Britney Spears‘s father has spoken out against the #FreeBritney campaign, describing the anger directed at him as ‘a joke’ and insisting that the outside world does not understand his daughter’s fragile mental state.
Jamie Spears, 68, has been his 38-year-old daughter’s legal guardian since her breakdown 12 years ago, which cause headlines around the world.
The arrangement has always been controversial among some fans, who believe it is being used to manipulate and control the pop icon.
The singer is worth at least $59 million, according to court documents filed in 2018.
Britney Spears, 38, has had her $59 million fortune controlled by her father since 2008
Spears was removed as guardian in September, after asking the court to relieve him for health reasons. Her care manager, Jodi Pais Montgomery, is now her conservator and the arrangement was extended until at least August 22.
With that date approaching, calls are mounting to #FreeBritney.
Jamie Spears, the singer’s father, says that people do not understand his daughter
More than 130,000 people signed a petition requesting the White House respond – the administration must reply to any petition with more than 100,000 signatories.
A separate change.org petition to investigate her conservatorship has been signed by 105,000 people.
‘All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything,’ Spears told the New York Post.
‘The world don’t have a clue.
‘It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.’
Spears angrily denied long-standing rumors that he or anyone else is skimming money off the singer’s estate.
‘I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year,’ he said. ‘How the hell would I steal something?’
He said the strength of emotion in the campaign concerned him, and that people were making death threats.
The singer’s 25.9 million fans on Instagram pore over her every post, reading signs of distress and entrapment into every gesture.
‘It’s horrible,’ he said. ‘We don’t want those kinds of fans.’
The campaign to #FreeBritney is gathering pace ahead of a August 22 hearing in her case
Protesters gathered outside the LA courthouse on July 22, ahead of a hearing in her case
The singer’s fans speculate that she is being manipulated by her father – something he denies
Spears added: ‘I love my daughter. I love all my kids. But this is our business. It’s private.’
Celebrities have begun joining the ‘campaign’.
Last year, at a concert in Memphis, Miley Cyrus was heard screaming ‘Free Britney’ while singing her hit ‘Party in the U.S.A,’ which makes a shout-out to her in the lyrics.
In January Cher mused that abuse of the singer was ‘possible’.
‘Just enough meds to keep her working, but not enough to have a life,’ she wrote.
The #FreeBritney crusaders have carpeted social media with posts, purporting to show that Spears claimed his daughter had dementia in 2008, and that Spears and the star’s business manager, Lou Taylor of Tri Star Sports and Management, are embezzling from her.
A petition to #FreeBritney has now gained almost 104,000 signatures demanding her ‘release’
From l-r: Jamie Spears, Britney Spears, her brother Bryan Spears and mother Lynne at the launch party for the Palms Home Poker Host software held in Las Vegas in 2006
Lately, Britney’s camp has started striking back.
Taylor recently settled with #FreeBritney supporter Bryan Kuchar after suing him last year for creating Web sites that called Taylor the ‘mastermind controlling the pop star.’
One insider said that while Jamie is ‘not perfect,’ he ‘really stepped up for Britney.’
‘It’s not at all a conservatorship like you read about for old people,’ said the insider.
‘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.
‘When she’s left to her own devices is where the trouble starts. She does have some serious issues.’
In April 2019 the singer addressed the concerns on Instagram, saying: ‘Don’t believe everything you read and hear.’
The pop singer addressed the rumors last year in an Instagram post to her 25 million fans
Jamie Spears, pictured in 2004, has been suffering from health problems for the past year
The Mississippi-born, Louisiana-raised singer rocketed to stardom at age 17 with her first single, ‘Baby One More Time’.
Her first eyebrow-raising behavior was in 2004, when she married a childhood friend on a whim and got an annulment 55 hours later.
Concern mounted in 2006, following her marriage to backing dancer Kevin Federline and the birth of their eldest son, Sean.
Child Services repeatedly checked in on the family, including after the baby fell out of a high chair and was seen in a vehicle on Britney’s lap rather than in a car seat.
The next year was a whirlwind of unhinged TV appearances; divorce two months after the birth of her second son with Federline, Jayden; and a series of paparazzi photos of Britney partying hard with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
Then, in early 2007, Britney checked in and quickly out of rehab, showed up at a Los Angeles beauty shop and shaved off her hair, and attacked a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella.
She went back to rehab and lost custody of her children to Federline.
Her father was granted the conservator role in 2008.
Last year Spears was accused of physically abusing her oldest son during an argument, prompting Federline to order a restraining order against the boy’s grandfather.
A police report obtained by Us Weekly detailed an August 24, 2019, incident involving Spears and Sean. No charges were filed.