A little over two years since she was released from a 13-year-long conservatorship, loved ones are reportedly becoming concerned about Britney Spears’ substance abuse and deteriorating mental health.
TMZ published a story on February 9, 2023, stating that friends and family had planned an intervention for the pop star, whose current state was cause for so much concern that one told the tabloid: “I’m afraid she’s gonna die.” Other anonymous sources close to the “Toxic” singer said they had become alarmed by increasingly erratic behavior. “Britney has been acting increasingly erratically and those around her have grown more concerned,” a source told People. “She is often up all night, sleeps during [the] day and has a lot of anger.”
A couple of months prior, Spears deactivated her Instagram account. She’d been very active on social media since her strict conservatorship was dissolved but it went quiet in late December 2022. Fans became worried to the point of calling the police to report “suspicious activity” and requested authorities to perform a wellness check. Spears said officers never entered her house but, realizing there was no true issue, she admitted: “This felt like I was being gaslit and bullied once the incident made it to the news and being portrayed once again in a poor and unfair light by the media.”
Britney Spears’ intervention
TMZ reported Britney Spears’ manager rented a house in LA for two months and there was a plan to spring an intervention on her. She was meant to be surrounded by her husband Sam Asghari, her manager, an interventionist and doctors in an attempt to convince her she needed help. The intervention was supposed to begin on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
She met with a doctor, People reported, and it “went well”, but the next steps are unclear. “Britney has been acting increasingly erratically and those around her have grown more concerned,” the source said People. “She is often up all night, sleeps during [the] day and has a lot of anger. Everyone had hoped Britney could be convinced to seek treatment before things got any worse but they knew it wouldn’t be easy… She’s been going through a lot and has been increasingly combative.”
In response to these reports, Spears took to Instagram to defend herself. “It makes me sick to my stomach that it’s even legal for people to make up stories that I almost died,” she wrote in a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday, February 9, 2023. “I mean at some point enough is enough. I’m probably going to have to stop posting on Instagram because even though I enjoy doing it, there’s obviously a lot of people who don’t wish me well! I’m honestly not surprised at all … Again doing the best I can! Again, the conservatorship has been over for almost a year. No folks, it’s not 2007… it’s 2023 and I’m making my first homemade lasagna at home! I finally got my fireplace to work in my living room!”
Asghari shared a statement to Access Hollywood, saying that “An intervention did not occur. My wife is in full control of her life and will continue to make all decisions involving her care regardless of circumstances. Speculation on her health is inappropriate and should end immediately.”
Spears temporarily deactivated her Instagram account in December 2022. It prompted Alyssa Milano to tweet: “Someone please go check on Britney Spears.” Spears shared a screenshot of the tweet and responded in a since-expired Instagram story: “It saddens me to see things about me from people who don’t know me! This definitely feels like a form of bullying! Ladies, we are supposed to be rooting for one another not pulling one another down!” Milano, who has since apologized for the tweet, wasn’t the only one worried about Spears after her Instagram was deactivated. Fans became so worried they called the police to perform a welfare check.
A spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office told People in January 2023 that deputies received multiple calls from fans concerned that Spears had deleted her Instagram account. “Out of an abundance of caution, we responded to her home for a check on her well-being and determined she was safe and in no danger,” the spokesperson said. Spears addressed the incident in a statement posted to Twitter on January 26: “As everyone knows the police were called to my home based on some prank phone calls,” she wrote. “I love and adore my fans but this time things went a little too far and my privacy was invaded.”
On November 12, 2021, Spears’ conservatorship ended after 13 years. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Penny terminated Spears’ conservatorship after finding that she is capable of managing her own $60 million estate and determining that the circumstances that first led to the conservatorship in 2008 are no longer relevant.
“The court finds and determines that the conservatorship of the person and the estate is no longer required therefore effective today…it’s hereby terminated,” Judge Penny said in court. Judge Penny also announced that the pop star wouldn’t need to testify. “In this case, the court finds that this was a voluntary conservatorship and there’s no need for a capacity declaration,” she said.
The ruling came a month after Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, was removed as the conservator over her estate—a role he’s held since 2008—on September 29, a week after Spears’ new attorney, Mathew Rosengart, asked the court to suspend him. Her father was replaced by John Zabel as Spears’ temporary conservator.
During the hearing where Jamie was suspended, Rosengart accused Jamie of being “cruel” and “abusive” towards his daughter. Jamie, for his part, claimed in a statement via his lawyer that he had been “biting his tongue and not responding to all the false, speculative, and unsubstantiated attacks on him by certain members of the public, media, or more recently, Britney’s own attorney.”
“These facts make the outcome of yesterday’s hearing all the more disappointing, and frankly, a loss for Britney. Respectfully, the court was wrong to suspend Mr. Spears, put a stranger in his place to manage Britney’s estate, and extend the very conservatorship that Britney begged the court to terminate earlier this summer,” the statement read. Jamie’s lawyers also claim that he was the one who “took the initiative” to file a petition to terminate the conservatorship in the first place.
The judge’s decision also comes after Spears slammed her conservators at a hearing in June, where she stated that she didn’t know she could petition to end her conservatorship. “Ma’am, my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a huge role in punishing me — ma’am, they should be in jail,” she said. “I want changes going forward. I deserve changes. I was told I have to sit down and be evaluated, again, if I want to end the conservatorship. Ma’am, I didn’t know I could [contest] the conservatorship. I’m sorry for my ignorance, but I honestly didn’t know that.”
A Mother’s Gift by Britney & Lynne Spears
For more about Britney Spears, read her 2001 book, A Mother’s Gift. The semi-autobiographical fiction novel, which was co-written with Britney’s mother Lynne Spears, follows Holly Faye Lovell, a 14-year-old girl from the small town of Biscay, Mississippi, who has dreams of becoming a singer. When Holly becomes the youngest student ever to win a scholarship to the prestigious Haverty School of Music, she must make a choice of whether to leave her mother, Wanda, behind or pursue her dreams. As Holly starts her new life and makes posh new friends, she finds herself embarrassed by her mom and their humble background, as Wanda struggles with a long-hidden secret that could destroy her bond with her daughter forever.
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