Gaetz invites Britney Spears to testify before Congress

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Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and a handful of other Republicans have invited pop star Britney Spears to testify before Congress about her conservatorship.

"You have been mistreated by America’s legal system. We want to help," Gaetz wrote in a letter to Spears dated Wednesday. "The United States Congress should hear your story and be inspired to bipartisan action. What happened to you should never happen to any other American."

Gaetz said he and fellow Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Burgess Owens (Utah) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.) have been following her conservatorship battle with “deep concern” and stand with the pop star.

Rumors about Spears' discontent with her conservatorship spread for years online and trended with the #FreeBritney hashtag. But last week, Spears spoke directly about the issue herself in court, describing her conservatorship as “abusive.”

Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, has been the legal manager of his daughter’s multimillion-dollar estate since 2008. He was also the conservator “of her person” until 2019, when he stepped back from this part of the legal agreement for his own health reasons. Since then, Jodi Montgomery, a private professional fiduciary, has been in charge of Spears’ person.

In last week’s testimony to Los Angeles Superior Court, Spears described how her conservatorship thwarted her desires to have another child and remove her IUD contraception, get married and take time off from her concerts and touring schedule.

"I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive," Spears told the judge. "I just want my life back. It's been 13 years and it's enough.

Judge Brenda Penny denied Spears’ request to end her father’s role in her conservatorship on June 30.

But because of the revelations in Spears' public testimony, Bessemer Trust, a private wealth management firm, said in a court filing on July 1 that it wishes to resign from its role in managing her estate. Bessemer Trust was added as a co-conservator along with Jamie Spears last fall, but it has not yet received any of her assets or taken any fees, according to the New York Times.

In recent months, a number of conservative lawmakers have taken up Spears' cause, using it to highlight what they have called conservatorship and guardianship abuse.

“Britney Spears wants to tell her story,” Gaetz told conservative TV network OAN on Wednesday night. “She’s not someone who wants to just crawl under a rug a pretend this didn’t happen. She wants accountability and justice, and I can think of no better place than the United States Congress to really tackle this problem and … bring people together from all sides of politics to solve it.”

Gaetz also told OAN that the "Free Britney" movement is part of a broader movement on conservatorship and guardianship reform in Congress.

In March of this year, he and House Judiciary ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote a letter to Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to ask for a hearing on conservatorship and Spears’ case.

POLITICO asked Spears’ court-appointed attorney whether his client has received the letter and intends to respond, but he has not yet replied.

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