Britney Spears Live Updates: #FreeBritney Movement Exposes 'Dangerous Arrangements' of System

Live Updates

Friday marks a monumental day for the #FreeBritney movement.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny heard arguments Friday and decided to end pop star Britney Spears' conservatorship.

Spears asked the court to end her 13-year conservatorship in June, describing the arrangement as abusive and traumatizing. And on Friday, Penny agreed.

The judge determined there was "no need for capacity declaration" of Spears and that a conservatorship is no longer required.

The 39-year-old claims she was forced to take medication and contraception, as well as being made to work against her will, but Spears now has medical and financial autonomy for the first time since 2008 following Penny's decision.

Her lawyer Mathew Rosengart filed the official request for termination at the end of October a month after Judge Penny suspended Spears' father, James "Jamie" Spears, as her conservator.

The judge did not find James Spears to have committed any wrongdoings, saying only that the "toxic environment" made her decision necessary.

Fans and #FreeBritney supporters have gathered outside the courtroom to rally for the singer's freedom.

"For more than 13 years, Britney Spears has been denied basic human rights under a legal tool reserved for incapacitated individuals," the #FreeBritney group posted on its website ahead of the hearing in Los Angeles.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Britney Spears Conservatorship
A judge will decide Friday whether to end Britney Spears' 13-year conservatorship. Above, Spears attends the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton on April 12, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

#FreeBritney movement exposes 'dangerous arrangements' of system

Britney Spears' public conservatorship case and the #FreeBritney movement have helped expose the need for system reform.

In response to news that Spears' conservatorship was terminated, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded "good."


Britney Spears’ uniquely public conservatorship case shows just how desperately we need to transform the system for the 1.3 million people with disabilities who are still subject to these invasive and dangerous arrangements. https://t.co/F3NQdbBOAO

— ACLU (@ACLU) November 12, 2021

"Britney Spears' uniquely public conservatorship case shows just how desperately we need to transform the system for the 1.3 million people with disabilities who are still subject to these invasive and dangerous arrangements," the nonprofit tweeted.

Vice reporter Ana Merlan shared similar sentiments.

"Unironically: never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the word," she said in response to a tweet from the Britney Law Army that the singer had been freed.

The fact that the whole country is now better educated on the perils of conservatorship and guardianship, when they're in the wrong hands?? priceless https://t.co/3PyW2KhMxA

— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) November 12, 2021

Merlan also shared an article that highlighted the "toxic" side of conservatorship, which are intended to protect people who cannot make their own decisions, and noted that the legal arrangement was less known until Spears' case.

"The fact that the whole country is now better educated on the perils of conservatorship and guardianship, when they're in the wrong hands?? priceless," Merlan tweeted.

#FreeBritney movement 'essential' to end of conservatorship: Spears' attorney

Britney Spears' attorney Mathew Rosengart told a crowd attending the #FreeBritney rally in Los Angeles that the singer loves them and they played a crucial role in freeing her.

"You guys are absolutely the best. You're essential. Britney loves you. You're essential in terms of the suspension of James P. Spears which happened on September 29," Rosengart said. "And you are also essential in regards to what happened today."

Britney Spears’ attorney Mathew Rosengart tells the #FreeBritney crowd that Britney loved them and that they were “essential” to the suspension of her father in Sept and the termination of her conservatorship today. pic.twitter.com/rylOpGjATH

— Stephanie K. Baer (@skbaer) November 13, 2021

"So I just want to thank all of you. I've got a client that I need to speak with," he concluded as the crowd cheered.

Fox News host bashes #FreeBritney movement

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld responded to news that Britney Spears' conservatorship ended by saying that he didn't care but he'll pretend to because of his job.

"I don't care, I absolutely don't care," Gutfeld said Friday on The Five. But because he gets paid to share his opinions on TV, he said he'd discuss the #FreeBritney movement.

"I'm deeply concerned about this and I'll tell you why," he said. "How does anybody know anything about what's going on in her life other than her family? And yet you have this movement based on watching a documentary, and all of these people—how much time do you have in your life to protest over somebody who doesn't even know you exist?"

