Great Britain

New Britney Spears docuseries to examine long-contested conservatorship: ‘How we treated her was disgusting’

On Thursday, a preview of Episode 6 was released, with one interviewee declaring, “How we treated her was disgusting.”

Produced by <i>The New York Times</i> and Left/Right, Framing Britney Spears will air on FX and FX on Hulu. According to promotional copy, the docuseries “re-examines [Spears's] career and offers a new assessment of the movement rallying against her court-mandated conservatorship, capturing the unsavory dimensions of the American pop-star machine”.

For 13 years, the embattled pop singer has been living under a conservatorship, which occurs when a court-appointed guardian manages another person’s life due to physical or mental limitations. Spears has been under hers since 2008, after several public breakdowns. Her father, Jamie Spears, had been co-conservator of her estate alongside lawyer Andrew Wallet, who voluntarily resigned his post in March 2019. 

The series is premiering at a pivotal time in Spears’s ongoing case for control of her conservatorship. Last year,  Spears’s lawyer, Sam Ingham, said that his client was "afraid" of her father and had claimed that she would not perform again while he remained conservator.

“She accepted the conservatorship was going to happen, but she didn't want her father to be conservator,” a voiceover claims in the trailer.

“Any time there's that amount of money to be made, you have to question the motives of everyone,” another speaker points out.

As of mid-December, a judge ruled that the conservatorship would be extended until at least September of this year.

Though Jamie is still his daughter’s conservator, a corporate fiduciary, the Bessemer Trust, serves as co-conservator over her estate.

Framing Britney Spears is a joint project between Times journalists Jason Stallman, Sam Dolnick, and Stephanie Preiss along with Left/Right’s Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, and Mary Robertson.

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