FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS: DANIELLE ON THE BBC
Celebrity legal expert and attorney Danielle Mayoras talks with BBC radio about the Framing Britney Spears documentary and Britney’s conservatorship. In the interview, she discusses how conservatorships work , if Britney needs one, and what Britney will need to do to end her conservatorship. Click here or on the image below to hear the interview.
Interview Transcription (edited):
BBC: One of the primary focuses of the Britney documentaries is the details around Britney’s conservatorship. We aren’t familiar with conservatorship in the U.K., so here to explain it for us is Danielle Mayoras—a celebrity legal expert and attorney. Danielle, good morning, and thank you for joining us. We don’t have conservatorships in the U.K. Can you tell us exactly what it is?
Danielle: Yes, a conservatorship is a legal proceeding. When someone can’t make informed decisions about themselves and needs assistance from another person, there is a court proceeding for that process. There are two instances someone can go through that proceeding. One is for medical decisions—that is called the conservatorship over the person. And the second is related to financial decisions, which is the conservatorship over the estate. In Britney’s case, there are conservatorships for each of these situations.
BBC: Is it unusual for someone of Britney’s age to have a conservatorship? Am I right in understanding this is usually something that happens towards the end of people’s lives?
Danielle: It is. We were questioning this about a decade ago and why this was put in place. You don’t see many celebrities—when they go wild and drinking and doing drugs—and they don’t have conservatorships in place. And I’m not saying that’s what was going on with Britney, but I’m saying there was a time where it seemed like she was going off the rails, and perhaps then, the family thought they needed to do a conservatorship to protect her. But the U.S. uses conservatorships for aging loved ones who have dementia or Alzheimer’s or have physical disabilities, and they can’t do things for themselves. It was shocking when the conservatorship was announced in Britney’s case because she appeared to be young, healthy, and vibrant. The outcome was not something we are used to seeing and was unusual.
BBC: Is there precedent for someone getting out of a conservatorship? She has clarified that she no longer wants her father to handle her financial affairs. Is there legal precedent?
Danielle: Yes, through the legal system. Now that Britney is in the conservatorship, she will have to be the one to go to court and prove that she no longer needs it. The burden of proof is on her at this point.
BBC: That would mean then, of course, what—psychiatric evaluations, medical evaluations?
Danielle: Yes, there will be medical evaluations. The judge doesn’t want to terminate a conservatorship if the person still needs assistance. And it appears, years ago, that the conservatorship was perhaps helpful to Britney and got her back on track. But now there is the question: Does she still need this conservatorship over a decade later?
BBC: What is your view as an attorney on whether she will win? The conservatorship has gone on for years—Britney is now 39 years old.
Danielle: We have been writing about this situation for years. I don’t have access to her medical records, so it’s tough for me to give an opinion as to whether she will be successful or not. I don’t think anyone in the public knows what may be going on behind the scenes.
BBC: Danielle, thank you for joining us.
[image credit: Wikipedia]