He continued, "Shouldn't you be spending time with your family? Shouldn't you be worried about what's going on in your town?"

"This movement has the intellectual depth of a kiddie pool," he added. "But like I said, I really don't care. I think she has serious mental issues and her family was probably dealing with that, but nobody cares because they're the bad guy."

What's next for the #FreeBritney movement?

"We've sort of built this coalition... It's the end of her conservatorship, but it's really just the start for this passionate group of people out on the street today." https://t.co/4LET8geUvL pic.twitter.com/qnCgo1uZ98

— Variety (@Variety) November 12, 2021

Chloe, one of the main organizers of Free Britney LA, told Variety earlier in the day that it's been interesting to see how the movement has grown over the last two years from being seen as "overzealous fans" to building a coalition of activists that plans to go much further.

Britney Spears' attorney said her father has not cooperated

Mathew Rosengart, the attorney representing Britney Spears, spoke to reporters after a judge ruled to end his client's conservatorship.

Rosengart said that his client's father, James Spears, refused to appear for a testimony and a deposition on two separate occasions.

"It's interesting that [James Spears] has refused to cooperate, because his lawyer's filing claimed that Mr. Spears would profusely cooperate." Britney Spears' attorney Mathew Rosengart says of her father. https://t.co/4LET8geUvL pic.twitter.com/9iME0UWSSm

— Variety (@Variety) November 12, 2021

"If Britney wants, if Britney instructs, we will pursue James Spears' deposition," Rosengart said, adding that they would also pursue other information they're seeking including alleged financial misconduct.

Rosengart continued, "It's interesting that [James Spears] has refused to cooperate because his lawyer's filing claimed that Mr. Spears would profusely cooperate. I can say this: they have not responded to one document request. They have refused thus far to appear for deposition under oath."

"A cross-examination of an individual or witness under oath at a deposition, any lawyer will tell you is how you find the truth," he concluded. "I'm looking forward to that deposition."

'Best day ever... #FreedBritney': Britney Spears thanks fans for supporting her

Britney Spears took to Twitter to thank her fans for their support.

"Good God I love my fans so much it's crazy," Spears wrote alongside a video of the crowd celebrating the end of her conservatorship on Friday outside the Los Angeles courthouse.

Good God I love my fans so much it’s crazy 🥺❤️ !!! I think I’m gonna cry the rest of the day !!!! Best day ever … praise the Lord … can I get an Amen 🙏🏼☀️🙌🏼 ???? #FreedBritney

🎥: @AbbyShalawylo pic.twitter.com/yk1vO3H02L

— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) November 12, 2021

She continued, " I think I'm gonna cry the rest of the day !!!! Best day ever ... praise the Lord ... can I get an Amen ???? #FreedBritney"

It's the singer's first tweet since October 4 where she also thanked fans for their campaign to end her conservatorship following a court ruling the week before that suspended her father's control.

Then Spears wrote, "#FreeBritney movement ... I have no words ... because of you guys and your constant resilience in freeing me from my conservatorship ... my life is now in that direction !!!!! I cried last night for two hours cause my fans are the best and I know it ..."

"I feel your hearts and you feel mine ... that much I know is true !!!!!" she continued.

Crowd Outside Court Celebrates Britney's Freedom from Conservatorship

Britney Spears supports gathered outside of the Los Angeles Courthouse are celebrating the singer's newfound freedom.

Reporters on the scene said the crowd at the Free Birtney rally was celebrating by playing Spears' song "Stronger" and dancing in the street.

We’re dancing to Britney’s “Stronger” to celebrate her freedom at the #FreeBritney rally pic.twitter.com/YoFs3KPiHs

— Kat Tenbarge (@kattenbarge) November 12, 2021

Others blasted pink confetti and raised their signs as they honored Spears in the street during a "full on dance party."

Video footage from Grand Ave shows a wave of pink moving down the street and cheers of excitement erupting from the crowd.

