Britney Spears told the court that her dad committed her to a facility against her will

Britney Spears announces her new Las Vegas residency

As we discussed earlier, Britney Spears made a rare appearance in court on Friday with both of her parents. It looks like Britney has reconnected with her mom, Lynne Spears, and Lynne wants a say in Britney’s life and possibly her conservatorship. Britney asked the court to possibly loosen her father’s iron grip on her conservatorship. The judge didn’t make any ruling other than ordering an evaluation, possibly on Britney, possibly on Lynne, we don’t know. Now TMZ has more information:

Britney Spears has joined the social media movement to free her from her conservatorship, and she told the judge as much Friday when she was in court. Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ, Britney has done an about-face, now telling the judge her father, Jamie Spears, committed her to a mental health facility a month ago against her will and also forced her to take drugs. We’re also told Lynne Spears’ lawyer echoed the allegation.

TMZ broke the story, Britney spent 30 days at an L.A. mental health facility after she began rapidly going downhill … she stopped taking the drugs that kept her stable after they stopped working and doctors still have been unable to find the right combination. As we reported, Jamie Spears does not have the power under the conservatorship to either commit Britney against her will or to ply her with drugs against her will. A mental health facility that accepted an adult patient against that patient’s will when the conservator did not have such power would be committing a crime. And remember, Britney frequently left the place and was seen out and about.

Britney wants more freedom and asked the judge for certain adjustments … but didn’t get them. Sources tell us Britney would like to end the conservatorship, which has been operating for 11-plus years. The judge took no action and has ordered an expert to evaluate Britney and until that happens there will be no change in the conservatorship … but it has clearly created a family war.

[From TMZ]

I had one of the #FreeBritney people in my mentions on Twitter, arguing that Britney is being taken advantage of and Jamie Spears is out of control and there’s a full on movement to “free” Britney and if she’s finally free, everything will be fine. Which… is not what I think is happening here. I’ve always thought Jamie Spears’ acts as Britney’s conservator were often problematic, especially when it often felt like he was raking in the profits from her work. People always forget that he tried to marry her off her Jason Trawick AND make Trawick her co-conservator so they could jointly control Britney. And when I even suggested that there were issues, the Britney stans always shouted me down and talked about how she was doing fine and everything was fine. What a difference a year makes, huh?

The truth of the matter is, I suspect, just a lot messier. It involves how unprepared the court system is to deal with a family being torn apart by mental illness, and how best to deal with a mentally ill person’s consent and wishes even when they’re having problems taking care of themselves. I’m not positive that Jamie OR Lynne have Britney’s best interests in mind, and I’m not positive that Britney is in any kind of state to make healthy decisions for herself right now either.

Britney Spears announces her new Las Vegas residency

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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50 Responses to “Britney Spears told the court that her dad committed her to a facility against her will”

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  1. Enn says:

    Wow, this is turning into a mess. Is there such a thing as a guardian ad litem for adults?

    Mental illness can be a vicious beast. My uncle struggled most of his life, on and off meds, changing cocktails, and it was sad and painful.

    • Jess says:

      My dad is a guardian ad litem in MN and while he usually works with kids he has represented adults as well. I was just thinking the same thing – she needs a professional with no financial interest in her to help her. Family members who have or can profit off her shouldn’t be making any of these decisions for her. Poor Brit.

      • Nancypants says:

        I agree. This poor woman has been working to pay everyone her entire life.
        I’ve gone back and forth in regard to her parents; seriously loving, concerned parents or money-sucking users.

        Why can’t she just retire? She has plenty of money for herself and the kids.
        I imagine her father guilts her into believing all her dancers, singers, musicians and he and her mom and Federline and the kids will all starve unless she keeps busting her ass.


    • minx says:

      Oh, man, this is upsetting. I wish the best for Britney.

      • Starkiller says:

        Nancypants: she might actually do better when she’s working. I have a good bit of experience with mental illness both personally and in my family—while some of us (including myself) might not ever appear “well” to an outsider, we still do leagues better with some type of solid schedule and work—otherwise we’d become totally unmoored.

    • Abby says:

      Yes, there’s such thing. I agree–needs to be an uninvolved professional to help here!

