My 2013 Exposé On Britney Spears’s Conservatorship — Rejected by the Cowardly Huffington Post

I’ve recovered it! My 2013 article naming Britney Spears’s conservatorship “the biggest celebrity scandal nobody’s talking about” — and which the Huffington Post wouldn’t touch. I ceased sending articles to them after they rejected this. Instead, I printed it on, which I oversaw with a friend named Jordan Ross from the Britney fan forum Exhale in 2013-2014, before shutting it down in 2015. As you will read, every word of my reporting has been vindicated; her father indeed did everything I said he should be suspected of doing, Britney never stopped hating the conservatorship, and nearly every point I made was made at some point by her attorney Mathew Rosengart.

by Alex Knepper – December 2nd, 2013

Britney’s back, bitch — with a brand-new single, a sizzling-hot body, and a two-year Las Vegas residency that’s estimated to net her a cool $30 million over two years.

It’s just the latest in a long line of triumphs for Britney since her well-publicized personal struggles some six years ago. Since her involuntary psychiatric hospitalization in 2008, she has been at the center of one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of pop culture. She has released two #1 albums and seven Top 10 singles, earned $15 million for a stint as a judge on TV’s ‘X Factor’, and embarked on two international performance tours that collectively grossed nearly $200 million. In 2012, she topped the list of Forbes Magazine’s top-earning female musicians, with an estimated income of $58 million. Her personal life has improved dramatically, too: she has dated only decent, stable men, is by all accounts a loving mother to her two boys, and has steered clear of any new tabloid scandals.

What is usually left out of the picture-perfect Britney Spears Comeback Narrative is the fact that, in February 2008, LA Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz granted a temporary conservatorship over Britney to her father, Jamie Spears, handing him near-total control of her personal and ifnancial affairs. Initially intended to be temporary, the conservatorship was made indefinite later that year. Conservatees are those who are judged gravely mentally incompetent — unfit to retain counsel, testify in court, retain custody over their children, freely marry, resist undue influences, or handle their own finances. Because of the extreme violations of personal liberty and autonomy they involve, conservatorship law is designed with extremely serious cases in mind. To place this in context, one may consider that the court-issued guidebook for conservators includes sections on helping the conservatee dress herself, feed herself, and use the restroom. The typical conservatee is an elderly person with an extremely severe health condition, such as late-stage dementia.

I called it all a decade ago, but the Huffington Post was too afraid of legal threats from Jamie…

Britney’s dire situation in 2008 surely merited legal intervention. Her personal and professional life were in utter ruins, and it is reasonable to ask whether she would still be alive had the courts not intervened. Today, it is almost 2014. All of the public evidence demosntrates that she is in a better place.

But Britney’s conservatorship is still in effect.

Many credible reports have surfaced that Britney suffers from a severe mental health condition — likely bipolar disorder. This is a highly plausible explanation for why the conservatorship remains in place. But if this is the case– and one must highly suspect that it is, given that no alternative hypothesis makes an iota of sense — it is utterly scandalous, and the media’s silence beyond disturbing.

As the close friend of a young woman with rapid-cycling type I bipolar disorder, I know what it is like to see events like those from Britney’s tragic years unfold in front of my eyes, happening to someone I care about. I also know that one of my friend’s deepest and most-valued goals is to become a self-supporting, well-functioning, productive adult. Conservatorships are not merely a support network for someone with a disability. They grant near-complete control over the conservatee’s life to the conservators. Jamie Spears — whose shocking ignorance of mental health was on full display when he hired TV quack Dr. Phil to come visit Britney during her hospitalization — can, and likely does, decide who Britney can and cannot befriend or date, monitor her phone and internet use, restrict her spending, make career decisions, restrict her access to her children, and forbid her from leaving the state of California. Britney Spears is almost 32 years old. This is an utterly humiliating, degrading situation, and it has been going on for nearly six years.

What can it really mean to Britney to top Forbes’s list of top-earning female musicians when she must live every day with the awareness that her father controls her bank account — and is more than happy to help himself to a six-figure salary for his ‘services’? What can it really mean that her singles shoot straight to #1 when a judge has ruled that she is incompetent to retain counsel or even retain legal custody of her children — even though that same judge ruled that she is competent enough to be a judge on a live reality television program and travel the world for two international performance tours? Just like before her personal struggles, everything in her world — even the court system, which most of all should be looking out for her dignity — reinforces to her the idea that she is not valued as anything other as a cash-cow for the entertainment industry.

Reports have surfaced that Britney would not be able to secure a contract for a Vegas residency without the stabilizing element of the conservatorship to assure investors that she will be able to successfully fulfill the contract. If she indeed suffers from a severe mental health condition, that may very well be the case. If true, she should simply not perform in Vegas. Does no one in her life think it is more important for her to learn how to live a functional, independent life than to make lots of money from a performance residency?

It is unquestionably true that the conservatorship is one of the reasons that Britney has been doing so well, but as a justification for its continued presence, it creates an ugly Catch-22 situation: If she’s doing well, then apparently it’s proof the conservatorship is working and should remain. But if she is doing poorly, that, of course, is also proof that the conservatorship is necessary and should remain. Heads, they win; tails, she loses.

How exactly is she supposed to prove that she’s earned another shot at independence? Is she simply supposed to forget about living a dignified, independent, autonomous existence? Is her apparent mental health condition supposed to condemn her to life inside a comfortable prison? These are years of her life she will never get back. And as we know from her 2008 MTV documentary Britney: For the Record, what she thinks of the conservatorship is no mystery: she despises it and says it saps her passion for life.

The media betrayed Britney once, shamelessly seeking to profit off of her misery and suffering in 2007-2008. They are betarying her again. Who will finally tear down the curtain on this charade and put her dignity as a human being before her career as a pop star?

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