Britney Spears sparks legislative push amid apparent conservatorship abuse

COLUMBIA, SC – Fueled by Britney Spears’ defense, a bipartisan legislative effort has emerged to reform the process created to protect the rights of more than 1 million people across the United States under the protection agreement.

On Tuesday, representatives Charlie Crist and Nancy Mace announced the “Free Britney Act,” designed to provide more options for those placed in conservatorship. Those include the ability to talk about their situation with the conservator – in the face of any objections from the conservator – and petition the court to replace the conservator without having to “prove misconduct or abnormality”.

“This is just a conventional approach to doing what’s right, to make sure that the rights are balanced,” Crist, a Florida Democrat, said at a virtual news conference Tuesday.

Both Mace, a Republican from South Carolina, and Crist said it was Spears’ fervent plea last month that a judge end her conservatorship’s control of her life and money that prompted their suggestions.

“What she had the opportunity to do was bring to light, to shine a light on those abuses,” Mace said. “Her situation is a nightmare, and if it can happen to Britney Spears, it can happen to anyone in this country.”

Speaking in court publicly, Spears condemned her father and others controlling conservatorship, posing as Spears going through a mental health crisis in 2008. Spears said the arrangement forced her must use contraception and other drugs against her will, and prevent her from marrying or having another child.

RELATED: Britney Spears Judge Denies Motion to Remove Father from Conservatorship

Spears’ father and his attorneys have insisted that she and her assets, which court records show is more than $50 million, remain vulnerable to fraud and manipulation. Under current law, Spears must prove she is competent before the case can be closed.

Mace and Crist said they expected more bipartisan support for the measure, which would also provide at least $260 million in grants for states to hire curator or conservator. .

The #FreeBritney movement has crossed party lines.

“Everybody deserves control of their body. Period,” US Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the fourth-ranked House Democrat, tweeted last month following Spears’ testimony. .

Several House Republicans invited Spears to testify before Congress. The political arm of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives sent documents describing Ms. Spears as “a victim of malicious government outreach and censorship.”

Earlier this month, US Republican Representative for Florida Matt Gaetz, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, made a brief appearance in front of Spears supporters outside the downtown Los Angeles courthouse, at one point shouted “Free Britney!”

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Huynh Nguyen

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