop star. Between 1999 and 2000 alone was when “… Baby One More Time” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Britney appeared as herself on Sabrina The Teenage Witch, hosted SNL, and sold 20 million copies of “Oops!… I Did It Again”. Side note: she was 18 at the time… which makes me think, all I was doing at 18 was Googling “where to buy fairy lights” and discovering there is such a thing as too much Valencia filter.
*NSYNC, despite being what I call the ugly annoying cousin of the Backstreet Boys, was doing well at the time—the group’s self-titled album debuted at #82 on the Billboard 200, and in October 1998, peaked at #2 on the charts, spending 30 weeks total in the top 10. (The albums it peaked behind? Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill and—wait for it—Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time.) But let’s be honest: Justin wasn’t a solo superstar before he dated Britney—his media coverage was primarily grouped in with all of *NSYNC. Once he and Britney started dating, though, he started to get more media coverage and solo opportunities, including interviewing Britney at the 2000 Grammys and being invited to join her at her 2002 SNL appearance (which surely wouldn’t have happened if they weren’t together).
During their time together, there were quiet (and never proven) tabloid rumors floating around that Justin had potentially cheated on Britney with groupies or backup dancers. Although nothing was proven, he’d go on to be accused of cheating on his ex-girlfriend Cameron Diaz and his now-wife Jessica Biel, and I like to say that where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.
2002: Justin Villainizes Britney For Media Attention
In March 2002, rumors surfaced that Britney cheated on Justin with their mutual choreographer, which led to their breakup. Like any well-trained money-hungry social climber, Justin took every opportunity after that their breakup to talk sh*t about Britney, spin the narrative to make him look like the victim, and profit off the exploitation of their relationship. Wasting no time to even collect his blonde dip dye from Britney’s, Justin ran off and wrote “Cry Me A River” in two hours.
And if you’ve been living your life thinking “Cry Me A River” is just a catchy tune,
wake tf up let me explain the significance: it’s not just about Britney cheating on Justin. Justin also cast a Britney lookalike in the music video to pair with the lyrics of infidelity, just so there was no room for a nuanced interpretation. (And I don’t have the time to get into it, but the way he went about telling Britney about the lookalike was also f*cked up.)
Imagine—just imagine—the frenzy the video sent magazines and gossip sites into, because it was essentially Justin confirming that she cheated. And that benefited Justin how? One, airtime, headlines, etc. and two, his record sales surely benefited from the publicity. For context, his first solo record, “Like I Love You”, was released in August 2002 and peaked at 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. But, when “Cry Me A River” and his album Justified were released in November 2002, the media heavily speculated it was about Britney, which got his name in the press. Justified sold over three million copies in the U.S., while “Cry Me River” peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
Whether they were true or not, Justin milked the cheating rumors and earned himself a victim narrative in the headlines, most famously in a 2002 interview with Barbara Walters. In the interview, Barbara gave him an opportunity to clarify the public impression that Britney was at fault for the breakup, and while he didn’t directly agree, he also didn’t deny it. He also chose to perpetuate the victim narrative, getting his Mom to speak about how heartbroken and shattered he was over the breakup. Personally, I find it hilariously hypocritical that Justin catapulted his career by vilifying Britney when he, himself, has gone on to (reportedly) cheat on his wife and the mother of his children. Talk about what goes around comes around…
And despite Britney publicly saying she wanted to save herself until marriage (the media’s fixation on which was a whole other sexist can of worms we don’t need to open right now), Justin shattered that image for her by proudly bragging that they’d had sex and alluding to it in that same Barbara Walters interview. He also notably admitted to having oral sex with Britney on New York’s Hot 97 radio station, where he said “I did it. I’m dirty.”
Talk about a double standard.
2003-2016: Justin Continues To Profit From Britney’s Name
Apparently, Justin’s PR strategy was to talk sh*t, throw shade, and continue to milk the “poor me” storyline, because that’s exactly what he did way past their breakup.
