In our 4th episode of Eat, Pray, Britney, we break down the allegations made by Britney’s Gram and look at Britney’s team’s attempt to take back the narrative:
The reports issued after the #FreeBritney movement started are *very* scattered, but they confirm the broad strokes of the allegations made in @BritneysGram’s latest episode. Let’s break down the sources, details, and conflicts within the reports.
The first response we get from Team Britney comes from The Blast. Here they confirm 1) that Britney did *not* check herself into the facility, it was done by her team:…
2) That the reason behind her being put into treatment was related to her inconsistent use of and refusal to take her medications.
3) That Jamie’s treatment was a “smokescreen” 4) Jamie was the decided to cancel her residency. ALL of this info was released by @BritneysGram. This is an intentional attempt by her team to confirm the allegations but claim that she was in extreme danger to justify their actions.
The Blast ALSO (terrifyingly) confirm there is no time table for her release from treatment. The source doesn’t directly confirm that Britney has been in treatment since January, but there’s some between the lines confirmation of that based on when Jamie cancelled the residency.
They, laughably, say that she is “‘not being held against her will,’ she was not fully on board with checking herself in.” This is classic hedging.
So we have @BritneysGram’s report confirmed, but Britney’s team trying to take back the narrative by saying she was in danger and throwing in that she’s now onboard with treatment.
Separately, RadarOnline releases a report that says BRITNEY is upset by the #FreeBritney movement. They quote a source as saying she, “just doesn’t understand why there is so much drama surrounding her treatment.”
Question: who the fuck on Britney’s team is interrupting her treatment to tell her she’s trending on Twitter?
Radar is specific on her treatment entrance date and adds, “Although it has only been three weeks since Spears’ entered a Los Angeles, Calif., mental health facility, Radar has learned that doctors are already planning her exit!”
So The Blast and Radar sources aren’t on the same page regarding her release.
Remember the E! News article from April 4th where they go out of their way to say Britney has been seeing her kids regularly? Well.. Radar reports, “Britney just wants to get out and she wants to be with her family. Her kids miss her terribly.”
We went from E! News reporting on this as if her treatment was a minor inconvenience and now we’ve moved to her not having seen her kids in a while. Team Britney is NOT on the same page at all.
Now, The Blast and Radar are....interesting choices when it comes to leaking this sort of news. It seems like her team is trying to respond to #FreeBritney without actually responding. These are outlets that would only be picked up by the fans, not the general public.
And that’s where this brand new People article comes in:…
The article starts with, “As Britney Spears continues receiving treatment amid her father’s recovery from a life-threatening colon rupture, a Spears family insider tells PEOPLE her choice to seek help comes after a trying few years.” That’s..a departure from Peoples first report.
“Amid her father’s recovery”... not “due to her father’s recovery.”
The source goes on to say, “She is allowed to have whatever reason she wants to take time off for her mental health.” Um. No shit. OF COURSE, she can have whatever reason to seek treatment - so why the fuck did Team Britneh lie about it?
“She wants to be well so she can be with her boys and continue to perform,” so People seems to be confirming the aspect of the Radar report that she hasn’t seen the boys much while receiving treatment. The “and continue to perform” sent chills down my spine.
What’s interesting about the Radar and People Magazine reports from Team Britney? Neither mention @BritneysGram or their allegations. In fact, any casual People reader would still believe Britney willingly entered treatment because of her father’s illness.
Team Britney is definitely trying to put a lid on #FreeBritney and are also trying to set up their next pivot should it not go away. And the path is clear: Britney was so sick she had to be put into treatment, we just care about her and want her to be healthy.
It does strongly seem that Team Britney wasn’t prepared for #FreeBritney. We would expect that in the coming weeks there will be more reports of this nature that are assigned to anonymous sources and testing different approaches to the narrative around Britney.
Our guess is they’re going to wait this out. @BritneysGram said they have additional sources, so it looks like Team Britney put out a new People article to set the table should they need to follow up and make The Blast reports more mainstream.
We cover ALL of this and so so so much more in episode 4, but make sure you also catch up on the events of the 5150 that led to Britney’s permanent conservatorship. Catch the eps on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, or at
In our 4th episode of Eat, Pray, Britney we speculated about a power struggle within Team Britney based on the scattered nature of reports from The Blast, RadarOnline, and People. The new The Blast article seems to confirm our theory.
We can learn a lot from the way these articles are covering the situation and The Blast source continues to insist there’s no timeline for Britney’s release and *very interestingly* is BLAMING Team Britney for the situation.…
So, flat out The Blast reports: “We’re told the story was an “absolute lie,” and her team was divided on using the bogus narrative for “damage control.””

