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Britney Spears Instagram
via Instagram @britneyspears

Britney Spears’ Instagram posts are vetted by management, says a new report

The New Yorker report by Jia Tolentino and Ronan Farrow also reveals that the singer called 911 ahead of her recent court statement, to report herself as a victim of conservatorship abuse

The mystery of Britney SpearsInstagram output has often been a focal point for the broader #FreeBritney movement. Various fans have suggested that she’s trying to send encoded messages in her posts, is being made to “read from something behind the camera”, or that the pop star isn’t even the one posting to the 31 million follower account. 

Now, a new report on the pop star’s long-disputed conservatorship – by the New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino and Ronan Farrow – sheds more light on her social media arrangement.

According to the report, around ten people responsible for managing Spears’ legal and business affairs, PR, and social media use meet every Thursday, partly to discuss her posts to Instagram and Twitter. “This is how it works without her,” says one unnamed member of the team.

Her management adds that she typically writes her own posts before submitting them to CrowdSurf, the company that handles her social media, which then uploads them. However, some posts – which are said to raise “legal questions” – have apparently been considered too sensitive to share publicly. For example: “She’s not supposed to discuss the conservatorship.”

Earlier this year, Spears’ social media manager, Cassie Petrey, described a fairly similar process, addressing so-called conspiracy theories on her own social media. “Britney creates her own posts and writes her own captions for Instagram,” Petrey wrote on February 2. “If a video she sends in is edited by her social media team, it’s because she gave specific instructions and asked for it to be edited that way. Then she sees it and decides if she wants to post it or not.”

At the time, however, Petrey didn’t go into detail about how Spears’ posts are checked before they’re allowed to go up, saying: “My work on Britney’s social media does not involve her conservatorship in any way.”

Britney also spoke out on her Instagram presence late last month, following her direct appeal for her conservatorship to end in a rare court appearance. “I apologise for pretending like I’ve been ok the past two years,” she wrote in a post. “I did it because of my pride and I was embarrassed to share what happened to me.”

The fresh New Yorker report also provides more details on the conditions of the conservatorship, with testimony from Spears’ mother (Lynne Spears), a former family friend, and the film producer Sam Lufti, as well as a range of people working in the singer’s orbit. In particular, it highlights the alleged mistreatment of Spears by her father (and conservator since 2008), Jamie Spears.

The report also says that, on the eve of Spears’ court address, she called 911 to report herself a victim of conservatorship abuse. This claim has been confirmed by a source close to Spears, as well as law enforcement in Ventura County, California, where she lives.

Britney Spears made several disturbing accusations against those managing her conservatorship when speaking to the court on June 23. “This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” she said, adding that it’s had a harmful mental impact, and that she’s been forced to perform while sick. 

She also claimed that the conservatorship denies her reproductive rights, stating: “I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby and my conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out.”

One week after the testimony, a judge signed paperwork that maintains Jamie Spears’ role as her conservator. Technically, however, the decision came down to signing off old paperwork, and his role may be reevaluated at the next court date, set to take place on July 14. The wealth management firm appointed as Spears’ co-conservator, Bessemer Trust, also requested to resign from the arrangement earlier this week, stating that it believed the arrangement was voluntary.