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
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
When most people say they’re outdoorsy, they mean that they enjoy going on hikes. When I say I’m outdoorsy, I mean that I like drinking on rooftops. Maybe that’s why I don’t get many Hinge messages? Oops. Participating in my favorite pastime is obviously easiest in the summer where I can knock back rosé outside and tan, but doing it in the winter is obviously more difficult. Thank god for indoor rooftop bars, where you can get all the same NYC views without freezing to death. Here are some of our favorite indoor rooftop bars to hit when it’s f*cking cold outside.
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Just add you, your girlfriends and some jean jackets. We’ve got drinks & views on deck 😉 Open late, til 4am! #CrownNYC at @50Bowery // pic: @hypebae . . . . #CrownNYC #infatuationnyc #thirstynyc #LESismore #lowereast #50bowery #elizabethstreet #bucketlistnyc #nycbucketlist #cocktail #rooftop #nycviews #todoinny #rooftopvibes
Gerber Group’s The Crown is located on the roof of one of the few gems Chinatown has to offer, Hotel 50 Bowery, and it’s one of the only places in the city where you can get unobstructed views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. That means double the Instagrams that you can queue up to post later on—what more could you ask for? Inside, there are plush couches (and a neon sign, because who doesn’t love a good neon sign?) and floor-to-ceiling windows so you can still capture your candids. The menu changes seasonally, but when I went over the summer, their fruity drinks and lobster roll were really f*cking good.
Fun fact: Hotel Chantelle, the Lower East Side classic, is not, in fact, a hotel! Makes sense. Like my Bat Mitzvah, the rooftop is Paris-themed, but unlike the social event of 2007, Hotel Chantelle doesn’t look like a 13-year-old-girl’s wet dream. But unless you’re going there specifically for French feels, the decor doesn’t really matter. It just looks like a cute, small rooftop bar, which is more than fine by me.
If you and your work “friends” are into happy hour, Hotel Chantelle is definitely the move because there’s rarely a line before 1am and the deals are legit. For instance, $8 for a cocktail and $42 for a pitcher. There are also $8 food specials like chicken meatballs and white truffle flatbread. (Also, fun fact, they also have a good brunch with even better drink deals.)
Broken Shaker is my favorite bar in New York. I know no one goes to a bar for the interior design, but this place has noticeably cool interior design. It was giving me Tahiti vibes in the best way possible, and the drinks were amazing. I actually went here on my birthday, and because
I wouldn’t shut the f*ck about it being my birthday we were so sweet to the other bar-goers, we managed to snag a cocktail table with two wicker peacock chairs and drink all damn night. The views were sick, the drinks were delicious, and the bartenders were really hot. What else could you want in a bar?
The Water Tower
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We love both views; when the city lights illuminate the dark sky and river at night 🌃, and when the Sun ☀️ shows us in the light how beautiful city we live in. The Water Tower is open from 2 pm on weekends. • • • • #thewatertower #williamsburg #hotspot #hotelrooftop #thewilliamsburghotel #cocktailbar #nycnightlife #nycnights #brooklyn #rooftopbar #nycviews #newyorklike
Williamsburg is usually not on my list of places I want to go, because hipsters with micro-tattoos and ironic top hats aren’t really my cup of tea, but The Williamsburg Hotel is my exception. It’s hands down the coolest hotel I’ve ever been to, and I will gladly stay here when I make more money and can afford it. The Water Tower is, you guessed it, on the roof and it definitely fits with the funky aesthetic of the hotel. Even though most rooftops have pretty decent views, The Water Tower’s view is truly unreal because you’re looking across the East River at all of the Manhattan apartments you can’t afford. I’ll drink to that.
Also, unlike other misleading names, The Water Tower is kind of a water tower. No, it never held water, but it’s a giant glass structure shaped like one. So the views are too legit to quit because they’re panoramic. It’s kind of mesmerizing being in there because it feels like you’re in a bubble floating above the street.
JIMMY at The James
Unlike a lot of rooftop bars, this place looks like it was designed for the winter. By that, I mean it’s really cozy and decorated kind of like a super chic ski chalet. I’m definitely into that and will probably be holed up there all weekend. No, you can’t go in the pool this time of year, but that’s why they designed the inside to make it so appealing. And the drinks all have cute/weird names like Grapes of Wrath, Catch Your Pikachu, and Legal in Vermont. I don’t know what those last two drink names mean, but whatever. The drinks are tasty and the atmosphere is really cozy, so if you don’t feel like drinking a cocktail with a lame name at your apartment, go here.
