Jamie Spears, the father of singer Britney Spears, called the online #FreeBritney movement a "joke" and a conspiracy theory. The movement claims Britney is being controlled emotionally and financially by Spears through the legal conservatorship. It was established 12 years ago, after Spears' public meltdown, and was originally supposed to be temporary.
In a new interview with the New York Post's Page Six, Spears said the "conspiracy theorists don't know anything" and the outside world does not "have a clue" about the situation. "It's up to the court of California to decide what's best for my daughter. It's no one else's business" Spears said, adding that there is no truth to the allegations that he is taking advantage of his daughter and her fortune. "I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year," Spears said. "How the hell would I steal something?"
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Spears is concerned that the #FreeBritney movement is getting more aggressive, especially after some celebrities voiced their support online. "People are being stalked and targeted with death threats," he told Page Six. "It’s horrible. We don’t want those kinds of fans." Spears said he loves Britney, adding, "I love all my kids. But this is our business. It's private."
While Spears wants to keep Britney's legal drama out of the spotlight, it is almost impossible as the #FreeBritney movement gains more attention. A Change.org petition now has over 103,000 signatures. The petition calls for the conservatorship to be investigated "for abuse" and terminated so the "Toxic" singer "can finally be free and live her best life." The petition's creator claims Spears "doesn’t allow her to drive, all of her calls & messages are monitored, she’s not allowed to vote, hang with anyone or spend her money without permission." The movement's supporters have also accused Britney's manager Lou Taylor of stealing from Britney. They have claimed Spears pays men to be Britney's boyfriends. Taylor recently settled a lawsuit with a #FreeBritney support who created a website calling Taylor the true "mastermind controlling" Britney.
One issue fans point out is how long the conservatorship has lasted. It was initially supposed to be temporary after Britney's 2007-2008 meltdown. "It’s not at all a conservatorship like you read about for old people," a Page Six insider said of the situation. "It protects her in a way people like Michael Jackson weren’t protected, from themselves and from other people. She’s been able to perform all this time because performing is where she is happiest." The insider said "trouble starts" when Britney is left to "her own devices" and she has "some serious issues."
Spears' comments come a few days after Britney's brother Bryan Spears commented on the situation in the As Not Seen on TV podcast, reports HollywoodLife. Bryan said his sister has "always wanted to get out of [the conservatorship]…it’s very frustrating to have." He later added, "Obviously there was a need for it at the beginning that I assume everyone knows the issues that were going on, and now they’ve made some changes and all we can kinda do is hope for the best."