One year ago, Britney Spears fans across the globe were overjoyed to learn that her conservatorship had finally been terminated.
The controversial legal arrangement came into effect back in 2008 and saw the pop star’s life and finances tightly controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, and a group of lawyers. However, thanks to the now-famous #FreeBritney movement — which consisted of fans voicing their concern for how Britney was coping — the guardianship wound up being reviewed in court in 2021.
Britney memorably denounced Jamie and her entire family before a judge in June that year, accusing them of doing “nothing” to help her while she’d been struggling for the past decade. She claimed that in spite of her wishes to have more children and start a new chapter with her long-term boyfriend, Sam Asghari, she wasn’t allowed to have her IUD removed or get married under the control of her conservators.
Britney also compared her experience to “sex trafficking,” alleging that she’d been under 24-hour surveillance in a Beverly Hills home, where she’d been forced to do “a small rehab program.” Jamie firmly denied any wrongdoing before being suspended from his role as her conservator in September. Days earlier, a report from the New York Times claimed that he’d authorized surveillance of Britney’s bedroom and phone without her knowledge, which he also denied.
And so, it was undoubtedly a huge win for Britney when the court-appointed conservatorship finally came to an end a couple of months later, on Nov. 12, 2021.
But this momentous day only marked the beginning of a turbulent 12 months as Britney navigated her newfound freedom and various legal battles.
In fact, just a month after the conservatorship was lifted, legal fights over the singer's financial matters and the alleged surveillance of her personal space began.
Britney’s attorney, Mathew Rosengart, has long alleged that Jamie had mishandled his daughter’s money when he was her conservator. And in December 2021, Rosengart raised the issue of financial mismanagement again after Jamie requested that Britney continue to pay his attorney fees of $1,200 per hour.
In January 2022, Rosengart claimed that Jamie had wasted Britney’s fortune as he detailed his spending habits in another court hearing. It was around this time that Britney and her legal team requested that Jamie sit down for a formal deposition, which he would allegedly go on to avoid for several months.
In May, Britney and her lawyers claimed that Jamie had not appeared for three of their proposed deposition dates. Legal documents obtained by TMZ showed that Rosengart had suggested Jamie was “running and hiding” from answering Britney’s questions to avoid taking any accountability for his alleged financial mishandling.
It was here that Rosengart also accused Jamie of continuing to “harass and bully” his daughter before claiming that he’d also paid himself $6.3 million of Britney’s money. Jamie continued to deny any wrongdoing while requesting that Britney sit down for a deposition herself.
However, a judge denied this request, ruling that it most likely wouldn’t produce any information relevant to the case, and ordered that Jamie must sit down for a formal deposition and provide all documents related to the alleged electronic surveillance of his daughter.
Meanwhile, Rosengart publicly questioned why Jamie had filed the request in the first place, stating that any “decent father” would believe that their daughter wasn’t lying and would thus “accept the court’s ruling.”
“Whether he believes it or not, whether he accepts it or not, his daughter feels traumatized by what she went through at his hands for more than a decade,” the lawyer said.
Jamie eventually went on to appeal the judge’s “unfair” decision that he should have to sit for a deposition, filing legal documents in September to the California Court of Appeals. That same month, a judge also denied a motion from Britney’s mom, Lynne, that requested that the pop star cover her $663,203 legal bill.
At present, it’s not clear how long it will take the court to rule on Jamie's request. However, Rosengart has recently filed another motion to sit him down for a second deposition, with the lawyer keen to ask more questions about his handling of Britney’s fortune.
What’s more, Britney found herself facing another legal win just last month after a judge ruled that she’ll be able to ask Tri Star Entertainment — the company she was formerly managed by — about the surveillance allegations.
And so, from a legal perspective, things are looking promising for Britney as the months go by. However, it’s not only battles in the courtroom that she’s faced over the past year.
The pop star has also feuded with just about every member of her inner circle, beginning with her immediate family. Britney’s long-running spats with her mom and younger sister have only reached new heights this year, erupting just days after her conservatorship was terminated.
Perhaps most memorably, Britney claimed she got “no response” from her mom after texting her to say that she feared her doctor was “trying to kill” her while she was being held at a mental health facility — which she previously said she’d been forced to stay in for four months.
Lynne hit back at this by seemingly accusing Britney of editing the messages, sharing a screenshot of her own as she claimed she also had “the whole conversations.” But the singer was having none of it, and responded with a lengthy post about how her “prayer loving mom” has long pretended to be a “responsible perfect parent.”
Meanwhile, Britney’s messy public spat with her sister, Jamie Lynn, flared up too when the latter chose to release a personal memoir just two months after Britney was freed from the conservatorship.
Jamie Lynn made a series of televised appearances in the run-up to her book’s release in January in which she repeatedly commented on Britney’s decadelong struggle under the legal arrangement despite the pop star making it clear she didn't want her sister speaking out. At this point in time, Britney had yet to formally address its termination herself and admitted that she was still “scared” to do interviews.
So, Britney and her legal team condemned Jamie Lynn for choosing to publicly discuss the sensitive matter. In fact, Rosengart ended up sending her a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action if she continued to mention Britney during her promotional campaign.
And over the next few months, Britney found herself embroiled in several more spats — this time with lovers from her past, including Justin Timberlake, Kevin Federline, and Jason Alexander.
In March, Britney seemingly accused her ex-boyfriend Justin of weaponizing her name to bolster his career back in the early ‘00s. Although she didn’t go into specifics, Britney’s very pointed — and now-deleted — Instagram post mentioned an “ex” whose “first album” claimed she’d done him “dirty” for “fame and attention." People quickly made the connection to Justin and his debut solo album, Justified, which featured his infamous hit “Cry Me A River." This song largely insinuated that Britney had cheated on him and thus been the cause of their breakup in 2002.
