The New York Times-produced unauthorised documentary Framing Britney Spears, which explores Britney Spears' career and conservatorship, has sparked discourse about the public and media's unfair treatment of women and garnered the singer more support in her fight to end her father Jamie Spears' 13-year conservatorship over her. Entertainment Tonight recently reported that the star is thankful for the outpour of empathy from fans and other celebrities. And while there was talk in early February that Britney would be telling her story in the form of her own documentary, ET reported that she isn't opposed to the idea of an Oprah interview.
"Britney has considered speaking out about her past, mostly because she doesn't feel others should tell her story," a source told ET. "She's always hated doing interviews but if she ever takes that step, Oprah would most likely be her first choice. At this point, there is no plan in the works for her to do an interview but when she does, there will be steps Britney would need to take before speaking out."
"Conservators do not have the legal authority to control what somebody says," Don Slater, an attorney who specialises in conservatorships, tells Refinery29. "That said, there are other reasons she may not be able to speak freely. In these cases many attorneys instruct their clients not to talk about ongoing cases because what they say might not help their case — in fact, it could hurt it. "
Slater continues, "It's possible that the court has ordered that she can't talk about certain things because there's confidentially sealed documents on the record. Other things that could be in play would be that she could have entered into non-disclosure agreements or confidentiality agreements in her past and she wouldn't probably talk about those things either. But as far as the conservatorship goes, she should be able to talk freely, and I think that a court making an order prohibiting her from doing so is extremely unlikely."
Perhaps she wouldn't be able to talk about the specifics of her current situation and ongoing case, but she could likely speak freely on many parts of her career and the events that led her to a conservatorship in the first place.
There's also a difference between a conservator of a person's estate and their person, Slater notes. "With the co-conservator of the estate, which Jamie is, the powers are limited to financial transactions and legal issues," he says. "The conservator of the person can bleed into more freedom issues — they could control where she lived, might be able to control who she sees, how people talk to her, but that would need to be included in a court order and it to find just case. That doesn't naturally come with the position." Jamie was named co-conservator of both Spears' estate and person in 2008 and will last until September 3, 2021. Jodi Montgomery, a professionally licensed conservator, took over the role temporarily in 2019 when Jamie volunteered to briefly step down for health reasons.
However, ET reported that Samuel Ingham, Britney's attorney, plans to file a petition and ask the court to make Montgomery Britney's permanent conservator at their next hearing on April 27. If that were approved and her father out of the equation, Spears would likely have more freedom to sit down with someone like Oprah Winfrey.