Spears has been under conservatorship for nearly half of her long career, beginning following her infamous public breakdown 12 years ago during her divorce from Kevin Federline. The incident was followed by a period of hospitalization and rehab. Led by her father, Jamie Spears, the conservatorship has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months as Britney brought her attempts to end her father’s control before the courts.
Spears fans have long backed their idol against her father, pointing out that the singer is 38 years old, in a very different place mentally than she was 12 years ago and that the conservatorship removes all agency from Spears. FreeBritney.net was launched in 2009, and fans subsequently launched #FreeBritney in support, using social media to spread the message that Spears was essentially being controlled against her will.
Mark Hamill, Miley Cyrus, John Oliver and many more all back #FreeBritney
Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker and the voice of The Joker, is the latest celebrity to back the campaign, joining names such as Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus, Chloe Grace Moretz, John Oliver, and both Kim and Khloé Kardashian. While the Jamie Spears camp has dismissed #FreeBritney as a “conspiracy theory,” Spears herself has quietly backed the movement amidst the legal wrangling and, during an appearance in court last month, made an impassioned plea for her father to be removed from the legal agreement.
“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good. I deserve to have a life. I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three-year break and just, you know, do what I want to do,” Britney said. “I feel bullied, and I feel left out and alone. And I’m tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does.”
A conservatorship is where a judge can appoint a legal guardian, either an individual or organization, to care for an adult who has been judged to be unfit to care for themselves, usually because of mental illness or extreme physical disability.
Following last month’s decision to not remove Jamie Spears from Britney’s conservatorship, the singer told the court that she will “press charges” against her father for his alleged “conservatorship abuse.” In response, Jamie Spears has stated that he is not currently responsible for any restrictions placed on his daughter’s life, having stepped back from the role in September of 2019. According to The New York Times, the court recently allowed Britney to hire her own lawyer for the first time in over a decade.
The backing of a Hollywood name like Mark Hamill will only increase the pressure and scrutiny surrounding the case, with other names likely to follow.