Gaetz invites Britney Spears to speak before Congress: 'You have been mistreated by America’s legal system'
Rep. Matt Gaetz and three other GOP lawmakers invited pop star to speak about her conservatorship battle
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., with support from three other GOP House members, has invited Britney Spears to speak before Congress about her conservatorship battle, acknowledging in a letter to the 39-year-old pop icon Wednesday, "You have been mistreated by America’s legal system."
"We want to help," the letter signed by Gaetz, as well as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Burgess Owens, R-Ohio, and Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., reads. "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. Congress can make things better and you can inform our policy decisions."
"If you will speak to Congress, we are ready to listen," the letter adds.
The invitation came the same day a Los Angeles Superior Court Brenda Penny denied Spears’ request to have her father, James P. Spears, removed from her estimated $60 million estate — and just a week after the pop icon delivered bombshell testimony before the court, speaking candidly for the first time about her 13-year ordeal, alleging she had been forced to take high dosages of lithium against her will. She also claimed her team has prevented her from seeing a doctor to have an IUD contraceptive device removed, despite wanting to attempt to conceive more children.
"We have been following your conservatorship battle with deep concern," her invitation to speak before Congress says. "We could see the struggle and torment you were enduring. We could see the obvious financial, emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of your conservators."
The four representatives continue, "The federal courthouse door was closed to you and to too many Americans. Your story is so powerful, and the admiration of your achievements so great, you (and perhaps only you) can blow that door wide open, giving hope to millions. Your life, liberty, and happiness have been taken from you. Please take advantage of the empowerment that public congressional testimony can unlock."
The letter reminds Spears, "You owe nothing to anyone; you deserve to live a life of freedom and to choose your own path."
The members of Congress also point out that many others "have used their fame to advance social, political, and criminal justice reform," before asserting their hope she will accept their invitation to speak before Congress for "the sake of the justice you and many Americans deserve."
"Your life story and tremendous performing talent has continued to inspire people all over the world. We stand ready for your reply. We hope that you will express interest in sharing your story," they add. "We stand with you, Britney – whatever you decide."
Spears’ court-appointed lawyer, Sam Ingham, had filed a motion in November requesting that the star’s father be dropped as a conservator, saying that Spears was "afraid of her father." That request was denied, but the judge is allowing Bessemer Trust Company of California be added as a co-conservator, though TMZ reported that official paperwork to make the outside firm’s role official has yet to be filed.
Jamie Spears filed a motion Wednesday asking the court to order an investigation into claims made by his daughter during her 23-minute address in the conservatorship hearing last week. Britney Spears had asked if her statements to a Los Angeles courtroom could be shared publicly.
"I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people," Spears said. "It makes no sense."
She told the judge she works constantly and is surrounded by an entire staff on her payroll but isn’t even allowed to control her own fortune.
"What state allows people to own another person’s money and account and threaten them in saying, ‘You can’t spend your money unless we do what we want you to do’?" she asked the court. "I’m paying them."
Those inviting Spears to speak before Congress are not free of their own public scandal.
The Department of Justice has been investigating Gaetz for obstruction of justice, according to multiple reports last month, the latest development in a sex trafficking probe into an associate of the congressman. Gaetz has firmly denied any allegation that he broke the law.
He told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" earlier this year that it was "a horrible allegation" and "a lie" that he traveled across state lines with a 17-year-old girl for the purpose of sex. But his associate Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to six charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
Meanwhile, Greene, already stripped of her committee assignments, was denounced by GOP leadership last month over remarks made comparing stickers indicating someone was vaccinated to the yellow Star of David patches Jews were forced to wear by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust.
More recently, 37 House Democrats on Thursday demanded House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy take "immediate action" against Greene’s recent behavior, alleging her "harassment" of colleagues, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has "reached an unacceptable level," Forbes reported. Their letter cites a February incident where Greene allegedly shouted at AOC at the Capitol for supporting "terrorists and Antifa," as well as remarks made by Greene at a rally over the weekend calling to have Ocasio-Cortez locked up.
