It’s a sad day for the #FreeBritney movement.
After months of legal wrangling and public cries for help, Spears lost a hard-fought court battle against her own father on Friday.
Spears has been under the man’s thumb since 2007, when a public meltdown prompted a family court judge to establish a conservatorship that essentially gave Jamie Spears complete control of his daughter’s life.
In recent months, the arrangement has come under intense scrutiny, with fans arguing that Britney is being held captive by her own family.
Some even went so far as to claim that Spears was sending coded messages to fans on her Instagram page, imploring them to intervene.
This led to online protest groups and even a few public rallies, which Jamie Spears decried as the work of uninformed conspiracy theorists.
The opposition heated up when a conservatorship hearing that had been scheduled for July was postponed due to alleged privacy concerns.
This week, Britney finally had her day in court, and her fans are likely to be deeply upset by the outcome.
According to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Spears’ conservatorship has been extended through at least February 1, 2021.
The magazine notes that Britney’s attorneys have until September 18 to appeal the decision.
The ruling comes as a shock, as Spears has recently amassed widespread support in her effort to regain control of her life.
Earlier this week, the venerable American Civi Liberties Union offered to assist with Britney’s fight for independence.
"People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights," the ACLU said in a tweet Wednesday.
"If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship, we are here to help her."
"I don’t know what types of disabilities or diagnoses Britney Spears has or doesn’t have, but she’s being perceived by the court as a person with disabilities," ACLU lawyer Zoe Brennan-Krohn told Buzzfeed this week.
"That’s why there’s a conservatorship."
As fans pointed out throughout her campaign for increased freedom, Britney was not even asking the court for a complete termination of the conservatorship, which she acknowledged had been essential in helping her rebuild her career and personal life.
She was merely asking that her overbearing father be replaced by her manager, Jodi Montgomery.
Montgomery temporarily took over as Spears’ conservator when Jamie experienced health issues in 2018 and 2019.
He resumed the role after his health improved, even though Spears apparently preferred Montgomery.
"Britney is strongly opposed to James [Jamie Spears] return as conservator of her person," reads a document filed by Britney’s lawyers this week.
Every conservatorship is different, and the exact terms of Britney’s remain unknown.
But the singer has stated in past interviews that she’s not allowed to make financial decisions, drive a car, or even leave the house without her father’s permission.
Montgomery presumably allowed Britney greater freedom, and Jamie apparently found her changes so intolerable that he felt the need to fight against his daughter’s wishes in court.
It seems certain that Brit’s lawyers will file an appeal, but there’s no word yet on when the Spears family might be back in court.
In the meantime, however, you can be sure that the #FreeBritney movement will be more active than ever.