Britney Spears’ brother is speaking out about her controversial conservatorship. Britney has been under conservatorship since 2008, following a public meltdown that seemed clearly linked to mental health concerns. The conservatorship is designed to help those who cannot make decisions for themselves. It’s typical for the elderly or those with developmental differences.
Fans believe that Britney does not qualify as someone who cannot provide and make decisions for herself. They’ve done a deep dive into California’s particularly restrictive conservatorship laws, which limit a person’s ability to vote, select legal counsel, drive a vehicle, seek medical providers and treatment, and more.
The widespread belief is that Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, and other members of her team keep her under the conservatorship to limit her freedoms and keep her focused on work, even if it’s to the detriment of the rest of her life. For example, Britney cannot have majority or joint physical or legal custody of her two kids, 14-year-old Sean and 13-year-old Jayden.
Bryan Spears appeared on the As NOT Seen on TV Podcast, where he gave a rare interview discussing his famous family. He’s admitted that he doesn’t know all the details of everything going on with Britney, but he did give some interesting insights into what’s going on.
The interview began with Bryan sharing his own feelings about watching his little sister get catapulted to superstardom. He worked on Britney’s tours and traveled the world, watching his sister closely. He used his background working in sports and explored other business avenues to try to make it so that Britney wouldn’t be so dependent on touring.
“I know she loves to sing and dance, and if she’s not doing that, she’s not doing what she loves, what she’s born to do,” he said.
He also shared that things were nonstop for so long that stepping back wasn’t even a consideration until after she toured on her sixth studio album, Circus. It also wasn’t until that point where it seemed like fame was taking its toll on Britney.
The conversation turned to Britney’s recent court date, which occurred the same day the interview was recorded. It was a quarterly court hearing regarding her conservatorship, but the hearing was postponed after the video conference was crashed by a number of unidentified individuals.
Drew Plotkin asked Bryan if he was aware of the #FreeBritney movement. He said that although he wasn’t social media savvy, he was aware of it. He said the family is grateful that so many people are invested in Britney’s well-being.
When pressed about whether he’s seen anything that indicates that Britney is somehow being held against her will in any area of her life, Bryan says he has not.
“She’s been in this thing for quite some time now. Obviously there was a need for it in the beginning,” he explained.
He noted that the decision for the conservatorship came at a time when her family was spread out across the country and not in as close proximity to Britney as they might have been at other times. When they saw her making headlines and the reasons why, they became increasingly concerned.
Bryan said that up until this point, the conservatorship has been “a great thing for our family.”
“Now they’ve made some changes and all we can do is hope for the best,” he added.
Drew asked Bryan how Britney handled the news when it was first put in place. “In the beginning, it was hard. Imagine, anytime you’re going through struggles and having to make big adjustments is very difficult. What I think got us all through it is that we’ve been really close … we came together. Not everybody agreed with it, but I think at the end, we made the right choice.”
Bryan confirmed that their father, Jamie, is still very active in Britney’s conservatorship. He stepped down as a permanent conservator in September 2019 due to “personal health reasons.” He suffered a life-threatening colon rupture the year prior.
“He’s done the best he could, given the situation he was put in. We’ve had to work together as a family to keep it all going,” he noted.
“One person might be on stage and doing this, but it’s a sacrifice from everybody. Everyone is putting in, to some degree, a little bit to keep everything going.”
Britney’s temporary conservatorship is set to expire on August 22. Bryan said he couldn’t speak to whether Britney was seeking a release from it or if this was more standard court proceedings. He did say he could understand if she did and mused that anyone in the situation would want to get out of it at some point.
Though he and Britney talk pretty regularly, Bryan says he does still get concerned when he sees his sister all over news headlines. He doesn’t know what the right answers are for Britney and doesn’t know who would have those answers.
“She’s always wanted to get out of it. It’s very frustrating to have,” he said of the conservatorship.
“Whether someone’s coming in peace to help or coming in with an attitude, having someone constantly tell you to do something has got to be frustrating. She’s wanted to get out of it for quite some time.”
Bryan says he isn’t sure how realistic that desire is and what it would take.
“She’s been surrounded by a team of people since she was 15. So at what level does everyone walk away or at what level does that get reduced?”
Drew noted a difference between the practicality of Britney being released from the conservatorship and how she would need to structure her life to her having or not having basic freedoms. Bryan acknowledged the difference but was concerned the practical aspects were what she would struggle with.
He made light of her driving skills as an example. “She is the worst driver in the world. I’m not lying, bless her heart. She’s really not a very good driver, and she hasn’t had to do that.”
There were mixed responses to Bryan’s interview from #FreeBritney. Some applauded him for acknowledging that the goal has always been to get Britney back on her own two feet and that she explicitly has wanted that. Though fans have indicated multiple signs that Britney wants out of the arrangement, there’s been no confirmation of her ever saying that from anyone that close to her.
Others were critical of Bryan’s language throughout the interview. He lamented being in a family of strong-willed, opinionated women on several occasions, even when the host acknowledged that was a sentiment he’d catch flack for. Bryan also referred to managing Britney and her various endeavors as “the family business” on multiple occasions, which was concerning to many.