Britney Spears Crazy Stupid or Self-Destructive? Can Anyone Stop This?
Posted on Sep 12, 2007 in Celebrity Justice
We’re entering the 3rd day of What Happened to Britney Spears: Simon Cowell has given his opinion (she’s toast) and some poor guy has a big hit on YouTube, crying and asking everyone to stop bashing his beloved Britney.
Kanye West says MTV exploited her to get ratings for its awards show; MTV did get a big ratings boost this year, credited to Britney’s appearance. But perhaps Miki Taylor, entertainment writer for MSNBC, says it best: “Girlfriend has some serious issues.”
What, if anything, can be done to help Britney?
Sad but true, Britney Spears has the legal right to make bad, horrible, shockingly stupid career decisions. If she had refused to perform, she might have faced a breach of contract action by MTV; by going on, and being horrible, she did technically perform her act. They can’t sue her. And, why would they? MTV gotta be loving this attention — ratings are up, people are talking MTV.
However, Britney Spears may have some personal issues that need to be explored. Looks like we can all agree on this one. What can be done?
1. If someone is not competent to act for themselves, then a court can decide to appoint someone else to act on their behalf, as the guardian of their person (making decisions like health care, living arrangements, etc.) as well as guardian of their estate (making the money calls). Guardianships are formal, courtroom proceedings with admissible evidence shown to a judge, who orders the guardianship and then monitors how the guardian is doing. An example, someone is in a car wreck and remains in a coma: a court can appoint a guardian to handle things for him while he’s incapacitated.
2. If someone is a danger to themselves or others, then they may be physically taken to a mental health facility and held there (usually 72 hours) while their mental health is being assessed. Someone threatening suicide, for example, can be taken by the police against their will to a hospital and confined there – it’s for their own safety, as well as others.
3. Absent these levels of inability to function, what to do? Loved ones can intervene – the power of interventions cannot be underestimated. Lots of people entering rehab and mental facilities on a voluntary basis do so because of the collective push from an intervention. Loved ones can also voice concern, and talk straight and tough: think Dr. Phil. What would Dr. Phil say to BritBrit? Now, there’s a show….
4. Being an unfit mother is not the same evidentiary hurdle as incompetency. The best interest of the children in the Spears-Federline custody dispute is the deciding factor there. The judge will look at the children, and decide what is best for them to be safe and nurtured. It’s a strong fact to be argued that Kevin Federline was hosting a Cars-themed birthday party for the boys on the same weekend that Britney was partying with Diddy and screwing up on the MTV stage.
Bottom line, Federline’s custody case gets better by the day. Media reports of Britney don’t reveal someone so seriously off-kilter that the law will allow someone else to substitute their decisions for hers. Britney has a legal right to destroy her career, to drink too much, to choose Diddy’s party over her children’s. Sad, sad, sad, but true.