- Britney Spears’ 13-year conservatorship officially came to an end on Friday.
- The pop star’s dedicated fans celebrated outside the LA courthouse, crying, singing, and dancing.
- Her fans said they hope the singer now has the freedom to do whatever she wants.
After 13 years, Britney Spears’ contentious conservatorship officially came to an end on Friday.
Judge Brenda Penny granted the singer’s request to terminate the legal arrangement over both her person and her estate — effective immediately.
The scene outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles as news of Spears’ freedom reached the crowd of #FreeBritney fans stationed outside the building was one of elation and disbelief as confetti was shot into the air to celebrate.
“It doesn’t feel real. I think it’s going to take some time,” one fan Shareef Wahdan told Insider. “It’s been 13 years, so it’s…not going to happen overnight for it to… hit you and be like, this really happened.”
There were hugs among friends, tears throughout the crowd, and sing-alongs to some of Spears’ top hits in the aftermath of the announcement, as “#FreeBritney” became “FreedBritney.”
For the scores of dedicated supporters — some of whom told Insider they’ve been involved with the #FreeBritney movement for years — Friday’s hearing was the welcome culmination of a decade-long fight to secure the pop star’s freedom.
“I’m elated. I’m on cloud ten,” Gregg Donovan, who wore a top hat and white gloves to the courthouse, said. “This will be a day, November 12th, 2021…It’s put [conservatorship abuse] on the map.”
Several supporters said they found the close-knit #FreeBritney community after spending years as a fan of Spears’ music.
“She’s our childhood, I don’t even know how to describe it,” Frankie Adams told Insider. “There is no ’90s or early 2000s without Britney Spears in your life. And some of us let go of it, but some of us haven’t ever let it go.”
But even as her fans reminisced about past performances and Spears’ iconic songs, the overjoyed crowd was in agreement on one thing: They don’t mind if she never takes the stage again.
“She can go on and do whatever she wants,” Adams said. “Whether she wants to disappear — girl, you disappear. [Or] come out with an album? Come out with an album.”
Vanessa Rundlett, who flew into Los Angeles from Rhode Island on Friday morning to attend the #FreeBritney rally, concurred. The 35-year-old went to the courthouse directly from the airport, suitcase in tow, just in time to hear the verdict.
Rundlett told Insider she hopes that whatever comes next for Spears, it’s “whatever the fuck she wants.”
“If she wants to just hang out and go get her nails done; if she wants to spend time with her family; if she wants to take the time to just leave things,” Rundlett said. “She’s a testament to what faith can do for a person.”
Dabis Luong said that while Spears’ fans undoubtedly love her and would be disappointed if she vanished from their lives, most of the movement just wants whatever is best for the singer.
“The majority of fans would be okay if she disappeared from public life for good,” Adams said.
“If that’s what she wants, we got enough albums. We’re good,” Luong added.
Spears’ conservatorship began in 2008 following two involuntary stays in psychiatric facilities. Her father Jamie Spears was put in charge of her financial and personal decisions.
“It’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end,” the singer said in emotional testimony during a June hearing. “I just want my life back. The conservatorship should end. I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.”
The #FreeBritney movement, which began as a movement solely focused on the pop star’s situation, has gained unprecedented popularity over the past few years, and supporters of the community said they want to use that momentum to continue advocating for an end to conservatorship abuse nationwide.
Donovan said he thinks Friday’s decision will go down in history books.
“The movement is going to spread around the world,” he told Insider. “It’s put it on the map.”
Similarly, Adams, said she thinks Spears’ case will end up in law books and start a larger conversation about conservatorship abuse.
“I think there will be laws made to make sure this kind of stuff never happens again,” she said.
And Phillip Lawrence, another #FreeBritney supporter, said he hopes conservatorships will one day be abolished altogether.
But in the moments following the announcement, Spears’ fans were focused on the present moment, celebrating the news.
“Honestly, my faith in humanity has been restored through this,” Rundlett said.