Britney Spears’ attorney Mathew Rosengart praised the #FreeBritney movement this afternoon in helping to lead to the suspension of the singer’s father as her conservator.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, it’s been intense. I’m proud, Britney’s proud,” Rosengart said during a news conference after the court hearing in Los Angeles. “I think the support of the #FreeBritney movement has been instrumental. To the extent that it allowed my firm to carry the ball across the finish line, I thank them as well.”
More on the #FreeBritney movement: In 2009, Spears superfan Megan Radford read a blog post about her idol’s new legal arrangement, and something didn’t feel right.
So Radford staged a one-woman protest outside the star’s concert in Dallas, wearing a T-shirt she’d made herself, emblazoned with a quirky slogan: “Free Britney.”
“I was all alone … I think some people definitely thought I was a nut,” Radford told CNN this summer. But, she added, “when you really care about a human, it’s not that much bigger of a step to start advocating for her rights.”
Radford, 34, who said she never “grew out” of her adolescent love for Spears, had never heard of a conservatorship before. The Spears fans around her had little concern about the cause, and the phrase on her clothing wasn’t a hashtag yet — just a couple of words she’d read on a fansite.
“It was just a way of trying to convey the situation,” said Jordan Miller, the owner of the fansite and the man who coined the expression “Free Britney” in a series of breathless posts to his readers in late 2008. “I was 19, 20 years old … all of this came flying out of me.”
Today, those two words describe arguably the defining pop culture crusade of the internet era.
The #FreeBritney movement, which claims the star is being kept against her will in a legal stranglehold that denies her even the most basic personal freedoms, has outposts around the world and has drawn intense media scrutiny onto the singer’s case in recent years.
Reporting from CNN’s Rob Picheta contributed to this post.