The #FreeBritney movement was, well, moving long before her court case made it to mainstream media. Now that Britney Spears is a free woman and shining light on conservatorship abuse, another celebrity is filing to end the chokehold on her bank account. Remember Amanda Bynes, the comedic actress who got her start on a number of Nickelodeon shows in the 1990s? The 35-year-old is working to gain her freedom after having most of her adult life controlled by her father and mother. The parallels between Britney and Amanda are startling, but if you forgot how this new court case came to be – let me refresh you!
Amanda Bynes amassed a net worth of over $4,000,000 during her career in Hollywood. After starring in All That, Figure It Out and The Amanda Show, she transitioned to other roles on bigger networks, most notice-ably with What I Like About You. Let’s not forget her string of hit rom-coms including What a Girl Wants, She’s the Man and Sydney White. At the height of her career, however, she dropped out of the limelight shortly after the premiere of Easy A in 2010 to pursue an education in fashion and perfume. It was only then that the trouble began.
A string of DUIs, hit and runs, accidental arsons and public disturbances led to a 72-hour involuntary hold in a mental health facility in 2013. This is a trend often seen with wealthy young people, where coming into the reality of how the world works mixed with a ton of cash often ends in disaster. Matters became worse, though, as Bynes then proceeded to accuse her father of sexual abuse – which was never investigated – and she went on a string of Twitter tirades. Where do you think the phrase “murder my pussy” came from? It was only after Amanda started talking about a microchip in her brain and receiving a bipolar diagnosis that a judge placed her in a conservatorship.
The grounds to start her 2013 conservatorship were due in part to her mental health and status of her bank account. It was clear that Ms. Bynes was struggling mentally, but she was also draining her entire fortune; most notice-ably by spending over $1,200,000 of it in less than a year and constantly hiring taxis to drive her from New York to California since her license was revoked. To some extent, the conservatorship worked, as Ms. Bynes entered the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising that same year and graduated six years later with her degree. She also kept things relatively quiet on social media and met her current fiancé, Paul Michael.
In a 2018 interview with Paper Magazine, Amanda seemed relatively grateful for her conservatorship and took responsibility for her own actions. In the interview, she stated that she was abusing numerous drugs from the time she was 16, suffered from several psychosis and was having self-esteem issues a la body dysmorphia. She also recanted the claims she made against her father and thanked her parents for helping her regain a happy and healthy life. It isn’t a tale of sunshine and rainbows because Amanda still had brushes with mental health issues, having even left her treatment facility and disappearing in 2019. When she was found, the conservatorship ordered her back to treatment.
This is where the situation starts to get complicated. The former actress hasn’t had any issues with authorities or mental health officials in over two years. As mentioned before, she graduated from college three years ago and by all accounts she was a joy to teach and work with. This demonstrates the capacity to make decisions and keep up with a schedule as well as numerous other traits for a beneficial life. However, the conservatorship is holding her back from going further. Amanda is not allowed to marry her fiancé because her father and mother will not allow it, and she is living below her means due to an allowance that just doesn’t work. Let me not forget to mention a pregnancy announcement that the conservatorship hid or cancelled in the blink of an eye.
On Wednesday, Amanda Bynes and her lawyer, David Esquibias, filed to have the conservatorship of the person and the estate terminated. This would grant Ms. Bynes the capabilities to spend her own money as she pleases and make every decision that affects her liberties. Esquibias is calling on his client’s doctors and psychiatrists to make statements in regard to her mental capacity as it stands today. Although the conservatorship was renewed until 2023, Byes and Esquibias are hoping to have the legal binding terminated by the end of its ninth year.
The first hearing is scheduled to take place on March 22, 2022.
Britney Spears recently signed a $15,000,000 book deal and plans to spill on all the horrible abuse she suffered during her own conservatorship. She has spoken on several occasions that we don’t know the whole truth yet. It stands to reason that, unfortunately, the same could be said for Amanda Bynes. Whatever the outcome, I hope Amanda is happy, healthy and safe. No one deserves to have their liberties taken from them unless it is truly necessary. And every conservatorship should be terminated when it is no longer necessary!
Is #FreeKesha next?
Conservatorship is a legal status to which a court appoints a person to manage the financial and personal affairs of a minor or incapacitated person. A conservator may also serve as a guardian who is responsible for establishing and monitoring the physical care of the individual and managing their living arrangements. – Investopedia