    • Susan says:

      You are thinking of a conservatorship. A guardian ad litem is a term for someone who is appointed to represent an incapacitated person in court proceedings only. (Incapacitated can mean a child, or someone too physically or mentally sick or disabled to be able to represent themselves in court). All they do is argue for that person’s interests in court. In fact, a guardian ad litem might be the one to advocate *against* a conservatorship.

      All that being said, it is not easy to get a conservatorship over the person of an adult, as opposed to just their finances etc. It would be deeply troubling if your family could lock you up or force medications on you because they felt you were making wrong decisions even if you have a mental illness. Mentally ill people still have the right to their freedom if they are not physically harming themselves or others.

  2. Birdix says:

    This is tangential, but my BFF’s 14 year old is an addict and has threatened her with violence. She can’t get him into Kaiser rehab because he has to consent. For court-ordered rehab, she has to get a case opened on her own neglect. She doesn’t have the $50k for private rehab. So it’s an escalating downward spiral for both of them.

    • Shannon says:

      Wow! At 14 he has to consent? I would have thought as a minor that wouldn’t be necessary. That’s a shame.

    • Alissa says:

      That’s interesting. My stepdaughter went to a rehab/troubled teens school last year to help with drugs as well as other mental health issues. It was a private rehab but accepted insurance, so that’s how she was able to go. She never would have consented but since she was under 18 and her mom was able to get her there, she couldn’t sign herself out once she was there.

      • PleaseAndThankYou says:

        Please, everyone… Tread carefully with those places. The “troubled teen” industry is simply that – an industry, fairly unregulated still. I know there’s no books or guides on what to do when your child is struggling, but before you sign them over to a TBS, wilderness program, or something similar, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If the school or program limits contact between you and your child (or records phone calls or reads and censors their mail), will not explain every aspect of the program to you – don’t listen to an educational consultant trying to sell you on it. They are compensated extremely well for funneling the children of frightened parents into extremely expensive programs that are tantamount to child abuse. Always try as much therapy as possible before turning to programs – and with multiple therapists, as you might find what your child needs outside of sending them away (where you cannot consistently check on their well-being). Some children are acting out because there is something else going on and they don’t feel safe telling you. Just be VERY CAREFUL with “troubled teen” programs. I have worked with kids who were sexually, physically, and emotionally abused at a number of these programs – one of them was considered the “best” in the country and cost $120k/yr. These children were subjected to corporal punishment, pulled out of schooling for the most minor of “infractions” and forced into horrifying weeks-long manual labor that left their hands raw and bleeding every day, manipulated emotionally into believing that they had been sexually abused and alienated from their families or persons in their families; one very young woman had been acting out (marijuana; skipping school) because she had been sexually assaulted by another student at her school; when she finally came forward with this information, she was physically held up against a wall by a male staff member using his own body weight while he screamed at her that she deserved what had happened to her and that “it would happen again” if she did not complete the program. He then forced her into a sexual position and walked around her, taunting her about the assault. The students were forced to attack one another in weekly group settings, and in one such “group,” the owner of the school dropped in, focused on a young woman who had cut herself, threw a pack of razor blades at her, and began screaming at her to go ahead and cut herself in front of them. The students at this program only had one monitored and recorded phone call a week; their mail was searched and censored (outgoing and incoming), and they could not visit with their parents for 3-6 months, until the TBS/program was sure that the kids would not dare to tell their parents the truth about anything that happened there. I’ve worked with kids from other programs who have suffered unthinkable acts at the hands of the adults meant to protect them – one program mandated physical activity daily, and though a child had broken their wrist, they were forced to continue to do push-ups – they obviously were unable to do so, and so the employees would gather the other students around her to yell and scream that she was faking both her pain and her inability to finish the required number. This young woman ended up requiring multiple surgeries after she went home. Her parents had no idea what was going on. There are so many suicides in these programs as well – one former student of yet another program recounted to me how after he walked in to his shared room to find that his roommate had committed suicide, he was forced to cut the other child down and the staff would not perform potentially life-saving measures, and then forced the roommate to clean up after the suicide and remain in the same room. BE CAREFUL. I have seen many young people who could not overcome what they were forced to do and how they were abused in these “troubled teen” programs and TBS’s. Too many of them ended their lives shortly after coming home. None of this is talked about enough and no one is thoroughly checking these programs and schools. “Accreditation” means very little in this world. If your goal is to help your child and support them while they struggle, please use every resource available to you before sending your child away. And if you feel as though it is no longer optional, please THOROUGHLY research any program or TBS, do not rely on educational consultants, and remember your child’s life is literally on the line. This is an incredibly lucrative industry for the people in it, and just about anyone can start a program up in certain states. Check child protection laws in the state whose program you are looking at – stay away from Utah, Texas, Oregon, and Virginia, for example, and NEVER send your child to a program outside the US, like Samoa.

