Britney Spears's brother 'truly appreciates' #FreeBritney movement, but says she's not being held against her will

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Britney Spears’s older brother, Bryan Spears, is speaking out about the #FreeBritney movement. In a rare interview, the businessman addressed his younger sister’s conservatorship amid this week’s hearing. Bryan admitted that while Britney has “always wanted to get out” of the conservatorship, the singer is not being held against her will.

Bryan talked to Drew Plotkin on Thursday’s episode of the As NOT Seen on TV podcast and said he wasn’t sure about “the details” of Wednesday’s conservatorship hearing. 

“We all hope for the best,” he began.

Bryan, 41, said that while he’s “familiar” with the #FreeBritney campaign, he’s “not up to date.”

“My social media is not the best in the world, I think I have four followers,” he laughed. “But I am aware of it.” Bryan noted that his family is blown away by how much fans clearly care about her with this movement. “Everyone in this family, we truly appreciate it. It means a lot.” However, he said he doesn’t “quite know” what the #FreeBritney campaign is about.

“As I said, I don’t follow it that well,” he continued. “But I am aware that they feel like it’s — I don’t know, she’s being confined or something, or held against her will in some capacity. I can’t speak for them.”

The #FreeBritney campaign believes the singer has been denied basic human rights under a conservatorship reserved for incapacitated individuals. They demand the conservatorship end. The hashtag has swept social media — including the comments section of Britney’s Instagram — for months.

Supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a courthouse for a #FreeBritney protest as a hearing regarding her takes place on July 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: Getty Images)
Supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a courthouse for a #FreeBritney protest as a hearing regarding her takes place on July 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: Getty Images)

“Have you seen things… that lead you to believe that there’s any merit [to the campaign]?” Plotkin asked. “Or that [Britney] does not have the ability to go, or say, or do what she wants to do?”

“No,” Bryan replied. “She’s been in this thing for quite some time now. Obviously there was a need for it in the beginning that I assume everyone knows the issues that [were going on in 2008.] Now, they’ve made some changes and all we can kind of do is hope for the best.”

When asked to explain what a conservatorship is, Bryan said “it’s very complex.”

“Someone who’s incapacitated or a danger to themselves, the state comes in and they award a team of people to oversee them, and run their lives, and put them on the right path,” he shared.

“So, that’s what happened?” Plotkin asked.

“In a nutshell, yeah,” Bryan replied.

“So there was a concern by individuals… that she was a harm to herself, couldn’t be trusted to manage her life, or well-being, or finances, so a conservatorship was put in place so they have guidance or final say over certain things she can or can’t do. Is that fair?” Plotkin followed-up.

“They have one hundred percent say,” Bryan noted.

After Britney’s public breakdown and hospitalization in 2007, her dad was given authority over her finances and most personal decisions. Last year, Jamie Spears stepped down as conservator amid a child abuse investigation involving one of Britney’s sons. He was ultimately cleared of all charges. Bryan was asked if the family is happy with Jamie.

“With any family there’s disagreement on certain things,” Bryan replied. “In general, he’s done the best he could given the situation he was put in.” 

Bryan admitted he was “caught by surprise” when the conservatorship was granted in 2008, but added that it’s “been a great thing for our family, you know, to this point. I keep hoping for the best.”

When asked how Britney feels about the lack of control she has over her own life, Bryan admitted, “In the beginning, it was hard.”

“What I think kind of got us all through it is, I think all of us have been pretty close all these years,” he shared. Bryan, who works in music residency in Las Vegas, shared that he and Britney “speak constantly.” He was pressed again how she feels about what’s happening.

“I’m assuming — I can’t speak to that to be honest,” he replied, noting there’s a lot of “false press out there.” 

“I would assume that anybody would want to get out of the situation, who wouldn’t?” he added, but later admitted, “She’s always wanted to get out of it.”

Bryan explained that he imagines “it’s very frustrating” having “someone constantly tell you to do something.”

“So yeah, she’s wanted to get out of it for quite some time,” he stated.

The conservatorship is set to end in August, but could be extended depending on the judge’s ruling. Bryan pointed out that if it does end, his sister will be faced with a new set of challenges.

“She’s been surrounded by people and a team of people since she was 15. At what level does everyone just walk away, or what level does it get reduced?” he asked. “I know what she wants, but at the end of the day, what’s the reality of that?… Are you going to call to make reservations for stuff today?’”

Bryan continued, “Let’s say it does get let go and she’s on her own. Every day task stuff, I think — it’s a great challenge, but like driving. She’s the worst driver in the world, I’m not lying… and she hasn’t had to do that.”

Bryan also confirmed Britney’s two children, Sean Preston, 14, and Jayden James, 13, are with her ex-husband, Keven Federline. He said he saw them all the time when she was doing her residency in Las Vegas, but now, “I don’t get to see them as much.” He said he’s “somewhat” in touch with Federline and said the boys are “good” and “growing.” 

The Spears family is usually quiet about Britney’s personal life, but Jamie Lynn Spears also spoke out recently. The Sweet Magnolias actress defended her sister this week when someone speculated about the singer’s “OBVIOUS mental illness” on Instagram.

“You have no right to assume anything about my sister, and I have NO right to speak about HER health and personal matters. She is a strong, badass, unstoppable woman, and that's the only thing that is OBVIOUS,” Jamie Lynn shot back.

Another commenter replied to Jamie Lynn and said the family needs “to speak out and clarify all these assumptions.”

“I would never speak out just to clarify things to the public, when the person it pertains to does not want that to happen. I'd rather take all the hate, then speak about someone elses [sic] personal matter, that they want to keep private,” Jamie Lynn wrote.

It’s unknown how Wednesday’s conservatorship hearing went as the media was blocked — but the #FreeBritney moment doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Watch — Britney Spears spends a day at the beach in a bikini and a mask:

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