In 2006, Justin told GQ, “I felt like had a couple of opportunities to just sort of stick up for me, and she didn’t. Which is fine. But at that time, you know, I fought back, and that’s the way I fought back. I used my mind. I came up with a song.” Then, at the 2008 Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, he alluded to Britney being a Madonna wannabe, followed by allegedly calling her a “bitch” at a 2013 Super Bowl party. And then, over a decade after they split, Justin did an interview with Vanity Fair Italia where he cited that the suffering and pain from his breakup with Britney helped him write hits like “Cry Me A River”.
Beyond bringing her up in interviews, Justin made headlines in 2006 because the media speculated that his hit “What Goes Around… Comes Around” was also about Britney… basically saying Britney’s divorce from Kevin Federline was karma for her cheating on Justin. Maybe he should have, ya know, let it go??
Oh Wait, He’s Caused Other Women To Suffer, Too?
Remember a little scandal called Nipplegate that basically got Janet Jackson blacklisted from the music industry? If you need a refresher, it was a tragic incident when Justin ripped part of Janet’s costume off during the live 2004 Super Bowl Halftime show, revealing her breast on national TV.
Even though Justin was the one who visibly tore Janet’s top, Janet’s the one who suffered when her music and music videos were banned from all Viacom subsidiaries including MTV, and when she was pressured not to attend the 2006 Grammys despite originally being invited to speak. People called Justin “the Teflon man”, because he left the scandal virtually unscathed—his music wasn’t blacklisted from stations, he attended the Grammys as planned, and he was even invited back to the Super Bowl to perform in 2018. He did acknowledge in 2006 that “America is harsher on women” and told MTV, “If there was something that I could have done in her defense…I would have.” I can think of at least a few things he could have done, but okay.
Justin sort of vaguely apologized for the 2004 incident ahead of his 2018 Super Bowl performance. He also radio host Zane Lowe after Lowe directly suggested that he and Janet had made peace with what happened in 2004, “absolutely, and I don’t know that a lot of people know that. I don’t think it’s my job to do that because you value the relationships you do have with people.” K.
There have been other instances in which Justin has come under fire. In 2018, he and his wife Jessica Biel attended the Golden Globes—to which, if you’ll recall, invitees wore black in solidarity with #TimesUp. Justin and Jessica both wore black (fine) but before the event, in a tweet that has still not been deleted, Justin posted a picture of himself and Jessica, writing, “Here we come!! And DAMN, my wife is hot! #TIMESUP #whywewearblack”. It’s so tone-deaf it almost feels like satire. Almost. On top of that, Timberlake posted the #TIMESUP hashtag while at the same time starring in a Woody Allen movie.
The saying means, for example, you can’t support #TIMESUP and praise sexual predators at the same time. You can’t retain your credibility as an activist (i.e. – retain the cake) and, at the same time, praise a sexual predator (i.e. – eating the cake).
— Dylan Farrow (@RealDylanFarrow) January 23, 2018
2021: Justin Faces Backlash After Framing Britney Spears’ Release
Fast forward to 2021, and The New York Times brought us Framing Britney Spears, which lifted the veil on the calculated narrative Justin crafted about his relationship with Britney. And people are PISSED, demanding Justin say sorry.
Personally, I predict that, because of the public pressure, Justin will release a very scripted PR statement on Instagram, similar to the one he posted when the Jessica Biel cheating rumors were going around. Following that I assume he’ll lay low, spend some time with his wife and kids, and break back onto the scene in late 2021 or early 2022 to announce that he’s releasing music or starring in some movie.
That said… I hope I’m wrong with that prediction. I hope he sincerely admits to and apologizes for weaponizing his privilege and abusing sexist double standards (among other things), and maybe even calls the women to personally say sorry.
And even more than that, I hope this transcends the Justin and Britney of it all, by influencing the industry to stop promoting men at the expense of women, and to say enough is enough when it comes to exploiting double standards.
UPDATE: In response to growing calls to apologize, Justin finally released an apology to Britney and Janet Jackson on his Instagram on Friday.
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Images: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage via Getty Images; RealDylanFarrow / Twitter
Leftover Trump rage and nowhere to put it? Let’s all collectively aim it towards the most vicious Disney villain of them all, Jamie Spears, while we decompress after devouring the latest episode of The New York Times Presents, Framing Britney Spears.
Director Samantha Stark does an exceptional job recalling the tabloid-induced trauma and public shaming Britney endured at the expense of our own entertainment. Copious footage of inappropriate interviews, dangerous paparazzi attacks, and what can only be described as a very f*cked up round of Family Feud are enough to leave you wondering, where were Jamie, Lynne, and Jamie Lynn? But, with the complex history of Britney’s infamous “breakdown,” it’s easy to lose track of her father: hillbilly Voldemort, Jamie Spears. Before digesting FX’s new documentary, we pulled out an old copy of MTV’s 2008 Britney: For the Record and shuddered at the way in which Jamie’s behavior is repeatedly laughed off. Perhaps the most telling is when Jamie dresses up as a self-described “monster clown” and terrorizes Britney’s toddlers in a demonic Halloween mask while howling with laughter at their scream-cries. Flash forward to 2019, when Kevin Federline is granted a restraining order against Jamie on behalf of their son, Preston. At one point, Britney even looks to the camera and asks, “I don’t understand how he can be such an asshole and then be so nice.” Siri, what is emotional abuse?
Clearly, we were more than a little disappointed in the gentle treatment Jamie received by the objective professionals at The New York Times. Well, we have no intention of being “professional” or “objective.” Instead, we shall simultaneously timeline and decode Britney’s songs in an effort to document why her dad (a Cancer with a God complex) is the actual worst. So here is our oughts-burned CD (hold the JT tracks) tentatively titled: It’s Jamie, bastard.
Track 1: My Prerogative
“I don’t need permission / make my own decisions / that’s my prerogative”
July 26, 2004: Britney’s estimated $100-million fortune is placed into a SJB Revocable Trust (Case # BP109096) and she is listed as the sole Trustee. Oops…things are looking good!
Track 2: Heaven on Earth
“Don’t know what I’d do if I ever lose you / look at you and what I see is heaven on earth”
Feb. 21, 2007: After Britney is admitted to rehab, Kevin Federline is granted an emergency custody hearing. It’s later confirmed in a 2012 testimony by Jamie’s own attorney that Britney’s father “convinced Federline to obtain sole legal custody of their two young children”. Conspiring with her ex so that he would be prepared to file for custody the day after she enters rehab is even more repulsive than K-Fed’s bejeweled Ed Hardy everything. Heartbreakingly, in Britney: For The Record, Brit explains, “that would be heaven for me: to have my two kids…on an island and no one could get to us.”
Track 3: Amnesia
“I forgot my name / I forgot my telephone number / If he wanna see me / He don’t even know it”
Jan. 4, 2008: Britney is placed on an involuntary psychiatric 5150 hold when the one and only Dr. Phil is called to her hospital room. If inviting a TV doctor (unless there’s a “Mc” in front of their name) to come and exploit your daughter’s alleged psychiatric breakdown isn’t the work of actual Satan, we don’t know what is.
Track 4 : Kill the Lights
“Eff me over / your exposure / not the best / you want me bad / I want you out”
February 1, 2008: While Britney is placed on a second 5150, Jamie gets his wish and the court places Brit under a temporary conservatorship citing “dementia.” For real. Three days later, Britney’s request to choose her own lawyer is denied as well as her “very strong desire” for her alcoholic father not to be named the conservator of her estate. It’s our personal belief that no one knows the character of a man like his daughter. Despite this, the court later rules that Britney’s conservatorship is permanent, costing Britney over $2.7M in legal fees alone. Lynne Spears then releases her memoir Through The Storm detailing how Jamie perfectly conceived and executed the conservatorship.
Track 5: Out from Under
“When I’m out from under /I don’t wanna feel the pain / what good would it do me now/ I’ll get it all figured out / when I’m out from under / so let me go / just let me fly away”
Jan. 21, 2009: Britney leaves a voicemail to lawyer Jon Eardley in which she claims, “my father has threatened me several times, you know, he’ll take my children away.” Eardley explains Britney’s civil rights are being violated and later testifies that there have “been significant verbal attacks by her live-in father” and Eardley “is concerned for the emotional and physical safety of Britney.”
Track 6: Womanizer
“Look at you gettin’ more than just a re-up / baby, you got all the puppets with their strings up”
March 3, 2009: Just three months after being restrained in the hospital, Circus Starring Britney Spears premieres. Britney completes 97 shows in nine months while also being legally incapable of providing for her own basic personal and financial needs.
Track 7: Work Bitch
“Here comes the smasher / here comes the master / here comes the big beat /big beat disaster”
May 31, 2013: Jamie Spears embarrassingly registers as President, Secretary, and Director of Atara Tours, Inc. Luckily for Jamie, the “Britney: Piece Of Me” residency grosses over $137,695,392. How much of that do we think is the secretary’s cut? Soon enough, another album and lucrative two-year residency is secured, supplemented by a contractual agreement with Caesar’s Entertainment that the conservatorship “must remain in place.”
Track 8: Liar
“Left, right, nowhere to turn / I’m left in the ash from the bridges you burned…it’s too late for apologies / nothing you can offer me now”
May 2, 2014: Jamie seeks additional compensation from Britney’s activities in addition to the $16,000/month allowance and the $2,000/month for rent he already receives. Confusingly, two years later, Money Nation reports that Britney has earned over $670M while conservatorship filings suggest she is only worth $46M. Either there’s some shady shiz going on and/or the Mountain DewLittle in charge is almost as bad as Trump at maintaining profit.
Track 9: Hold on Tight
“So wicked / In the way he moves / don’t miss it / do not be a fool”
Mar. 4, 2019: Lawyer Andrew Wallet asks to resign immediately as co-conservator of Britney’s estate. Wallet cites that, “substantial detriment, irreparable harm and immediate danger will result to the conservatee” if he is not removed. The next day, Wallet’s resignation is granted by the court, leaving Jamie as the sole conservator.
Track 10: Just Like Me
“Before I think / I start to run / but you can’t even face me / know exactly what you’ve done”
Apr. 3, 2019: One month into Jamie’s lone reign, Britney checks into a mental health facility to “help her cope with her father’s illness.” Do we think Britney was admitted to process the grief of her father’s colon that ruptured five months prior? Or, has history taught us that Jamie uses facilities as a way to silence his daughter when she begins to seek independence? Not-so-shockingly, on April 16, Britney’s Gram (a popular podcast doing the Lord’s work) releases an anonymous voicemail confirming that Britney’s hospitalization was forced.
Bonus Track: Don’t Cry
“If they told me it’s over / I wouldn’t believe it”
November 10, 2020: After months of hearings, the judge finally rules on Britney’s request to appoint Bessemer Trust Company but denies the supplemental request to suspend her father, leaving Jamie still in control of Britney’s finances.
As of today, according to LA Court’s schedule for Case# BP108870 (our first tattoo?), four status hearings are scheduled. We can’t help but hope there will soon be independence for Britney and justice against her Queen B-keeper father. Until then, we remain grateful for documentarians like Samantha Stark who so poignantly remind us of Britney’s unimaginable strength. Unfortunately, 13 years later, Britney’s words in MTV’s 2008 documentary still ring true: “I’m kind of stuck in this place. And it’s like, how do you deal? You know? And you just cope. And that’s what I do. I just cope with it. Every day.”
Images: Chris Farina/Corbis via Getty Images
As you probably know by now, the legal battle over Britney Spears’ conservatorship seems to be never-ending, and every few months, we get new updates on the latest developments in this arrangement that has now lasted over a decade. The back-and-forth legal drama can be exceedingly difficult to understand, but overall, it’s clear that Britney is unhappy with the current situation.
This summer, there was a slew of updates. Britney requested that her temporary conservator, Jodi Montgomery, be made permanent, rather than her father Jamie being reinstated. (Due to health reasons, Jamie stepped down as her personal conservator in 2019, but has remained the conservator of her estate.) Jamie pushed back on this, requesting that he and his former partner Andrew Wallet (who stepped down in March 2019) be returned to their former positions. While Britney said she is fine with the conservatorship being extended until 2021, she and her father disagreed on whether the conservatorship proceedings should be made public, with Britney’s team opposing a motion to seal court documents. And around the same time, we also found out for the first time that Britney’s mother and sister are involved in her financial trust. A lot going on, to say the least, but it didn’t end there.
Since that tumultuous period in August, things have been fairly quiet in regard to Britney’s case, until this week. On Tuesday, Britney’s attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, spoke on her behalf in a court hearing, telling the judge, “my client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” adding that Britney made it clear “she will not perform as long as her father is in charge of her career.” Capping off his statement in a way that really got the fans’ attention, Ingham said “we are really at a crossroads.” The good news? Now I know I’m going to rewatch Crossroads later. The bad news? Literally everything else.
Of course, it’s disappointing for Britney fans to hear that she likely won’t be getting back to music any time soon, but the revelation that she is afraid of her father is alarming. Ingham also added that Britney has not spoken to her father in “a long time.” Britney’s mother Lynne, who is divorced from Jamie, also issued a statement through her attorney, calling Britney and Jamie’s relationship “toxic” (no pun intended, I assume), and saying “it has broken Lynne’s heart that it has come to this point.”
Jamie Spears’ attorney fought back at these claims, blaming the lack of communication on Britney’s attorney, and arguing that there is not “a shred of evidence to support my client’s suspension.” For the time being, Judge Brenda Penny seemed to agree, declining the request to suspend Jamie Spears from his role in the conservatorship. She did, however, agree to “hear further arguments for his suspension or removal,” which Britney’s attorney said he would provide. Basically, this fight isn’t over yet.
But despite Jamie Spears remaining in his role in the conservatorship, there was one silver lining in the judge’s rulings this week. Previously, Britney had requested that corporate fiduciary Bessemer Trust be named a co-conservator in her finances, and that request was approved this week. For now, they’ll have to try to cooperate with Britney’s father, but that may be changing depending on the outcome of the additional upcoming hearings, the first of which has been scheduled for December 16.
Meanwhile, after a brief hiatus, Britney has been back on Instagram lately, posting more of her trademark chaotic content. She resurfaced last week with a video, in which she assured her fans that she’s “the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.” Good for Britney; that makes one of us!
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Since then, she’s posted several times, including a video of her dancing, some inspirational messages, and a minute-long clip of her posing with a flower. Whatever Britney is going through in court right now, at least her social media is as delightfully strange as ever.
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Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com; britneyspears / Instagram
Even though Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship since 2008, it wasn’t until the #FreeBritney movement gained traction in 2019 that it became publicly talked about. Since then, many fans have expressed concern about Britney’s treatment, and it appears we’re finally getting some clarity on the situation, directly from Brit. Last week, we broke down numerous new developments in her conservatorship situation, including her sister Jamie Lynn’s appointment as a trustee, and more importantly, Britney’s wish that her father not be involved in the future.
Last month, a judge extended Britney’s conservatorship for a further six months, leading the ACLU to offer her their services, but new paperwork this filed week suggests that she is actually fine with the current arrangement. On Monday, her attorney wrote that Britney’s conservatorship is “voluntary,” and that she “wishes to exercise her right to nominate a conservator of the estate.” Last month’s court filings showed that Britney was “strongly opposed” to her father returning to his previous role as her conservator, which he vacated in 2019 for health reasons. While Britney’s father controlled her finances for more than a decade, it was recently reported that she wished for a “qualified corporate fiduciary to fill that role,” and in this week’s filing, she officially requested that Bessemer Trust Company, N.A. be appointed her new conservator. Bessemer Trust is a worldwide financial management company that handles over a hundred billion dollars with thousands of clients.
Along with the question of Jamie Spears’ future involvement in the conservatorship, Britney and her father also disagree on whether or not these proceedings should be public. Jamie Spears recently filed a motion to seal court documents pertaining to the case, but Britney’s team opposed this motion. In a filing, they wrote “Britney herself is vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret.”
Last month, Britney’s father spoke to The New York Post, calling the #FreeBritney movement “a joke,” saying that “these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything.” He also hit back at accusations that he’s stolen or mismanaged his daughter’s money, claiming that he has to “report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year.” Last April, as #FreeBritney became a trending topic, Britney spoke out on her desire for privacy, telling her fans on Instagram “what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way.”