      • Birdix says:

        Thanks for that pleaseandthankyou. I can see how tempting it must be for a desperate parent. My friend is definitely at the end of her rope. And yes, interesting what you say about some of those states—she was told if she could get him to Utah, he could be committed without consent.

  3. Wendy says:

    This just makes me sad. I remember her spiral and thinking that everyone involved stood to profit the more out of control she got. Her family, that scuzzy agent, the paps…and since that time she has been a dancing money tree. I am really surprised there haven’t been scheduled re-evaluations all along, eleven years is a long time for the court to not hear the voice and desires of someone so completely controlled by another.

    • Gaby says:

      Even though I don’t trust Jamie a 100%, I trust Lynne even less. I think she will try to play the friend instead of the mom, maybe even out of guilt, who knows, but I don’t think she will be the firm hand the Britney needs to keep stable.

      • Wendy says:

        I couldn’t agree more about Lynn, just no.
        I feel like it shouldn’t be anyone with a financial stake in it.

      • kim says:

        yup. the same Lynn who bought her barely teenage daughter alcohol, and pushed her to dating an 18year guy with his own on property apartment…because his dad owned the town car dealership?

        Lynn is an opportunist…look at jamie lynn…tried cashing in on her before she got pregnant on the set of zoe101…

    • lboogi says:

      There have been evaluations throughout her conservatorship and that is why the conservatorship has lasted 11 years.

      • Wendy says:

        Maybe because ‘evaluation ‘ is such an ambiguous term? It could mean anything from in depth interviews with all involved, psych eval etc to auditing the books.

        I have always wondered if she had input into the show aspect of her life or if she’s a medicated cash cow who, by some reports, doesn’t even have full control over her choice of intimate partners.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Her dad only makes $128k per year from being her conservator. That is not a “dancing money tree”.

  4. Erinn says:

    It’s so frustrating. Because it’s easy to argue someone is doing great and doesn’t need a conservatorship … when they’re properly medicating and keeping up with a routine that’s good for them. But it’s relatively common for people dealing with mental illness to think that they no longer need their medication once things have leveled out and have been going well. And I don’t blame them for that at all – nobody wants to think that they NEED to take something forever, especially when they’re feeling good.

    I do also think Jamie has made some sketchy decisions over the years, but overall he’s done the best for her as well. He’s kept her alive, relatively healthy, and her finances essentially in order. I genuinely believe that she wouldn’t be able to do that on her own, and I do think there are a LOT worse people who could be controlling her life. It’s an incredibly difficult situation, though, and it’s incredibly sad.

  5. Kylie says:

    I feel like if Britney’s conservatorship is to continue, the conservators should be independent individuals selected by the court. In Britney’s case it is clearly problematic for a relative to be in that position.

  6. WingKingdom says:

    It really bums me out that every picture of her shows her not smiling, but simply baring her teeth. She does not seem happy.

  7. Shannon says:

    It’s a sad situation all the way around. I’m sure her parents love her, but that’s just got to be difficult. I’m living with my parents right now to go to law school, and although I love them and vice-versa, they already try to exert a level of control over my life that’s not okay, and it’s led to a few arguments. Obviously, it’s not the same. I’m of (relatively lol) sound mind and they certainly don’t have a conservatorship over me, but the dynamic is still difficult so this situation must be 100x harder for everyone involved. I wish them all the best and hope for the best outcome for Britney.

  8. Notyouraveragehousewife says:

    I feel icky reading these stories. It’s such a private, family issue. I wonder if someone from her camp is getting paid for these stories? I feel awful for Britney.

