For well over a year, a throng of Britney Spears fans have aggressively vocalized their theory that the pop star is essentially being held hostage by her father and the conservatorship that's guided her life for the last 12 years. Now, Britney's dad is breaking his silence on the #FreeBritney movement, calling it "a joke."
"All these conspiracy theorists don't know anything. The world don't have a clue," Jamie Spears told the New York Post's Page Six. "It's up to the court of California to decide what's best for my daughter. It's no one else's business."
Fans, though, have made it their business, flooding Britney's Instagram with supportive comments. Many are convinced that Britney is covertly sending signals on Instagram to indicate that she's being held captive. Many fans, Jamie said, have taken it too far.
"People are being stalked and targeted with death threats," he said. "It's horrible. We don't want those kinds of fans."
"I love my daughter," Jamie continued. "I love all my kids. But this is our business. It's private."
Since the #FreeBritney movement began, rumors have abounded that Jamie skims money from his daughter, a notion that he vehemently denies, stating, "I have to report every nickel and dime spent to the court every year."
Adam Streisand, a lawyer who briefly represented Britney in 2008, told The Post, "Jamie's a weird guy, he's a control freak, but I don't see him as some sort of criminal mastermind in this."
There've also been unsubstantiated rumors that Jamie pays Britney's boyfriends to date her — something one ex scoffed at.
"Not [true] in any way, shape or form," Charlie Ebersol, who dated Britney for eight months in 2015, said.
The much-maligned conservatorship was set up after Britney's public mental breakdown in 2008. Last year, Britney reportedly told a judge that she wants to be free of the constraints of the conservatorship. Britney's bother, Bryan Spears, said the "Toxic" singer has "always wanted to get out" of the conservatorship. Still, the conservatorship has been "a great thing for our family," he recently said on the "As Not Seen on TV" podcast.
Lately, the #FreeBritney movement has been gaining steam. Several celebrities have even voiced their support of Britney and criticized the conservatorship. However, sources close to Britney indicate she's well aware of what's going on and hardly a prisoner.
Additionally, there are those out there who say the #FreeBritney movement has actually been a good thing for her career.
"Whatever is or is not wrong with her, the #FreeBritney movement is making her relevant at a time when a lot of pop stars [from the early 2000s] are aging out of the public eye," veteran music producer Ed Steinberg told The Post. "Her management, her label and Britney herself aren't stupid. They may not have started the movement but they're benefiting from it."