A month later, in April, Britney got caught up in a feud with her ex-husband Kevin — with whom she shares two kids — after she claimed he previously refused to see her when she was pregnant. Kevin’s lawyer quickly denied Britney’s claim, though the spat between the former couple erupted massively by August, when Kevin himself went on the record to begin discussing his strained relationship with Britney.
Kevin claimed that their sons Preston and Jayden, ages 16 and 15, respectively, at the time, were embarrassed by the minimally censored nude pictures that Britney frequently posts — a statement that she quickly hit back at, along with the support of Sam.
And Jayden actually ended up speaking out about Britney’s social media posts himself too, sitting down for an interview with ITV News to discuss his and his brother’s complicated relationship with their mother. “Social media helps her… So if that's what she wants to do, that's what she wants to do. I'm not going to hate her for that. At the same time, she should come to the realization of whatever it is that stops her loving her family,” he said.
“It's almost like she has to post something on Instagram to get some attention,” he went on. “This has gone on for years and years and years and there's a high chance that this will never stop but I'm hoping for me that she will stop.”
Also touching on his “emotional trauma,” Jayden said he felt Britney struggled to give him and his brother equal love and attention. "I don't think she showed enough to Preston and I feel really bad for that," he said. However, he insisted that he has "no hate" for his mother.
But Britney was left hurt by Jayden’s comments, and she fired back with a vulnerable, lengthy Instagram statement. Getting candid about her parenting struggles, the pop star admitted it deeply saddened her that she’d not been able to meet Jayden’s “expectations of a mother.”
“I’ve tried my best at being the best person I can be,” she wrote. “Finally at 40, without the restraints of what my family did to me, I say to my son Jayden that I send all the love in the world to you every day for the rest of my life!!!! My love for my children has no boundaries and it deeply saddens me to know his outcry of saying I wasn’t up to his expectations of a mother.”
She later aired her grievances toward Jayden once more, declaring in a two-minute audio recording that he won’t “get anything” from her when he turns 18.
What’s more, another one of Britney’s exes, Jason, resurfaced in her life this past year — on one of the most important days of her life, no less. When Britney finally got married to Sam in June at an intimate ceremony held at her Thousand Oaks home, Jason — to whom she was momentarily married back in 2004 — crashed the event and shared private footage on an Instagram Live. He was arrested and later charged with felony stalking.
And along with family members and past lovers, Britney found herself clashing with more prominent industry figures, too. She faced backlash in September after body-shaming Christina Aguilera’s backup dancers in a now-deleted Instagram post — which resulted in Christina apparently unfollowing her — before seemingly shading Selena Gomez the following month. On both occasions, Britney hastily denied any wrongdoing.
In other aspects of her life, however, Britney was flourishing. As mentioned, she and Sam got married in June, exactly a year on from when they’d gotten engaged.
And it seemed that the wedding was largely something out of a fairy tale, with only the couple’s nearest and dearest in attendance — including Britney’s friends Will.i.am, Drew Barrymore, and Madonna, with whom she recreated that famous 2003 VMAs kiss.
A couple of months later, in August, Britney made her much-anticipated music comeback with the release of “Hold Me Closer,” a collaboration with Sir Elton John.
The song debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 while quickly shooting to the top spot on iTunes in over 40 countries. And just last month, the track surpassed 100 million streams on Spotify.
Britney also signed a $15 million deal with Simon and Schuster back in February for a tell-all memoir, which is reportedly set to be released in January.
However, Britney’s personal life had its more heartbreaking tribulations over the past year, too.
In April, the singer announced that she was pregnant. She expressed her joy in a lengthy Instagram post, writing: “I got a pregnancy test … and uhhhhh well … I am having a baby.” But the following month, she revealed she’d had a miscarriage.
“It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that we have lost our miracle baby early in the pregnancy,” she and Sam wrote in a joint statement.
Britney has also opened up about her health complications this past year, stating in February that she once lost the use of her lower body after being confined to a chair for “8 hours a day” when she was staying at the aforementioned mental health treatment facility for four months.
“I felt like it stunted my growth when I was there !!!” she wrote on Instagram. “I could only use my upper body because I had to sit in a chair 8 hours a day and gave like 8 gallons of blood every week !!!”
“I couldn’t get angry or scream or anything !!! I felt suffocated !!! At one point I thought … Wait, do I have cancer and they don’t want me to know and this is some secret therapy for people with cancer ???” she continued.
And just this week, Britney revealed that she has incurable nerve damage as a result of minimal oxygen intake.
“nerve damage on the right side of my body … there’s no cure except God I guess,” she wrote on Instagram. “nerve damage is caused sometimes when you don’t get enough oxygen to your brain … your brain literally shuts down.”
“in that place I didn’t breathe when I was there … nerve damage causes parts of your body to go numb. I wake up like 3 times a week in bed and my hands are completely numb … nerves are tiny and it feels like pins and needles from the right side of my body it shoots up to my neck.”
“and the part that hurts the worst is my temple on my head … it stings and it’s scary … the last 3 years since I got out of that place I’ve been in a mild unconscious state,” she added.
All in all, one thing that’s become apparent over the past year is that as time goes on, Britney is growing increasingly vocal online. On this note, a large number of fans have expressed concern for the singer, pointing out that her Instagram posts have only gotten more and more bizarre — which she herself agrees with.
And while many continue to question why Britney chooses to share “odd” and “repetitive” posts to her page, the star has yet to offer a plausible explanation.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Britney will continue to release new music. Unverified rumors have suggested that she’s working on a full-length “revenge” album, though she’s not confirmed anything herself.
But one thing we know for sure is that Britney, along with the support of Rosengart and her team, will continue to stand her ground in the legal battle against her father.