    • TQB says:

      wasn’t it amazing that even TMZ felt the need to knock their own source when they suggested she was committed against her will be Jamie? Someone is getting paid for peddling obvious garbage info.

    • Juju says:

      It may not be a leak from her camp. I’ve heard TMZ stoops to despicable lows like wire tapping court rooms and bribing to get info like this. It seems that Britney and her family are trying to deal with this in private but TMZ wants to cash in.

  9. Digital Unicorn says:

    Its very sad and if its true she’s stopped taking her meds then if they don’t find a combination that works for her then its not going to end well. Also isn’t she evaluated regularly? Doesn’t the court received regular updates on her progress etc..? I seem to recall reading that somewhere.

    I agree that Jamie has made some dodgy decisions over the years but lets face it he saved her life. She’s proven when she has freedom she makes bad decisions – Sam Lutfi as her ‘manager’ anyone?!?! Britney is not capable of being left to her own devices, we’ve seen what happens when she is.

    Out of both her parents, Jamie has proven he is the most responsible of the 2 and has done what Brit needs not what she wants. Re: Jason Trawick, I think that was Jamie trying to setup some one to care for her when he does go, having a ‘husband’ looking over her is better than anyone in her family, esp her enabling mother.

  10. Aims says:

    I have a family member who would benefit to have a conservator. She is extremely mentally ill and her husband easily bends to her demands, even when they aren’t in her best wishes. I think a third party that has no skin in the game is best. They can make decisions without bias. I don’t know what Britney has, but I can guess. If I’m correct, then she will always need someone looking out for her

  11. Lea says:

    There have been many times when I have thought that Britney’s well-being was coming second to Britney making money.
    Like, there have been times through her residency when she expressed that she felt overwhelmed and didn’t want to go on stage… And yet they wanted her to start another one.
    Britney cannot have a cell phone, cannot chose her own boyfriend, cannot decide if she wants to work or not. She doesn’t even take pleasure in being on stage, and when you see her in public she gives those smiles that are extremely sad. I think people want her to keep earning money at all costs, when what she wants is probably to live a low key life. That’s just my opinion. I think she still needs the conservatorship, but it should allow her to breathe a little.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what I’ve always thought too. If it works better for her, having someone manage her care and her finances is good, but she shouldn’t be forced to work if she doesn’t want. She’s earned enough.

    • Aren says:

      Not just the family, there’s always a bunch of fans who are “mental health experts” claiming she needs to work (as an entertainer) to maintain a schedule.
      What that poor woman needed was help to be as independent as possible, because she’s rich and her father was obviously not going to live forever.

  12. Rae says:

    As a daughter who grew up being my mother’s carer, due to her battle with mental illness after a break down, this makes me sad.

    Whilst Jaime hasn’t had great press, I’ve always felt he was being the much needed rock. The words coming out of Britney now sound…like someone is taking advantage of her mental struggles and feeding her lines. As you said, she had been coming and going from the facility, so that makes me question how “forced” she was.

    My mum is like that; I’ll mention something lightly like “I think it’s going to rain later” and then shortly after she’s taken it as gospel and repeating it. I can easily see how someone, say Lynne, could put an idea in Britney’s head and watch it run away.

    But none of us know the truth, so I hope with can trust the judge to make an informed decision. I think his not making any changes, but instead asking for a review, speaks volumes to me. Britney sounds like she is struggling and the judge possibly saw she’s not in the right state of mind.

    I hope, for Britney, that they work something out.

  13. Raina says:

    Free Britney might send a dangerous message to her if she isn’t thinking straight right now. More like, treat/help Britney. With proper professionals that aren’t about money, power or ego. God speed. Unfortunately, I know about mental illness and families. Everyone suffers.

  14. HeyThere! says:

    I don’t think either of her parents should be the person. A professional who has no personal gain or financial gain should be helping her live her best life. This breaks my heart.

  15. Meganbot2000 says:

    TMZ’s reporting is irresponsibly inaccurate to the point of being dangerous.

    A mental health facility accepting a patient without that patient’s consent is not a “crime” and certainly would not have happened without a) medical need and b) all due legal processes being followed. Many, many people with mental health problems are treated when they are not able to give consent. One of my best friends has been Sectioned three times.