So let’s start getting into these details, because this entire section of the article is FASCINATING. So this one team member cited...? That’s probably The Blast source. And this reeks of CYA (cover your ass).
Let’s also just quickly address the MGM timeline here because there’s absolutely no way Team Britney was negotiating this contract on the timetable The Blast provides. They report that, “Spears’ team of advisors had been aggressively negotiating ... with MGM at the end of 2018.”
We cannot stress this enough for the #BritneyArmy: there’s no way that Britney was announcing a residency in October 2018 that was still being negotiated. Eat, Pray, Britney has it on good authority that the MGM residency was being worked on before Britney went on the POM tour.
Which brings up another point that seems incongruent or at least at odds with Britney’s mental state during this time: the POM tour ended on October 21, 2018. Are we to believe she only became severely dysfunctional between late October and January? Like... what’s going on here?
No, really?????
If The Blast is to be believed, we don’t see how there aren’t a lot of heads to roll on Team Britney. All of these people should be fired, but it seems obvious at this point that the only person to truly be impacted by the consequences of the conservatorship is Britney herself.
Soooooo this TMZ article is pretty short but still tells us A LOT.…
“TMZ broke the story ... Britney checked herself into a mental health facility last month ... she was on the ropes and emotionally dealing with her dad's illness.”

So TMZ is ignoring reports from their competitor, The Blast, and sticking with the initial story from Team Britney
This is deliberate on the part of People & TMZ to not mention there have been credible allegations that this was 1) not related to her father’s illness and 2) that she did not voluntarily check-in. Casual celebrity gossip readers would still think both of these things were true.
The report than INSISTS on reminding us that Britney’s life was in danger in 2007 and that the conservatorship saved her.
“Britney has dealt with some serious mental health issues over the years. At its worst, her dad, Jamie, worried back in 2007 he'd get a call from the coroner, but things turned around after a conservatorship was established the next year, and it remains to this day.”
They keep trying to hammer home he point that without the conservatorship Britney would be dead. It’s a subtle but effective approach from Team Britney who is desperately trying to get this story off the radar.
They add, without context, that, “We're told Britney is in the mental health facility voluntarily...”

Nothing in the article or TMZ’s reporting suggests there’s any reason to believe it wasn’t voluntary. Except.. well.. @BritneysGram. Which they’re determined not to reference.
And TMZ also, CURIOUSLY, titles this article “Britney Spears Easter Day Pass” - which.... is it voluntary treatment or not? Because what voluntary wellness treatment requires a day pass? #FREEBRITNEY
One of our studious followers pointed out she’s pictured with a cellphone. She also had her phone on her when she was spotted getting her hair done. Definitely worth noting, as it’s been widely reported over the years that Britney’s cell and internet use is closely monitored.
So we have a new Page Six report... let’s dive in as they open with Britney being “permitted” to leave the mental health facility. With each passing report it seems less and less likely she’s there voluntarily. The adjectives don’t quite add up.
“However, a source confirmed the break was for less than 24 hours and the “Oops!…I Did It Again” singer has not been permanently released from treatment.”…
Not permanently released...? Okay, but then they revert back to Britney having “checked herself in” due to her dad’s illness. Again, the story to the general public isn’t changing much. But there are hints it’s not what it seems in the language.
Page Six does mention the @BritneysGram podcast and allegations and also mentions Lynne’s likes (a detail they were the first to report on).
But the report itself is walking this fine line between making it clear she required permission to get this short 24 hours away from the facility to trying to reinforce this was her decision and she is in voluntary treatment. The inconsistencies are incredible. #FreeBritney
“For one, not a word of the claims made in the podcast have been corroborated by anyone.” Except sources in The Blast, RadarOnline, and now TMZ are saying her treatment is medication related.…
TMZ, the outlet that broke this story in coordination with Team Spears and a post on her IG account, really said this: “We're told Jamie is adamant - he did not want his daughter to go to the facility because he thought it would leak out to the media.”!2019/04/23/b…
“Over time, those meds were increasingly ineffective and doctors needed to create a new cocktail.” She was on tour six. months. ago. If this was truly this case we cannot stress this enough: FIRE EVERYONE.
What TMZ is describing in this latest article (released in the early hours of the morning, no less) is a situation that developed over a longer period of time. And yet she didn’t miss a performance and plans for the residency kept rolling forward despite these serious concerns.
For us, the questions and ethical issues of the conservatorship have little to do with her family and EVERYTHING to do with the men and women that manage the business of Britney. They have a conflict of interest - it’s not about her wellbeing but about her earning potential.
#BritneyArmy: Do you prioritize the wellbeing of Britney Spears the person above profits? #FreeBritney

