Earlier this month, it was reported that Britney Spears had checked herself into a mental health facility, because her father’s ailing health has had an impact on her own wellbeing. However, there is a group of Spears fans who believe she is being held against her will, and as a response, a bunch of them staged a “Free Britney” protest.
Fans gathered outside the West Hollywood City Hall on Monday, with signs that said things like “Free Britney” and “Truth Will Set Her Free.” This protest resulted from the #FreeBritney hashtag, which picked up steam after a recent episode of the Spears fan podcast Britney’s Gram, during which the show’s creators spoke about “an anonymous tip from a credible source” they received.
Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, has been her conservator since 2008, meaning that he has the power to make decisions about Spears’ life and act as her legal guardian. The podcast’s source is supposedly “a paralegal who used to work for an attorney that was involved in Britney’s conservatorship,” and he said:
“Basically, Britney was in rehearsals for Domination. It came to Jamie’s attention that Britney was not taking her medication as prescribed. She was missing a lot of doses and just full-on not taking them. So they got her to the doctor and the doctor said, ‘OK, if you don’t want these medications, let’s get you on a new one.’ She refused to take the new one. Jamie said, ‘Either you take this medication or the show’s off, and I’m pulling my support and you can’t do it.’ Britney did not follow Jamie’s instructions, so he was true to his word — he pulled the show, he verbatim said, ‘Blame it on my illness.’ […] Britney has been in the mental facility since mid-January.”
Spears’ Las Vegas residency, Domination, has been on hold since late last year, when her father’s health issues began. She wrote at the time, “A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time.”
Neither Spears nor anybody from her team has commented on the rumors that she is being held against her will. However, Spears has been seen outside of the facility multiple times in recent days: She was spotted in a hair salon a couple weeks ago, and she was seen spending Easter with her boyfriend this past weekend.
Check out some photos and videos from the protest below.