Britney Spears hasn’t fully controlled her life for years. Fans insist it’s time to #FreeBritney
By LAURA NEWBERRY | STAFF WRITER
Los Angeles Times
In late April, Britney Spears delivered a plea to her 22 million Instagram followers.
“Don’t believe everything you read and hear,” she wrote in a caption.
“Your love and dedication is amazing,” she went on, “but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way.”
It had been three weeks since the pop star had checked into a mental health facility and three months since she canceled her Las Vegas residency. A particularly skeptical contingent of her fans wasn’t buying the official reasons for these developments: that she went to the facility by choice, that her dad was sick and she needed the space and time to be there for her family. Theories of what was actually happening inside Spears’ guarded private life were growing more numerous and more frenzied, but ultimately shared one notion: that she was being silenced and manipulated, and had been for years.