At 30 years old, Britney Spears has been in the spotlight for much of her life and has had her fair share of ups and downs. (Remember the time she beat up a car with an umbrella?) What we at CelebLegalIssues.com are interested in looking at, for today at least, is when and how Spears has crossed paths with the law.
Spears first entered the national spotlight when she was part of the ensemble cast of The All New Mickey Mouse Club with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling. Her star rose even higher when her 1999 debut album …Baby One More Time skyrocketed up the pop charts and made her an international celebrity. Oops!…I Did it Again proved to be nearly as popular and earned her the nickname The Princess of Pop. She continually released hit songs and was named “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrity” by Forbes in 2002.
However, as her music was becoming increasingly popular, Spears’ personal life was becoming more and more chaotic.
Annulment, divorce and child custody matters
Spears’ first encounter with the judicial system came in early 2004. She and childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander married in Las Vegas, only to have the marriage annulled less than three days later. (55 hours later, to be exact.) The reason given for the annulment? That Spears’ did not have a full understanding of what she was doing at the time.
Spears married Kevin Federline six months later and had two children with him in 2005 and 2006. She filed for divorce from Federline after the birth of their second son in 2006, and the two finalized their split in 2007. Federline received just $1 million due to a prenuptial agreement — not bad for Spears, all things considered. The pair agreed to share joint custody of sons Sean Preston and Jayden James, but she lost her custody rights in 2007 when she failed to take random drug and alcohol tests. Federline was granted full custody of their children in October of 2007, at which point the court ordered that Spears could have visitation rights.
In early January of 2008 Spears refused to return her sons to Federline’s care when they were with her for a visit. Police had to enter her home to take the children from her, and she was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She lost visitation rights as Federline was given sole physical and legal custody of their children during an emergency court hearing the next day.
Late January of 2008 led to additional legal issues for Spears. On January 31, she was put on an involuntary psychiatric hold in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The court decided she could not care for herself, and a conservatorship was established. The conservatorship put the control of Spears’ financial assets and business decisions into the hands of court-appointed individuals, in this case her father Jamie and attorney Andrew Wallett. Spears’ father has been her financial adviser ever since, and fiancé Jason Trawick was added to the conservatorship early this year.
Like many other famous stars, Spears has also been named as a defendant in lawsuits. Suits against Spears have been filed by design powerhouse Louis Vuitton, former bodyguard Fernando Flores, former manager and ex-boyfriend Sam Lufti, Brand Sense Partners, and Advanced Security Concepts Corporation. Several lawsuits have been resolved but others are still outstanding.
A brighter future
Spears regained visitation rights to see her sons in July of 2008 and regained joint custody in 2009. She continues to produce popular albums and is a judge on the hit TV show The X Factor. She has been engaged to Trawick, her former agent, since 2011 and it seems as though the two have a very stable — and happy! — relationship.