    It’s very sad, but Britney is evidently suffering from an extremely severe mental illness that prevents her from managing her own care. A years-long conservatorship is so rare, and so stringently controlled by the courts (her dad has to submit financial reports to the court showing where every cent goes), it simply would not happen except in the most dire circumstances. If a facility agreed to commit Britney without her consent, the doctors there must have felt that in their professional opinion her mental state presented a danger to herself or others. You don’t just get slammed in a psych ward for no good reason!

    • sassafras says:

      THANK YOU. No judge ever, anywhere, would continue a 11 year long, high profile conservatorship over an adult without damn good reason. It’s just so, so unheard of. So of COURSE they order an evaluation. Because no judge would do anything without an ample paper trail.

    • Shannon says:

      And mental health facilities CAN hold people against their will temporarily for 14 days under a 5250 hold. So the idea that people can’t be admitted to a psychiatric facility without their informed consent is not true at all. It’s easier to admit someone to a psychiatric facility without their consent in California than anywhere else in the country.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        5150 hold comes first, which is a 72 hour hold, followed by a 5250, which is up to 14 days. After that the patient can request a fair hearing followed by a court appearance to determine the legitimacy of the hold.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Thank you for making these important points!

  16. Originaltessa says:

    Maybe I’ve dealt with too many addicts and people who are mentally ill and I’m cynical, but I don’t think her dad did a dang thing wrong. He was ill. Her treatment got compromised while he was out of commission, and he’s trying his damndest to get her back on track. Not because he wants her money, but because he loved his daughter and wants her to live.

  17. snowqueenM says:

    This is sad, and I don’t think it will end well. With Jamie ill, it feels like the hangers-on are circling in the water, looking for vulnerabilities.

  18. Amaria says:

    Just saw the TMZ pics… She looks ill. Worse than the usual robotic demeanor she’s had over the last years. It’s not just the barefoot thing. The 2008 vibe is here. Ending the conservatorship seems like a dangerous idea at this point. These protesters should get a life and stop meddling in the matters they know nothing about, this is about her survival.

  19. Loca says:

    This is so sad. Just wondering what type of affect this strong medication has an effect on her health and mind alone. There are so many options however first I’d like to see her really get away from it all and let her enjoy her hard earned money. A different environment is a start. She can afford the best doctors there just has to be a way to help out of this state. Best wishes to Britney!

  20. Bichon Lover says:

    If this conservatorship has lasted for more than a decade, I promise you that there’s legitimate legal and medical reasons for it. All files (medical and financial) are reviewed regularly to ensure that funds are appropriately spent and none are being diverted to the conservator or his business or personal interests.

    Can you imagine how difficult it is to manage the affairs of an adult? Now, a divorced adult with children? Keep going…a superstar Britney Spears, who performs in Vegas, has Kevin Federline as an ex, has two kids, and is constantly being papped? Add trying to maintain your own life and relationships to the equation. There is no way in hell that Jamie wants this job; he saved her life and he’s trying to maintain her health. Lynne getting into this is highly suspicious. But at the end of the day, the psychiatrists will make the decision.

  21. Newbie says:

    No relative or friend can have a person committed for mental health treatment or forcibly medicate them against their will in California. That decision is SOLELY the preserve of clinicians. If she’s saying that then it doesn’t say much for her capacity right now. If her mother is on board with that conspiracy shit then she shouldn’t be given any control over her daughters life. You do not feed an unwell persons delusions if you care at all about them.

  22. SJR says:

    I feel very sad for BS. She never looks even slightly happy in photos the last 5 years.
    Certainly she needs people who love her to be kind and supportive. I do not believe she has been held against her will, I think her Dad has done a difficult job very well.

    In the long run, IMO, BS should stop performing and live her life out of the public arena.
    More money than 100 people need and yet, a deeply troubled life.

  23. bridget says:

    Many celebrities have mental illness, and yet Britney is the only one who still is under the grip of a conservatorship – all the while she is able to work and parent. Doesn’t that feel so strange to you all?

  24. grace2 says:

    How does an “involuntary psychiatric hold” work if the person has no health insurance? I’m in Canada where we have universal (gov’t funded) health care and wondered how this worked in the US. Obviously Britney has the resources to stay in the best facility money can buy, but how does it work for the average American?