Team Britney:
We started this thread to piggyback on the section of our podcast where we talk about celebrity sources, but this requires a keener focus now that TMZ, People, and Jezebel have gotten into the game today.
First of all, we love the “insider baseball” that is celebrity sourcing. It’s a fascinating aspect of celebrity gossip and news coverage. Celebrities controlling their narrative and the turns their reputation can take when they aren’t able to could be a totally different show.
Within 24 hours we’ve gotten a TMZ AND People article on Sam. As you’ll recall, TMZ and People were the first to get articles published on Britney’s situation. Don’t think these two rolling out Sam-centric articles in tandem is an accident. If it is, it’s a hell of a coincidence.
The Jezebel article takes a more directly skeptical tone, despite having hired @TesstifyBarker to publish actual investigative journalism for their website. It’d be hilarious if it weren’t true.
Jezebel at one point asks out loud why Tess doesn’t specify how she vetted her sources, a practice we’d be curious to see if Jezebel regularly discloses in their publications... but we digress...
Jezebel, like most outlets reporting on #FreeBritney, ignore reports from TMZ, The Blast, RadarOnline, &to a lesser extent People, that each have served to confirm the allegations made in @BritneysGram. We have a sneaking suspicion theyre miffed they got out-scooped by a podcast.
Anyone paying attention to the changing news media in the early 00s will remember mainstream outlets being enraged by the rise of the blog. This feels familiar. And we think it’s a big part of why @BritneysGram / #FreeBritney hasn’t been given credit for breaking a story.
BUT. They fucking did. And other outlets have *followed* with sources that clearly contradict the very first TMZ and People articles. It’s to the point that TMZ has contradicted its own reporting in the span of a week!! #FreeBritney
This has become more than just a potential power struggle within Team Britney. The reporting on this story relates to not only their inside sources and their agendas but also to the fact that a random podcast that was supposed to be about Britney’s fashion shows delivered NEWS.
When we say #FreeBritney we mean it. For example.. Jezebel states: “Spears was photographed driving—something she is allegedly not allowed to do under her conservatorship.”

Meanwhile, court documents:
Where does the “allegedly” come into play when there is a documentary about Britney Spears, starring Britney Spears, where Britney Spears says she misses driving her car? #FreeBritney
Just ignore that this unfolds in a scene where her conservator allows her the rare treat of driving a vehicle she finances.

But... allegedly. Sure. Why not.