Source: Fox News' Michael Ruiz, Nate Day, Tyler Olson and Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.
Britney Spears Calls Out Paparazzi for “Embarrassing” Her on Vacation by Distorting Photos of Her Body
The pop star has been accusing the paparazzi of Photoshopping her to look heavier than she actually is for years.
BY EMILY KIRKPATRICK JUNE 30, 2021
Britney Spears may have been “all smiles” when she left on her Hawaiian vacation earlier this week, but the pop star says that her time off is being turned into a nightmare by all the paparazzi waiting for her outside her hotel room.
On Tuesday, Spears posted a video montage set to Lily Allen’s song “Fuck You” on her Instagram account that begins with a title card that reads, “DOS AND DONTS if you are a pap, fan, or ANYONE in my space.” The next slide says, “Don’t talk to me while I’m texting. It’s Rude,” before segueing into footage of the singer walking down the beach in a red bikini and surgical mask after which she wrote, “This is my body!!! So stop messing with my pics and editing them to the point where it’s embarrassing!!!!” Spears followed that up by sharing a TikTok showing a huge crowd at a Pride march all singing “Oops I Did It Again” in unison, saying “This is what fans & paps should be doing instead!!!”
In case the pop star’s message wasn’t clear enough from that clip, Spears also wrote in the caption, “So being here in Maui is pretty crazy now…the paps know where I am and it’s really not fun!!!! It’s pretty hard going anywhere cause these silly faces keep popping up to take my picture…but not only do they take my picture…they distort my body and mess with the image and it’s embarrassing!!!!! I know my body is not perfect but I definitely do NOT look like how they portray me. It’s rude and it’s mean so paps kindly FUCK YOU AND FUCK OFF!!!!”
Spears’s feud with the paparazzi over claims they routinely doctor photos of her body has actually been going on for years. In June of 2020, she shared a two-minute video of herself walking back and forth in front of the camera to Billie Eilish’s song “You Should See Me in a Crown.” The video was meant to be a response to photos that were taken of her riding her bike in that same outfit, demonstrating for fans how different she actually looks compared to those images. She wrote in the caption, “Don’t believe everything you read, hear, or see…..follow your heart….remain open to change and educate yourself.” And in the summer of 2019, she also accused the paparazzi of using Photoshop to intentionally make her look heavier in the images they sell to tabloids. She once again posted videos of herself in the same outfit alongside the original pap pics, writing, “Good morning, this is the day after me on my boat ride. Do I look any different today than yesterday? People always say people or celebrities cheat with their images, but never do they question the paparazzi for selling your pic that they have messed with!!!! This was all done within the same 17 hours!!!!” Her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, also backed her up, commenting on the post, “The realest #lioness.”
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge confirmed Friday that she will soon hear a petition filed by Bessemer Trust, a wealth management firm, to remove itself as a planned co-conservator of pop icon Britney Spears' financial dealings.
The firm asked to leave the arrangement in a request filed in court on Thursday. The company cited the singer's anguished comments in court late last month as the reason for its departure. On Friday, Judge Brenda Penny set the date for hearing Bessemer's request for July 14.
The company said in its filing Thursday that until Spears spoke in court on June 23, it had believed that Spears was in the conservatorship voluntarily, and that she had consented to Bessemer Trust's entrance as co-conservator alongside Spears' father, Jamie Spears.
In its filing, Bessemer stated: "As a result of the conservatee's testimony at the June 23 hearing, however, Petitioner [Bessemer Trust] has become aware that the conservatee objects to the continuance of her conservatorship and desires to terminate the conservatorship. Petitioner has heard the conservatee and respects her wishes."
The company also said its role had not yet taken effect. It wrote that it is "not currently authorized to act, has taken no actions as conservator, has made no decisions as conservator, has received no assets of the estate [and] has taken no fees."
On Wednesday, Judge Penny denied the singer's request to have her father removed from the financial aspects of her conservatorship.
As of now, Spears' court-appointed lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, has not filed a petition to terminate the conservatorship. The next court date is scheduled for July 14.