And the #FreeBritney fans are so excited. Pink confetti flying on Grand Ave pic.twitter.com/S1HA83rYLd

— Stephanie K. Baer (@skbaer) November 12, 2021

Other supports took to social media to share photos and videos of support for the singer following the judge's decision to end her conservatorship.

Britney Spears' conservatorship has been terminated

A judge ruled that Britney Spears is freed from her conservatorship.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny decided to grant the singer's request to end the conservatorship during a Friday afternoon hearing.

Spears will have full control of her finances, medical and other life decisions for the first time since 2008.

FULL STORY: Britney Spears No Longer 'Overprotected' as Conservatorship Ends for Pop Singer

'Free Britney' rings outside courtroom

While the hearing to determine the fate of Britney Spears' conservatorship carries on inside the courthouse, her fans continue to rally on the street outside.

Armed with flags and signs, supporters chant "Free Britney" and discuss the need to reform conservatorship law.

Supporters chant "#FreeBritney" ahead of the pop star's conservatorship hearing. https://t.co/oJGdC6xKbv pic.twitter.com/6MsihuZCBZ

— Variety (@Variety) November 12, 2021

Free Britney supporter and YouTuber Jakeyonce said the crowd was three times bigger than any FreeBritney rally he's been to before.

.@jakeyoncetv said this crowd was 3 times bigger than any #FreeBritney rally he’s attended before. One organizer said she’s been up since 4 am. The hearing started 20 minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/ARAlxIU0u4

— Kat Tenbarge (@kattenbarge) November 12, 2021

Spears' attorney received standing ovation in the courtroom

Britney Spears' attorney Mathew Rosengart received a standing ovation from people inside the courtroom, according to a reporter inside.

The trial to decide whether to end Spears' conservatorship is about to start.

Britney's atty Mat Rosengart just got a standing ovation from fans as he walked into the courtroom.

— Claudia Rosenbaum (@CJRosenbaum) November 12, 2021

No cellphones or computers allowed in courtroom

Reporters and members of the public are waiting to go inside the Los Angeles Courthouse.

Electronic devices, like cell phones or computers, are not permitted to be used during the hearing.

BuzzFeed News reporter Stephanie K. Baer said "any news will come when we're dismissed."

I’m inside the courthouse now. We won’t be able to use our phones once we’re in the courtroom so any *news* will come when we’re dismissed.

— Stephanie K. Baer (@skbaer) November 12, 2021

Law professor weighs in on Spears' reproductive rights under her conservatorship

During Spears' testimony in June, Britney Spears said her team refused to let her remove her intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD). Spears said she was told she could not get married or have a baby.

"I wanted to take the IUD out, so I could start trying to have another baby," Spears said, but "they don't want me to have...any more children."

"So basically, this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good," she added. "I deserve to have a life."

Khiara M. Bridges, a law professor and faculty director of the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at U.C. Berkeley, told the Los Angeles Times Spears' testimony represents a "long history of the denial of decision-making around reproductive matters that marginalized people."

Bridges said conservators may be within their legal bounds to assert this kind of control over Spears, but called the move "an incredible overreach."

"In order for this to be legal, her conservators would have to make a claim that controlling her reproduction impacts her financial well-being, or it's a medical decision," Bridges said. "And I think they could make those arguments, but it still seems like an incredible overreach of the decision-making power that they have as conservators of her estate."

Fans rally for Britney Spears outside courthouse

Fans of Britney Spears are starting to gather outside the Los Angeles Courthouse to show their support for the pop star.

They are wearing #FreeBritney shirts and carrying signs saying "End Conservatorship Abuse" and "Free By 40."

The "Free Britney" table is also giving out pink roses.

Other fans dressed up in iconic outfits Spears wore in her music videos.

#FreeBritney supporters dressed in some of her iconic outfits outside the DTLA courthouse waiting for the 1:30 hearing to begin pic.twitter.com/xCKVHXS6AI

— Claudia Rosenbaum (@CJRosenbaum) November 12, 2021

Fans hang messages to Britney Spears ahead of hearing

The street outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles has closed off ahead of the Britney Spears conservatorship hearing.