Speaking of Britney Spears not being able to drive, whose car do you think this is...? Mm. 💅🏼 #FreeBritney
“At this point, she is doing everything she can to return home and *hopes to be released* soon,” is definitely what you’d say about someone in completely voluntary treatment.…
We didn’t think we’d have another episode dedicated to parsing out sources/media strategy but Team Britney is essentially feeding their own red herring by fanning a story that wasn’t a story or at all related to #FreeBritney. It’s.. something.…
“As we reported, Spears is set to be released from the mental health facility imminently.” Again with using the term “released” which doesn’t sound like Britney has much agency in the matter.
”And everyone around her is focused on the star’s ongoing health and recovery.” Everyone around her is focused on her recovery, eh? Except for the people trying to get traction around Sam Lutfi being the big bad in this story that has nothing to do with him, we suppose.
The caption accompanying this tweet is really something to behold after all the poo-pooing #FreeBritney got from most media outlets.
“E! News can confirm that the singer will have a status hearing concerning her conservatorship on May 10.”

Yes, E! News can confirm what the Exhale forums and Britney Stan Twitter reported hours ago. The #BritneyArmy gets all of the blame and none of the credit, I swear 💅🏼.
Well it looks like a lot has gone down today. We’ll be updating this thread with the latest and greatest from TMZ, People, etc, shortly!

Btw, we want to note that this thread wasn’t meant to linger for this long.
But Team Britney couldn’t get their act together to deal with a crisis effectively. Which is obviously a quality you’d want from a team in that’s literally in charge of someone life.
So... lots to discuss here. Let’s start with: “As we reported, the singer was distraught over an illness her dad was battling ... made exponentially worse by the fact the meds she'd been taking for her mental illness stopped working.“!2019/04/25/b…
1) This is an interesting way to admit your initial reporting was inaccurate and required recon work. 2) This is not how medication works and saying so is not only medically inaccurate but an insult to the individuals that require them.
This is a deliberate statement, however, as it does a great job of enforcing the erroneous conclusions readers would draw: that this could happen quickly. That one could be taking medications and one Sunday morning they’d just stop working. That this isn’t a slow burn.
The attention paid to Britney’s medications by TMZ is one of the more trouble revelations that’s hiding in plain sight. It’s absolutely true that managing certain diagnoses is trial and error.
It’s also true that this type of tweaking and constant management of the effectiveness of those medications mixes should be re-evaluated semi regularly.
HOWEVER, it sincerely calls into question the decision making displayed by Team Britney and her conservator, Jamie Spears. Why?

“Doctors were trying to find a new combo of meds, but they couldn't get the mixture right and it was doing Britney more harm than good ... to the point she stopped taking them.” Does this sound like something that took place over a few short weeks?
“Our sources say doctors still haven't figured out the right formula and call it, "a work in progress."”

Read: she’s still unstable and cannot function without the “assistance” of the conservatorship.
“The sources are quick to say, Britney did NOT check into the facility to get her meds right ... it was to get her head straight.” Notice how they just imply she checked herself in to get her head straight but don’t state that explicitly. It’s subtle.
They couldve said, “Britney checked herself in to get her head straight but used this as an opportunity to address her medical needs.” But they don’t say that. They don’t say Britney checked herself in for any reason, they just tell you a reason why she *didnt* check herself in.
This might seem nit picky but when you put it in the context of multiple reports that she was not initially willing to enter treatment? We read this as a tell.
“Our sources acknowledge, she's still having difficulty, but nonetheless is in a better head space.”

To quote Britney’s song Womanizer, “You say I’m crazy. I got you crazy.” They just want everyone to view her as unsayable, fragile, and in need of constant support.
This positioning of Britney’s wellness right before a conservatorship hearing has us concerned.
Because just look at how other outlets are picking up and putting down these same details.…
“TMZ indicates her doctors' biggest concerns now are finding the appropriate formula of medications to ensure progress for the pop star, as Britney supposedly quit taking her old mix of meds that may have triggered her mental health crisis.”

Do you see what just happened there?
This is actually Britney’s fault, okay??

We’re livid.
Actually, she specifically did not deny the allegations that she was checked-in to this facility without her buy-in, which is what made that IG post so crazy.
We can’t even swallow IHEARTRADIO being the outlet to publish that. It isn’t like RCA/Sony has any relationship with them, payola, etc. Never. Couldn’t be.
Now.. these reports really have been so interesting to read in real time. We wish we were able to go back and do the same with what took place in 2008. Shit, we have all the time in the world so we just might! But for now let’s stick with April 25, 2019:…
We’re glad we created this thread because all you have to do is scroll up to see that this is the opposite of The Blasts initial reporting: “As we first reported, Spears’ release was due any day after she neared the end of her long-term treatment.”
The Blasts source initially said there was no timeline for her release (again, we can’t help but wonder why this is the language being used for “voluntary” treatment). What do we think? We think the first report was accurate and the heat got turned up so now our girl is out.
We’re going to have to just break this entire section down because wow. The reference to “freedoms” works to reinforce the involuntary nature of her treatment. This is also the first we’ve heard of behavioral therapy, which many have asked about as Britney’s news has unfolded.
This is not of little consequence. We think there’s a good chance we hear more reports on behavioral therapy. The TMZ approach has called her treatment into sharper question due to how they’ve discussed the use of her medication. Team Britney is going to want to shift the focus.
The Blast, again, confirms that Britney has been in treatment since January. Before Andrew Wallet resigned. As rehearsals for Domination were still regularly being documented.
“As for those questioning the motives of Spears’ team and doubting she wanted to get help, the singer released a video letting everyone know that “all is well.”” They’re not saying she denied any of those allegations. *breathes deeply*
You might be led to believe The Blast is the least important news outlet reporting on Britney but you’d be wrong. Look which outlet ended up with the first scoop on her release! (People is on EST.)
We want to take a break to listen to @BritneysGram but we’ll follow up with analysis on all of these articles this evening. Also, we just need a break because looking at how this is being crafted, we have a feeling Britney is going to be facing an uphill battle moving forward.
Why is Sam picking her up/dropping her off everywhere, btw? We have a sneaking suspicion we’re going to see some rare pictures of Britney driving soon. That’s total speculation but her team has been shaken up by #FreeBritney & we think they’re going to try to quiet them this way.
“Britney Spears is back home after a 30-day stay in a mental health facility, but as we've told you.” TMZ beating the drum on this 30-day stay. Probably because TMZ and People are the most high profile outlets.!2019/04/25/b…
TMZ goes out of their way to make this 30-day stay clear in three separate quotes. The one above, another that says “she checked in last month,” & a third that says “she made progress over the course of the 30 days.” Just in case your casual reader didnt catch it the first time.
TMZ, in this article, continues to reinforce Britney is better but still unwell. Now.. onto People.. “Since she checked into the facility earlier this month...” sure, okay, fine.…
The People article starts by reminding the reader of the trips Britney took outside of the facility (three, for those of you keeping track). People then surprisingly goes on to make their 1st mention of #FreeBritney & DOESNT mention that Britney addressed fake emails in her post!
Britney: “Hey y’all, I’m fine and also Sam Lutfi created fake emails and said I wrote them.”

People Magazine, TMZ, and The Blast:
“She recognized she needed to focus on her own health and sought treatment,” the source said. “No one forced her to go.”

People then echos TMZ about Britney’s meds losing effectiveness. Again, none of these outlets have pointed out her work schedule in 2018 through early 2019.
Let’s move on to ET because we’re getting a headache going through all of these articles. Sam Asghari is suddenly EVERYWHERE.…
He’s getting fluff pieces, making headlines for having picked her up, and being called out by ET for his unwavering support. Good spin: Sam is a genuinely nice guy. Bad spin: Sounds like someone needed a carrot to stick around. You can choose your own adventure on that one.
This is.. a lot. We haven’t been sleeping well since Britney’s news broke on April 3rd so we’ll park our analysis there for today but thanks to everyone for following. Once this month closes we may close this thread and move on to her post-release coverage.
TMZ gave us radio silence for 6 days after @BritneysGram dropped their bombshell episode #FREEBRITNEY. Now? It seems like TMZ is releasing a new report about Britney’s instability every 6 hours.…
We almost feel like the fans and TMZ are having a direct conversation, bc they’re covering a lot of ground when it comes to concerns fans have about Britney. In this one, the focus is supposed to be Jayden+Preston (but really it’s just more reinforcement that Britney is unwell).
“Britney and Kevin Federline have joint custody of 13-year-old Sean and 12-year-old Jayden. The arrangement has been that she gets them 3 days, he gets them 3 days...”

We have yet to find any evidence that someone under a conservatorship can retain custody of their children.
What TMZ appears to be describing here is visitation. This might seem like the same thing but it isn’t. Britney Spears does not, in the eyes of the law, have custody of herself. She cannot legally have custody of her children. Don’t let them obfuscate that fact.
We suppose it might be possible her conservator could have custody of her children but that seems highly unlikely. We’ll try to bring more details to light on this, because we think it’s very important to her case.
But paragraph two of this article is a doozy: “Britney has had less than the agreed-upon 50/50 custody for several months leading up to her stay at the mental health facility.”

“Several months” ago is right around October when Britney was finishing up her POM tour and had announced Domination. So this little tidbit confirms a lot of the timeline speculation that’s been made fuzzy by so many reports.
We still find it hard to believe that Britney’s situation only began to present itself *after* she was done touring, but this is still worth noting as TMZ was hammering that 30-day stay just last night.
The article then says, “So, Britney begins her 3 days with the kids today, but there's still significant concern about her mental state.”

This.. doesn’t sound safe? We spent last night bouncing around what’s happening with these reports and none of it is sitting right.
Team Britney is basically offering Britney up as a lamb for slaughter here. She can see her kids but her mental state is still a serious concern??? Her team has 100% been feeding TMZ and People their info. Why would they deliver it in this way?
“Sure she’s about to see her kids but we don’t think she’s mentally stable” is a HELL of an approach. What does it do? Reminds us that Britney is unwell. Britney needs help. Britney can’t make sound decisions. Mm. They follow up reminding us she was just there for 30-days, okay!
But there’s a new wrinkle added to the fold.. “Our sources say the 30-day stay at a mental health facility...put her in a better place, but there are still issues with her judgment, and it goes beyond medication.”

We’re glad we flagged The Blasts reports of behavioral therapy.
We just highlighted the rest because wow. The yellow highlight shows a softer approach than the iHeartRadio statement that this was Britney’s fault. At least here TMZ is trying to add a fair reason she’d stop her meds.
Which.. let’s keep an eye on that. Because her medications being harmful as the reason Britney refused to take them is a new framing. It wasn’t her rebelling, you see? That had nothing to do with it. Not in this take’s version, anyway.
The area highlighted in blue again takes us to the behavioral therapy mentioned by The Blast. “There are more fundamental health issues that go to judgement and perspective.”

Mm. Let’s go back to a TMZ article from 2012:…
“There's a reason Britney Spears' conservatorship has lasted 4 1/2 years with no end in sight -- it's because she has a serious medical issue that prevents her from making consistently sound decisions ... TMZ has learned.”

Consistently sound decision making.
This has been used before, see? It was used when she married Jason Alexander. Her annulment was predicated on the fact that Britney “lacked understanding of her actions.” Remember that, #BritneyArmy? Good times. If we only knew that was just the beginning..
Britney can’t make her own decisions because she can’t make consistently good ones. How many people do you know make consistently sound decisions? Moving on..
The last paragraph highlighted in green is just the same drum beat we’ve heard from TMZ for years. Never forget that in 2010 TMZ was reporting the conservatorship over Britney the business would never be lifted. They close this article out by reminding you Jamie has cared for her
For 12 years (we spotted one of you using the hashtag #12YearsASlave when referencing Britney and you’re doing amazing, sweetie). Jamie saved her from disaster. Jamie and his conservatorship has been her savior.
We’ll have to end it there for now. One of us decided to thread this article instead of getting to work on time. As always, more to come!
This thread has to end but TMZ just won’t let it! Her team is on overdrive. We wonder how many exclusives Miley will have to throw TMZ’s way to repay all these favors.
TMZ is like, “we just posted an article in the middle of the night about how Britney is going to spend time with her kids despite her MENTAL INSTABILITY but please enjoy these family photos from the last two years!”
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