But a lot has happened in the last year, and in a rare public comment on the fan support for Britney, her attorney wrote on September 3rd that the #FreeBritney movement is “Far from being a conspiracy theory or a ‘joke’ as James reportedly told the media, in large part this scrutiny is a reasonable and even predictable result of James’ aggressive use of the sealing procedure over the years to minimize the amount of meaningful information made available to the public.”
While Jamie reiterated that the court proceedings should be “private,” Britney’s attorney wrote in the latest filing that Spears “welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans.” A final decision about Britney’s conservator going forward is expected this fall.
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Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com
In case you’ve been been focused on other things lately (can’t imagine what), there’s been a lot going on this summer with Britney Spears. We’ve come a long way from last spring, when it was rumored that she was being held against her will in a mental facility, or that she escaped said facility, but things with her conservatorship are as complicated as ever.
As you may know, Britney Spears has been under a wide-ranging conservatorship since 2008, with her father Jamie overseeing nearly every facet of her life as the conservator. For the last decade, Jamie Spears has had control over his daughter’s finances and medical care, as well as career decisions like tours and residencies, and even whether or not she is allowed to drive a car. It’s an extreme situation, and over the years, the conservatorship has been the source of many court decisions and legal battles.
For many years, Britney’s father served as co-conservator with attorney Andrew Wallet, who handled Britney’s finances, but after Wallet stepped down last year, Jamie Spears assumed total control. Later in 2019, Jamie temporarily stepped down from his role as Britney’s conservator, due to some life-threatening health issues—and Britney doesn’t want him back in charge. Since Jamie stepped down, Britney’s manager, Jodi Montgomery, has served as her conservator, and Britney is now seeking to make Jodi’s position permanent. In a court filing earlier this month, Spears’ team wrote that “Britney is strongly opposed to James’ return as conservator of her person.” (James = Jamie.) Britney is requesting that Jodi Montgomery remain in her role as conservator, along with a “qualified corporate fiduciary” to handle her financial matters. Britney’s attorney also noted that he expected Jamie would “aggressively” push back against these requests. He was right—Jamie Spears has already reportedly filed a request that he and Andrew Wallet be reinstated.
There are a lot of factors at play here, and the situation is made even more complicated by the bigger picture with Jamie Spears, who was investigated last year after allegations that he abused Britney’s son Sean. It’s still not entirely clear what truly happened, but both of Britney’s sons were granted a three-year restraining order barring Jamie from seeing them. Britney’s request to have her father permanently removed came last week, as a judge extended the conservatorship for six months, until early 2021. Reportedly, Britney’s attorneys now have a few weeks to file any official motions regarding the conservatorship, which would include permanently removing Jamie. Theoretically, that would be decided sometime in the fall, so stay tuned.
But that’s not all that’s happening with Britney’s conservatorship. Turns out, Britney’s mom and sister are both getting involved in her finances. Way back in 2004, Britney established a trust to protect her assets for herself and her sons, and to “hold and manage her material financial assets during her lifetime, and provide distribution of those assets upon her death.” The trust includes traditional assets like property and investments, but also “furniture and furnishings, clothing, jewelry, vehicles and accessories to vehicles, books, paintings, and other artwork, and other tangible articles of personal, domestic household, or recreational use or nature, together with any insurance on such property.” Basically, everything.
Since 2008, the trust has been controlled by Britney’s conservators (aka mostly her dad), but this week The Blast obtained new documents that revealed Britney’s sister, Jamie Lynn, was also made a trustee in 2018. Her appointment was signed off by Jamie Spears and Andrew Wallet, who were co-conservators at the time. According to the documents, the SJB Trust (Sean, Jayden, Britney) lists Britney as the sole beneficiary while she is alive, but if she were to die, the money would basically go straight to her kids. But Jamie apparently requested approval to create “blocked accounts,” which are accounts with specific limitations on who can access them, and how much they can withdraw.
So Jamie Lynn has secretly been involved in Britney’s financial arrangements for the past two years, and now Britney’s mom is finally getting in on the family affair. Last month, Lynne Spears filed a request to be named an “interested person” in Britney’s trust, which wouldn’t give her control over anything, but would ensure that she was notified of “all matters” involving the trust.
Like many of the developments in this story, it’s extremely difficult to figure out who has good intentions here. The family has rarely spoken publicly about the situation, but last month, Jamie Lynn Spears passionately spoke out on behalf of her sister on Instagram, defending Britney’s privacy and calling her a “strong, badass, unstoppable woman.” At the time, we didn’t know that Jamie Lynn was involved in Britney’s trust, but hopefully she’s actually helping.
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Similarly, we have no idea why Lynne Spears is choosing to get involved now. Whatever the reasons behind these recent moves, it seems like the next few months will be an important time, with Jamie’s ultimate involvement clearly a point of contention.
While the Spears family battles for control of Britney’s affairs, Britney has a powerful force in her corner: the ACLU. Last week, as the news about Britney requesting her father’s removal broke, the ACLU tweeted an offer of support, saying that “People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights.”
People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights.
If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship, we are here to help her. https://t.co/uLRakw7c4C
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 19, 2020
What will happen in the next six months? There’s no way to know, but regardless, hopefully Britney is safe, happy, and healthy, and also, I would love some new music.
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Images: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com; commentsbycelebs / Instagram; ACLU / Twitter
If there’s only one thing this country can agree on right now, it’s that we’re all obsessed with Tiger King. Oh, that and stained sweatpants are officially business casual, so I guess we can agree on two things. Look at 2020 bringing us together! Now, there’s a lot to talk about with Tiger King. Obviously Carole Baskin fed her second husband to the tigers, even OJ agrees, and he’s hesitant to call anyone a murderer even
when he did it in the face of overwhelming evidence. And obviously, we could talk about the music videos, and the haircuts, and the throuple, and the murder-for-hire plot, but we’ve already done that. What I’d like to talk about today is Bhagavan “Doc” Antle. Yes, that sex-cult leading, Steve Martin in Baby Mama-looking motherf*cker that was actually born Kevin. The whole time I was watching Tiger King, I couldn’t believe that places like his existed and that there were so many psychos in America hoarding and breeding big cats. But it turns out, Doc Antle is super popular, and not just with regular people that are stupid enough to put their head inside a liger’s mouth. He’s popular with celebrities that are that stupid, too! So, without further ado, let’s take a look at all the celebrities that Doc Antle knows.
Call the police. pic.twitter.com/RYjUl8layu
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) March 30, 2020
By now you’ve surely seen this image floating around the internet. Doc Antle did indeed provide the animals for Britney’s epic 2001 VMAs “I’m a Slave 4 U” performance. Do we think that performance is what inspired Doc to get some sex slaves of his own? If that performance wasn’t convincing enough, I don’t know what would be.
You guys, BEYONCÉ has been to Doc Antle’s “safari” in Myrtle Beach. This woman, who does not let herself get photographed or filmed ANYWHERE without her consent, let someone take a picture of her with animals that have been kept in captivity their entire life for the sole purpose of making their owner a rich and famous man. Lol. Doc probably led that cub right to the gas chamber after it met Beyoncé, knowing it could die happy having met her.
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@loganpaul helping us spread the message….Save The Tiger, Save The World❗️🐯 The tiger stands as the last great sentinel of the forest, if we lose the tiger we will lose a piece of ourselves forever. But if we save the Tiger we could save the world, in order for the tiger to survive it needs clean clear skies, pristine lakes and rivers, wide open spaces, plentiful prey animals, and most importantly it needs you, people who care! Therefore if we save the Tiger, we save the world.
Well OF COURSE a problematic YouTuber would hit up a problematic zoo. I mean, when you film a dead body in a suicide forest and make jokes about it, everything else must seem harmless. He really is the best celebrity ambassador for the Myrtle Beach Safari. It’s like Jennifer Lawrence and Dior, Serena Williams and Nike, George Clooney and Nespresso, Logan Paul and the site of an alleged sex cult and tiger cub euthanizing. What a perfect match!
Look, I don’t pretend to know much about boxing. The only thing I’ll pay to view is the latest Jane Austen adaptation (what up, Emma!). But, apparently this dude is really famous, and must have seen that Mike Tyson had a tiger in The Hangover and thought it was a requirement.
Naomie is from Southern Charm on Bravo and if you’re not watching, you should be. Naomie is being dragged on the internet for hitting up the Myrtle Beach Safari (which is fair), but to give her some credit she did apologize and said she didn’t realize how much harm she was doing. That’s more than most of these celebs have said about it. Oh, and turns out the picture she’s getting shamed for is in Thailand (still not cool). If you want to see the one from the Myrtle Beach Safari, it’s here.
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💰1,000,000🏆 💥WINNER💥@marquisegoodwin with @kodyantle and I and tiger Man Durg. Congratulations on the win ✌🏻❤️ Marquise Goodwin pursued his Olympic dream three years ago. On Saturday, the 49ers wide receiver was celebrating winning a different kind of gold. Goodwin defeated Panthers defensive back Donte Jackson — and earned the $1 million prize — in the final of the inaugural 40 Yards of Gold pay-per-view event in Sunrise, Fla. Goodwin edged Jackson at the tape by five one-hundredths of a second❗️🎥 @nickb_photos
Marquise Goodwin plays for the San Francisco 49ers and even competed in the long jump in the 2012 Olympics. That’s cool Marquise, but I don’t think even you could jump far enough if that tiger decided he had an insatiable taste for human flesh. On Marquise’s own Instagram account he posted a picture with his wife and the tiger, but since he posted it after the show came out, which means he clearly doesn’t care that he participated in animal abuse, I’m showing you guys the one of him in the water with two freaks. Enjoy!
Drew Barrymore & Annie Leibowitz
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Beauty and the Beast. Photo series we did with @drewbarrymore with photographer extraordinaire @AnnieLeibowitz and our lovely lion Aslan for @voguemagazine Challenges Humans are pushing African lions out of their habitats. This cat’s populations are steadily decreasing in the wild. In just two decades, Africa’s population has decreased 43 percent and it is estimated that as few as 23,000 remain. One of the main causes is the alarming rate at which they are losing their habitats due to expanding human populations and the resulting growth of agriculture, settlements, and roads. Human-wildlife conflict is also a major threat to lions. Due to habitat loss, lions are being forced into closer quarters with humans. This, coupled with decrease in their natural prey, causes them to attack livestock. In turn, farmers oftentimes retaliate and kill these majestic big cats. They are hunted by humans. Lions are being killed in rituals of bravery, as hunting trophies, and for their perceived medicinal and magical powers. #savethelionsaveafrica
I feel a little bad for the celebrities that worked with Doc Antle and his animals, because they most likely didn’t have a choice in the matter. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to feature them here. Hi Drew! This was bad! But Annie, you probably hired him. FOR SHAME. At least you got that money shot though, right?
Even celebrity chefs are not immune to the charms of a baby chimp, it seems. They may be cute, Bobby, but they can still rip your face off. And you need that face for tasting the menu at Bobby’s Burger Palace! I’ll only get one if it has your stamp of approval. Be more careful.
Rory from ‘Single Parents’
Poppy would never take Rory here! But Angie totally would, without approval. If you know, you know.
None of this was a good idea, Hayden, but especially not the part where you put the chimp’s ear in your mouth. I’m gonna need you to take a time out and think about what you did.
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#tbt to one of my many appearances on the @tonightshow_net with Jay Leno @_the_real_jay_leno_ and @kate.winslet.official on the show with some tigers and a giant liger 2002ish. . . . . . . . . . #AtMyrtleBeachSafari for the support of the #RareSpeciesFund #WildLivesMatter #TouchTheWildSaveTheWild #tiger #tigercub #savethetigersavetheworld
We all know about this one because we did see Doc rewatching this footage on Tiger King. And look, I’m not going to drag Kate Winslet into this because it’s not like she gets to choose who is on Leno the same night as she is, but also she did marry a man who legally changed his name to Ned Rocknroll, so her judgment is skewed at best. So maybe she is cool with animal captivity. As long as those tigers have a cool name!
This list of celebrities is actually only a small snapshot of all the ones that have known and worked with Doc Antle through the years, I just thought a list of 30 people might get tedious. I beg of you to go through his Instagram, which is a treasure trove of information and atrocities. Enjoy!
Images: Netflix; evanrosskatz/Twitter; myrtlebeachsafari (3), docantle (6), commentsbybravo/Instagram