Fans have placed a pink Christmas tree to hang messages for Spears.

"Britney said she is celebrating Christmas early, so let's join her," the sign next to the tree says. "Let's put some positive energy out into the world."

The street is closed off.there is pink Christmas tree for fans to hang messages for Britney Spears pic.twitter.com/1aXHD9VHhK

— Claudia Rosenbaum (@CJRosenbaum) November 12, 2021

A look outside the courtroom

Hours before the Britney Spears conservatorship hearing, news crews and fans gather outside the Los Angeles courtroom.

Reporters are setting up their equipment and #FreeBritney supporters eagerly wait with signs in hand for the judge's ruling. More supporters are expected to convene Friday.

FREE BRITNEY: A look outside the LA courthouse where Spears’ conservatorship could end. The judge is expected to formally approve the process to dissolve the controversial guardianship controlling her life since 2008. #FreeBritney #BritneySpears pic.twitter.com/aBZeU6Iowe

— Mario Ramirez (@MarioFOXLA) November 12, 2021

Legal battle will continue as Britney's lawyer goes after James Spears

Britney Spears' legal battle won't end with the conservatorship hearing Friday.

Her lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, said he will investigate the actions of Spears' father, James Spears for allegedly mishandling the singer's finances.

Rosengart filed a 110-page petition last month asking James Spears to turn over documents relating to agreements, contracts and communications between himself and Britney's manager, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment.

He also demanded Spears sit for a disposition after the New York Times reported that he illegally placed recording devices in his daughter's bedroom without her consent.

James Spears' lawyers have denied these claims. He filed a petition to end the conservatorship in September, a month before a judge suspended him as conservator.

"Jamie will unconditionally cooperate with a complete and total transfer of all files regarding the Conservatorship to Britney and her counsel. The Conservatorship does not need to continue in order for this to occur. Jamie is committed to complete transparency without conditions," his filing stated.

Rosengart said the filing was an attempt by Spears to "avoid accountability"

The complexities of Spears' two-part conservatorship

Britney Spears's conservatorship has two parts: one is of her estate and the other is of her person.

Her estate covers her finances while her person includes her health and well-being.

Spears' father, James Spears, was the conservator of her estate until he was suspended by a judge in September. This position is being held temporarily by certified public accountant John Zabel. Jodi Montgomery is the conservator of Spears' person. She will be in the position until the end of the year.

Spears and her lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, asked the court to end the conservatorship entirely. However, in this unprecedented case, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda has options. She may choose to grant the request to terminate the full conservatorship or choose to end one arm and keep the other.

Family law attorney Christopher Melcher told USA Today that the judge will likely end the conservatorship over her person because it's "the most restrictive and offensive." The control over Spears' estate, Melcher said, is more complicated.

"There are numerous financial issues outstanding," he said, including requests for payment of legal fees for lawyers involved in the case.

"Those issues I doubt would be resolved on November 12 and would have to be done later on," Melcher adds.

Spears shares life tips: 'Smile whenever you can, even on the worst day ever'

Ahead of her conservatorship trial Friday, Britney Spears shared her "pointers for life" on her Instagram.

The pop star's tips include:

  • "Smile whenever you can, even on the worst day ever"
  • "Laugh A LOT"
  • "Cry when you need to"
  • "Say your prayers"⁣

Britney Spears wears #FreeBritney shirt ahead of conservatorship trial

Britney Spears wore a "#FreeBritney" t-shirt hours before a judge will rule on her conservatorship.

Spears' fiancé, Sam Asghari, posted a video on Instagram Thursday of the couple sporting the #FreeBritney merch as Spears' 2013 single "Work Bitch" plays.

The shirts also include the words, "It's a human rights movement."

FULL STORY: Britney Spears Wears '#FreeBritney' T-Shirt Hours Before Conservatorship Hearing

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts