Legendary country sweetheart Dolly Parton endorsed the crusade to “#FreeBritney” on Thursday during an appearance on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.”
“I try not to get involved in other people’s business,” Parton said, when asked about pop star Britney Spears’ conservatorship battle. “I think she is a wonderful artist and I think she’s a wonderful girl and I only wish her the best, and I understand all those crazy things.”
Spears has remained trapped in a conservatorship under her family since 2008, with virtually no control over her own personal life.
In June, the singer spoke out against the controversial legal arrangement for the first time in public with explosive allegations before a judge in Los Angeles. Spears accused her conservators of making her work against her will while put on forced birth control in the form of an IUD to prevent her from having any more kids.
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” she said. “But [my team doesn’t] want me to have any more children.”
The testimony, which railed on the conservatorship as “abusive,” led to the resignation of Spears’ court-appointed attorney earlier this month. The judge permitted Spears to hire her own legal representation, who is now Hollywood lawyer Mathew Rosengart. Rosengart has pledged to “aggressively” remove Spears’ father, Jaime, from the conservatorship.
While such legal arrangements are routinely reserved for those who suffer debilitating conditions, such as severe mental issues or old age, Spears’ productivity throughout her conservatorship has raised questions about its necessity. Since 2008, the artist has rejuvenated her career, released four albums, gone on three world tours, and completed a grueling four-year residency in Las Vegas. The judge denied Spears’ request, however, to remove her father as a co-conservator with the financial firm Bessemer trust, which has also filed paperwork to resign from the case overseeing the Forbes’-estimated $60 million estate.
Parton said last week she could relate to Spears’ legal frustrations after having “[gone] through a lot of that myself through a big lawsuit in my early days with Porter Wagoner,” who was the country singer with a TV show that jumpstarted Parton’s own career.
Parton and Wagoner worked as a pair until Parton went solo. Parton was later sued for breach of contract.
“I understand where she’s coming from and how she feels, so I hope that all turns out the way that it should,” Parton said of Spears’ conservatorship.
The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 29.