Britney Spears has broken her silence and responded to fans concerned about her well-being via Instagram. After days of #FreeBritney trending on social media, with rumors circulating about Spears’s control of her own mental health and safety, Spears took to the platform with a video to show that “all was well”—with a massive caption.
“I wanted to say hi, because things that are being said have just gotten out of control!!! Wow!!! There’s rumors, death threats to my family and my team, and just so many things[,] crazy things being said. I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that’s happening is just making it harder for me,” the singer wrote. “Don’t believe everything you read and hear.”
It was reported in January that Spears had stepped back from her second Vegas residency, Britney: Domination, after which Spears said in another Instagram post that it was due to her father’s hospitalization for a ruptured colon. “I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand,” she wrote at the time.
Fans, however, were not satisfied with the explanation, as many found Spears’s subsequent near-silence on Instagram (where she is usually posting constantly with spunky videos and emojis) troubling. Then, on April 3, after TMZ alleged that she had been in a mental health facility since late March, she posted a photo with the caption, “We all need to take time for a little ‘me time.’ :) .” Fans read into her use of emoticons rather than her usual emoji-laden writing.
The #FreeBritney movement escalated to a rally at the West Hollywood City Council on April 22; much of the concern likely stems from Spears’s financial and legal situation, which has been the case for more than a decade since her infamous breakdown in 2007. Spears’s father, Jamie, is the conservator of her estate, meaning that Britney has not had full legal control of her finances and career for many years.
A figure from Spears’s past was also invoked in her post late yesterday: her ex-manager Sam Lutfi. “These fake emails everywhere were crafted by Sam Lutfi years ago. . .I did not write them. He was pretending to be me and communicating with my team with a fake email address.” Lutfi has denied the claim, though it’s unclear exactly what emails she’s talking about.
Miley Cyrus, Spears’s boyfriend Sam Asghari, and others commented with support on her post. “My situation is unique, but I promise I’m doing what’s best at this moment ??????,” Spears said in closing. “You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want! Your love and dedication is amazing, 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. If you could do that, I would be forever grateful. Love you ??????.”