The same day Bill Cosby walked free, pop star Britney Spears was told she would remain in a conservatorship that she likened to a prison.
It was a bombshell moment for the pop star and the #FreeBritney movement that formed around her. Per NBC News, LA judge Brenda Penny denied the singer's impassioned plea to end the court-ordered 13-year conservatorship her father, Jamie Spears, has held over her finances and personal choices. The decision does stipulate that Jamie Spears no longer hold sole authority, with Bessemer Trust stepping in as the financial co-conservator and Jodi Montgomery as co-conservator of her personal affairs.
Spears' conservatorship — instituted amid concerns over the "Oops!... I Did It Again" superstar's mental health following a period of erratic behavior that was heavily covered in tabloids — has become a public rallying cry over the 39-year-old performer's lack of personal autonomy and harsh treatment.
The #FreeBritney movement — an online community rallying around the star's wellbeing — began in earnest more than a decade ago when fans first heard allegations of Jamie Spears' harsh control over his daughter. It picked up even more steam earlier this year with the release of the Hulu/New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears before hitting a fever pitch with June's hearings in Los Angeles, in which Spears attempted to nullify the court-mandated conservatorship.
Following an incendiary remote testimony from Britney Spears — in which she likened her ordeal to being in prison, spoke of being forced to use an IUD to prevent pregnancy and said she has been involuntarily medicated and forced to perform concerts — the #FreeBritney movement mobilized outside the courthouse, with the celebrity quick to voice support, including Spears' pop-star contemporary Christina Aguilera and ex Justin Timberlake, who himself has been reappraised for his demonization of Spears in the wake of their breakup.
Jamie Spears did not issue any statements following the judge's decision, but had earlier in the day insisted that allegations of abuse be thoroughly investigated in order to clear his name.
"Either the allegations will be shown to be true, in which case corrective action must be taken,or they will be shown to be false, in which case the conservatorship can continue its course," read a statement issued by Jamie Spears' attorneys and carried by CNN. "It is not acceptable for the Conservators or the Court to do nothing in response to Ms. Spears' testimony."
As with all things related to Spears' ordeal, the news compelled fans and fellow celebs to voice their support and express their outrage, which was further inflamed by the news that Bill Cosby had been freed from a lengthy prison sentence after his sexual-assault conviction was overturned.
Spears is likely to continue fighting for an end for her conservatorship in this ongoing saga. And fans are extremely unlikely to quiet down in the wake of this unexpected twist.