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How the public has differed over their guardianship cases


A judge issued an interim ruling on Tuesday to extend Amanda Bynes ‘guardianship until 2023, a development that stands in stark contrast to Britney Spears’ ongoing battle to break free from her father’s watch.

In a history of two top-tier conservatories, one has dominated the headlines, while the other hasn’t garnered much attention. Some experts say it has to do with star power and how the cases have evolved separately.

“[Amanda Bynes] was a big deal, you know, among the child stars who had Disney Channel shows, which is actually never at the level of popularity, fame that Britney achieved, ”said Howard Breuer, CEO of Newsroom PR and former editor of People magazine. You could say, ‘Well, they were both young stars, they had that pressure, and they ended up in these obviously overlapping tutelage,’ but there’s a lot of difference there. ‘

Spears fans launched protests against #FreeBritney, which resulted in documentaries and numerous headlines. A free Britney LA Instagram account has over 95,000 followers, with its oldest post dating back to July 2020.

The case of Bynes has faded more quietly into the background. A Bynes Free Twitter Account, created last month, has just over 460 subscribers.

Spears was placed under the authority of her father by the California justice system in 2008, following a public outage captured by paparazzi. Her father filed a motion last week for Los Angeles County Superior Court to end her guardianship, after the singer openly criticized his control over her in court this year.

Bynes, a former child actor who became a starlet in the early 2000s, has been under guardianship under his own parents since 2013, after a dark period in his life fueled by drug addiction.

She was featured in Paper magazine in 2018, her last big interview, where she exposed about four years of sobriety and the shame she felt for her past behavior. She said she felt adrift after retiring from acting in 2010 and that her drug addiction was the main cause of her weird Twitter rants and legal issues.

Bynes has led a more private life since setting up her guardianship, studying fashion, and last year her family’s lawyer revealed that she was seeking treatment related to her mental health issues.

While Spears ‘continued success as a pop star and as a mother raised questions about whether guardianship was still necessary, little glimpses into Bynes’ life did the opposite, Breuer said.

“You don’t see Amanda Bynes having her shit together at this level,” Breuer said. “What do we know about her? She’s meditating, she goes to SoulCycle, she has a facial tattoo to match her nose piercing, and she has some ongoing mental health issues… you mean perception, she does a better job playing the part of someone. ‘one who needed guardianship, not just then, but also over the years.

Cases have played out very differently in the courts as well, said Sarah Wentz, a lawyer and partner at law firm Fox Rothschild. Spears ‘former lawyer has been pushing for his case to be unsealed and open to the public, while Bynes’ case is still behind closed doors.

“Amanda Bynes is not on stage playing, and all these people who are fans of this fellow, seeing them perform, saying, ‘what’s going on with her, what’s going on ? “” said Wentz. “And I think that kind of prompted them to open this up because I wouldn’t say it’s normal for it to be unsealed.”

A judge also approved a request by Bynes’ mother to end her estate guardianship in 2017, keeping Bynes under her mother’s control for medical and personal matters. A 2016 court ruling says Bynes’s assets were transferred to a trust, which is less restrictive and puts the family in court less often, Wentz said.

“She could dismiss her father at any time, she could override his decision. She could remove or replace the trustee, ”Wentz said. “But there is probably a provision in that trust or any trust that a person creates that says if the doctors found the granter incapable then the successor trustee is in control and at that point you would lose the ability to withdraw that.” anybody. or really override their decisions.

There are still a lot of unknowns about Bynes’ case, while Spears has been able to openly express his experiences and feelings to the public.

The two high-profile cases, however, offer lessons in how those guardianship cases may improve in the future, Wentz said.

One way to increase public confidence in some of these sealed cases is to make sure that a third party checks in with the Conservatives regularly and that they know their rights.

“We can’t have one person like Amanda Bynes’ mother, I think it was, filed the annual wellness report: ‘OK, here’s where she lives, she’s fine'” , said Wentz. “Well, is anyone checking that out, or is it just that annual statement that says she’s okay and nobody’s looking at her?” Because, in the cases that I have been involved in, that is exactly what is happening.