Britney Spears fans are fueling a #FreeBritney campaign on social media in an effort to release the pop icon from a guardianship and to allow her to be the sole decision maker about her life and finances.
Spears, 38, has been under a conservatorship since 2008 after suffering several mental breakdowns. The arrangement has always been controversial among some of Spears' fans, who believe it is being used to manipulate and control the pop icon. Spears is worth at least $59 million, according to court documents filed in 2018.
Here's what you need to know about the situation:
What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a legal guardianship where representatives can be appointed when a court agrees that an individual can't make their own decisions. In this case, Spears' financial assets, her estate and career negotiations are being managed between her father, Jamie Spears, and an attorney. Even visitors can be restricted.
Last year, Spears' father was asked in court about their relationship.
"Me and my daughter's relationship has always been strained," he said, according to US Weekly.
Earlier this year, the arrangement was extended until at least Aug. 22. With that date coming in a little more than a month, fans are seizing on the opportunity to #FreeBritney.
Why are fans tweeting #FreeBritney now?
Spears has been keeping fans updated during quarantine by posting Instagram and TikTok videos that a group of diehard fans believe contain secret messages asking for their help.
In one video, Spears put on her favorite yellow top and did a bizarre spinning routine while holding flowers that she said were a surprise from her florist. She then walked back and forth, in and out of the frame.
Some people saw it as a meme-worthy video. Others saw it as a coded message asking for help.
In another instance, Spears shared a photo of a rose, along with the quote, "She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes."
Fans flooded the comments section to express concern for her safety and whether she's doing all right.
"i love you britney we’re gonna get u out," one fan wrote.
More than 134,000 fans have now signed a petition asking for Spears to have the right to hire her own lawyer to help her get out of the agreement.
Does Britney get to make any decisions?
Spears hasn't publicly commented on the #FreeBritney movement. Her attorney told the Los Angeles Times last year that Spears is a part of the decision-making process and has a say over the career choices she makes.
Weeks after Spears checked into a mental health facility last year to focus on her self-care, the singer asked her Instagram followers not to "believe everything you read and hear" about her life.
"Your love and dedication is amazing,” she wrote, "but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way."