It's been 13 years since Britney Spears was placed under a conservatorship controlled primarily by her father.
This was in the wake of Spears' infamous "meltdown," during which she shaved her head and struck a paparazzo's car with an umbrella.
These days, Britney's life is far more stable, yet the conservatorship is once again making tabloid headlines.
That's because Brit has gone public in her desire to be free from her father's influence.
Her most hardcore fans were the first to notice that something was amiss, and many of them were dismissed as loony conspiracy theorists when they claimed that Spears was sending coded messages to her fans via Instagram.
Now, it appears that those subtle cries for help were entirely real.
Folks who theorized that Britney was essentially being held captive by her team of conservators have been validated, as the singer has taken aggressive legal action to regain her independence.
A judge ruled against Spears in August and ordered that her conservatorship remain in place at least until February of 2021.
Now, Britney and her legal team are in the process of appealing the decision.
The pop icon is not trying to have the conservatorship lifted entirely, she just wants some input regarding who's in charge of it.
Her father has offered a compromise that pleases no one, proposing the re-hiring of Andrew Wallet, a man who was previously in charge of her conservatorship, but quit due to health problems.
Spears' team has fired back, arguing that not only is Wallet "uniquely unsuitable" for the position, Britney can't afford to pay his extravagant salary.
(It's unclear exactly how much he gets paid, but he received $100,000 in compensation when he quit his post last year, so it's safe to say the guy is raking it in.)
And so, Britney has decided to hit her captors where it hurts -- appropriately, in the wallet.
According to recently-released legal documents, she has decided to retire from performing for the foreseeable future.
That's her main source of revenue these days (or at least it was, before the coronavirus hit), but Britney likely figures that since she's not in charge of her $60 million fortune, anyway, it's no great loss.
"To this date, Britney has not resumed performing and has stated that she does not desire to do so at this time," the documents read.
Britney doesn't explicitly state she's decided to put her career on hold so as not to further enrich people like her father and Andrew Wallet, but it's hard to imagine that those circumstances didn't factor into her decision.
In what might be a clever bit of gamesmanship, her legal team is arguing that since she won't be performing, she could hardly afford Wallet's seven-figure salary.
"Britney’s decision not to perform will require him to undertake drastic changes to her budget," they write.
Spears lawyers hint that she might return to performing once she feels she can trust the people managing her finances.
As Spears "continues to move in the direction of greater autonomy," the documents read, she would prefer "to work with a corporate fiduciary who can offer both a physical office and a team of independent financial professionals rather than a single individual, hand-picked by her father, who is a complete stranger to her.
Britney has not commented on the situation, but she has fought to make records from her current court battle public.
She also posted a message on Instagram that many have taken as a statement of support for the #FreeBritney movement:
"I want to thank all my dear ... sweet ... real fans for being so damn wonderful !!!" she wrote after her conservatorship was extended.
"I can feel your hearts and I know you can feel mine ... thank you for your support."
We're sure her fans will remain in her corner as this battle gets even uglier.