Images: The Crown at 50 Bowery; jimmyatthejames, thewatertowerbar, brokenshaker, hotelchantelle, thecrownnyc / Instagram
Back in April (feels like yesterday) news emerged that Britney Spears may have been held against her will in a mental facility, sparking what became the #FreeBritney movement. Reports said that Britney had been held in the facility for two months, and was put there by her father Jamie, who was her conservator. A conservator is someone who’s appointed by a judge to manage “the financial affairs and/or daily life of another due to physical or mental limitations, or old age.” (Yeah, I got that from Wikipedia, fight me.) Upon learning that Britney was being held in the facility supposedly against her will, many fans took to social media, demanding Jamie #FreeBritney. However, others argued that if she really is unable to care for herself, and we really don’t know because we’re just random fans who are not privy to her mental state, then we have no place clamoring for her freedom.
TMZ reported in April that Jamie did not have the ability to send Britney to a facility against her will, or control her medications. Some (Betches co-founder Sami) felt like that sounded like a technicality, and even if he couldn’t technically do those things, he could still exert enough control over her life to essentially control those things. Well, now we may not be able to sit here and debate any longer whether or not Britney’s conservatorship is in her best interests, because Jamie Spears got an injunction against some guy who was trying to talk sh*t about it. *Frantically erases any negative #FreeBritney articles*
So this guy, Anthony Elia, started a blog called the Absolute Britney. In the blog, Elia basically claimed Jamie Spears was manipulating Britney’s Insta to make her look more mentally ill and less able to care for herself than she actually is/was. He called Britney’s conservatorship a “human rights violation”, which feels a tiny bit overblown. Jamie Spears thought so too (well, if we’re being technical, he thought it was defamatory), and was able to convince a judge to order Elia to knock it off (which is the legal term, thank you).
In the lawsuit, the conservatorship said, “It is time for the conspiracy theories about Britney Spears’ well-being and the mob #FreeBritney movement to stop.”
Apparently, the blog posts triggered death threats against some of the people involved in the conservatorship, which is not all that surprising considering a recent blog post on Absolute Britney ends with the following passage: “We must try to remain positive and we MUST stick together Britney Army. Stop fighting with each other and turning against each other. We are a family. We must BE united as a TEAM for us to help Britney.”
Yeesh. It’s great to be passionate about something, but I feel like Britney Spears does not need an “army” of faceless keyboard warriors to go to battle for her in undetermined ways (especially when that battle ends in an injunction). Where’s Chris Crocker when you need him?
Images: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Who ever thought that, in the year 2019, we would still be talking about Britney Spears and Kevin Federline? It’s been over a decade since they split up, but there’s new drama in the custody arrangements for their two sons, and it all traces back to Britney’s dad.
Obviously, this has been a chaotic year for Britney and her dad Jamie, with rumors that he was holding her against her will, and a #FreeBritney movement being started. We never really knew all the facts there, and Britney has assured everyone that she’s fine on Instagram, but it definitely seemed like something wasn’t right with the whole family situation.
Things escalated last month, when Britney took her sons to her dad Jamie’s house for a visit. For reference, Brit’s two sons Sean Preston and Jayden James are 13 and 12 years old, which makes me feel absolutely ancient. I remember when she was driving with the babies on her lap, so times really have changed. While at her dad’s house, a disagreement broke out that led to an alleged physical altercation. According to the police report that Kevin Federline filed, their son Sean Preston was behind a locked bedroom door, and Jamie Spears allegedly broke down the door, then “violently shook” Sean. Yikes. Britney then took her two sons away from Jamie’s house, and Kevin was called to come pick them up.
While Britney and K-Fed (I missed saying that name) had previously been splitting custody 50/50, they’ve agreed to a new arrangement where Britney will only get the boys 30% of the time. Apparently this new arrangement was first discussed over a year ago, but was only finalized last week. I don’t know exactly how these cases work, but I have a feeling this timing probably wasn’t a coincidence. The attorney filing the custody papers also said that Britney really only has the boys for around 10% of the time, and that her time with them is usually supervised. This sounds sad, but again, we really don’t know if Britney is in a position to be taking care of her kids.
In addition to the new custody agreement, Kevin Federline has been granted a restraining order against Jamie Spears. While we still don’t know the whole truth of everything that’s gone down with Britney and her dad, it seems like he’s the root of a lot of these issues. Obviously, Britney has her own sh*t to deal with, but it seems like her dad might not be the right person to help her at this point. In 2018, K-Fed also got increased child support from Britney, because he’s taking care of the kids more, and making less money than he did when they made the initial agreement in 2007.
Overall, this situation seems like one big mess, but hopefully the new agreement is the best thing for everyone involved. At least Britney Spears still gets to spend time with her kids, even if it isn’t a lot. And hopefully Jamie Spears can get his sh*t together, because he honestly sounds like a nightmare. IDK if we still need to #FreeBritney, but I’m rooting for her no matter what.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy