The #FreeBritney movement has apparently found supporters in two Republican firebrands.
On Tuesday, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz announced in a press release that he and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan have called on the House Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing about unjust conservatorships in the wake of The New York Times’ documentary “Framing Britney Spears.”
Gaetz said in a statement that Spears’ allegedly abusive conservatorship under her father Jamie Spears inspired him to co-sign a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Monday.
“If the conservatorship process can rip the agency from a woman who was in the prime of her life and one of the most powerful pop stars in the world, imagine what it can do to people who are less powerful and have less of a voice,” he said. “I’ve heard the story of those people in Florida, and I am concerned about access to due process for wards.”
Public interest in Britney Spears' battle to remove her father as a conservator of her estate began after the hashtag #FreeBritney gained traction on social media and later grew following the release of "Framing Britney Spears." (Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)
Public interest in the pop star’s battle to remove her father as a conservator of her estate began after the hashtag #FreeBritney gained traction on social media and later grew following the release of “Framing Britney Spears,” which highlighted the rise of Spears’ career, discord over the conservatorship and the singer’s mental health challenges.
USA TODAY has reached out to Jamie Spears’ lawyer for comment.
In their letter to Nadler, Gaetz and Jordan said there are “countless other Americans” who are “unjustly stripped of their freedoms” under conservatorships.
“Ms. Spears is not alone,” the letter reads. “Given the constitutional freedoms at stake and opaqueness of these arrangements, it is incumbent upon our Committee to convene a hearing to examine whether Americans are trapped unjustly in conservatorships.”
Britney Spears’ father Jamie would ‘love’ to see pop star ‘not need a conservatorship,’ his lawyer says
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Gaetz, a fierce supporter of former President Donald Trump, said he’s been a Spears fan since he was 16.
“We shouldn’t shy away from tough things because they impact famous people that we adore,” he said in the article, published Tuesday. “And yes, Britney’s fame has caused so much pain in her life and has made her so vulnerable. Maybe her fame can be a part of creating a better remedy and a better ending.”
He added that he hopes a hearing will include “discussion on elements of a bill of rights for wards” and suggested wards have the ability to vote, opportunities to review their conservatorship and financial audits.
Britney Spears’ father stays as her co-conservator; judge gives equal power to Bessemer Trust
And he told TMZ on Tuesday that he’d be happy to include Spears in the discussion as well.
“I think that we ought to hear directly from Britney Spears. I think we can call her in to the House Judiciary Committee with no lawyers, with no conservators, and we can hear directly from her about the abuses in this process,” he said. “We need to hear directly from the queen of pop herself.”
‘Framing Britney’ exposes a problem bigger than Britney
Contributing: Elise Brisco
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