Britney Spears is set to address a US court during a highly anticipated hearing about the management of her life and career.
The pop superstar’s personal affairs and finances have been overseen by a court-ordered conservatorship – a legal arrangement usually reserved for the elderly or infirm – since 2008.
Spears was deemed unable to look after herself following a series of public breakdowns captured by paparazzi cameras.
Her father, 68-year-old Jamie, had controlled both aspects of his daughter’s conservatorship until September 2019, when he stepped down from overseeing her personal affairs due to health reasons.
Spears has since tried to oust him from his role running her multi-million dollar estate, a position he shares with wealth management firm Bessemer Trust.
In a headline-making move, she is set to directly address a judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday and is expected to discuss her father’s role.
Spears has spoken in court previously, most recently in May 2019, but the judge cleared the room for that hearing. It is unclear if Spears’s comments on Wednesday will be made in open court.
In April, her lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham, revealed his client wanted to speak again.
The announcement was welcomed by the fans who gather in downtown Los Angeles for each hearing.
Spears’ supporters launched the #FreeBritney movement, arguing she was capable of looking after herself. Members of the group often claim to have spotted secret messages in the singer’s social media posts.
Jamie has dismissed the movement as being filled with conspiracy theorists.
Spears’s expected court appearance comes after months of escalation in the conservatorship case.
In November, Mr Ingham told the court Spears was “afraid” of Jamie and would not perform again while he remained conservator. She has not performed live since October, 2018.
Her life and career attracted renewed attention earlier this year following the release of the headline-making documentary Framing Britney Spears.
October 2004: Spears, one of the world’s biggest pop stars, marries backing dancer Kevin Federline.
September 2005: Spears becomes a mother in welcoming her first child, Sean. A year later she gives birth to her second son, Jayden.
November 2006: Spears files for divorce from Federline.
October 2007: Federline is granted custody of the former couple’s children.
January 2008: Spears refuses to hand over her children – one-year-old Jayden and two-year-old Sean – to Federline and the police are called. The pop star is placed under a “5150” psychiatric hold and taken to hospital.
February 2008: A judge in Los Angeles grants Jamie Spears a “temporary conservatorship”, placing him in charge of her life and finances. Lawyer Andrew Wallet is named co-conservator of the estate.
September 2008: After securing visitation rights to her sons months previously, Spears opens the MTV Video Music Awards with a comedy sketch alongside Jonah Hill. She also wins three awards – including video of the year for Piece Of Me.
October 2008: A judge in Los Angeles extends Spears’s conservatorship indefinitely.
November 2008: Despite health and legal problems, the singer releases Circus, her well-received sixth studio album. The month also brought the release of For The Record, a documentary about her struggles.
March 2009: Against the backdrop of the conservatorship, Spears embarks on the Circus world tour, which proves hugely lucrative.
March 2011: Spears releases her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale. It tops charts around the world.
December 2013: The singer launches a Las Vegas residency to promote her eighth album, Britney Jean. The show proves so successful it is extended beyond its initial two-year run and lasts until December 2017.
August 2016: Spears releases her ninth studio album, Glory. It remains her most recent record.
October 2018: Spears performs at the 2018 United States Grand Prix, which remains her most recent live appearance.
January 2019: The pop star announces an “indefinite work hiatus” and the cancellation of another Las Vegas residency after Jamie suffers a near-fatal colon rupture.
April 2019: Spears shares a message on Instagram, telling fans “all is well” and promising to be back “very soon”.
May 2019: Spears appears in a cleared court and addresses the judge overseeing her conservatorship. The judge orders an expert evaluation.
September 2019: Jamie temporarily steps down from his role as conservator of his daughter’s personal affairs citing health reasons. The singer’s care-giver, Jodi Montgomery, is named his replacement.
August 2020: Jamie describes the #FreeBritney movement – a group of fans calling for the singer to be freed from the conservatorship – as being filled with conspiracy theorists.
August 2020: Spears’s lawyer says she does not want her father to return as conservator of her personal affairs after he temporarily stepped down due to his health issues. He keeps his separate role overseeing his daughter’s finances.
November 2020: A court hears Spears is “afraid” of her father and will not perform again while he is the conservator of her estate. During the hearing a judge makes Bessemer Trust co-conservator but does not suspend Jamie from his role.
December 2020: Spears’s conservatorship is extended until September 2021.
February 2021: The star’s life and career come under renewed scrutiny following the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears, which examines her treatment at the hands of the media. Spears later says the documentary left her “embarrassed”.
March 2021: Spears asks for Montgomery to be permanently appointed conservator of her person.
April 2021: Spears’s lawyer tells the court the singer wants to address the judge directly and a hearing is set for June 23.