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After Nine Years, Amanda Bynes' Conservatorship Has Finally Come To An End

ELLE logo ELLE 22/03/2022 ELLE Team

When you hear the word 'conservatorship', the first name that unsurprisingly pops into one's head would be Britney Spears.

And after a public battle to remove her legal bindings, it only makes sense that her name is the first to spring to mind. But another famous face that many may not realise is held in similar restrictions is Amanda Bynes.

Much like Spears, Bynes began her career as a childhood star, and became known for her now iconic '00s roles in hit films like She's The Man, What A Girl Wants and Easy A. However, as she struggled with her mental health, she too, entered a conservatorship that's also run by members of her family.

However, a month after Britney was freed, a California judge has ruled in Bynes' favour and officially terminated her nine year-long conservatorship.

The ruling declared that the former legal arrangements—which saw Bynes' mother have control of her estate and personal arrangements—were no longer required. The overseeing judge, Rodger L Lund, wrote that Bynes' team "provided facts that the conservatorship is no longer needed".

Following the ruling, Bynes' shared a statement with fans via People Magazine.

The statement read:

"Following today's decision by the judge to terminate my conservatorship, I would like to thank my fans for their love and well wishes during this time. I would also like to thank my lawyer and my parents for their support over the last nine years.

""In the last several years, I have been working hard to improve my health so that I can live and work independently, and I will continue to prioritize my well-being in this next chapter. I am excited about my upcoming endeavours — including my fragrance line — and look forward to sharing more when I can."

From what exactly led Bynes to be put in a conservatorship to how it differed to Spears', we've rounded up everything you need to know about Amanda Bynes' former conservatorship below.

WHEN AND WHY WAS AMANDA'S CONSERVATORSHIP CREATED?

While the world could never forget her masterpiece performances throughout the '00s, many would find it hard to place exactly when Bynes fell out of the spotlight. In fact, some may not even know that she chose to retire from acting back in 2010, after wrapping up Easy A. Following her retirement, her Twitter presence increased and became, well, interesting.

From tweeting very explicit, sexual requests to Drake to accusing her own father of sexual abuse—which she later recanted—she went onto admit that during that time in her life, she was struggling with substance abuse.

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However, when Bynes got herself into legal trouble with a DUI, it was the last straw for her family. In 2013, her parents filed to put her under conservatorship, and she has remained in those guidelines ever since.


Gallery: Mind-blowing details of the Britney Spears conservatorship case (StarsInsider)

From then, Bynes has remained relatively private. She has spent her time studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and remains out of the limelight, one that she's been in since she was six years old.

As per People Magazine, Bynes is now working on her own fragrance line, along with planning her upcoming wedding with fiancée Paul Michael.

WHAT HAS AMANDA SAID ABOUT HER CONSERVATORSHIP?

On February 25, 2022, Page Six reported that Bynes officially began petitioning to end her conservatorship, filing documents to terminate the court-ordered restrictions.

Bynes' lawyer, David A. Esquibias, explained why she wants to break free from legal restraints, saying that she feels like she has "improved".

"Amanda wishes to terminate her conservatorship," he told People. She believes her condition is improved and protection of the court is no longer necessary."

Her last major interview was a profile for Paper magazine back in 2018, which saw Bynes open up about spending the past four years sober, and the shame that she felt from her previous actions. Additionally, she admitted to feeling adrift since her retirement, speaking out about exactly how her substance abuse took control over her.

"I definitely abused Adderall," she told the publication. She added that when she was filming Hairspray, she remembered "reading an article in a magazine that [called Adderall] 'the new skinny pill' and they were talking about how women were taking it to stay thin. I was like, 'Well, I have to get my hands on that,'" adding that she secured a prescription after apparently "faking the symptoms of ADD" to a psychiatrist.

As for how she feels about her conservatorship, Bynes has barely spoken publicly out about it, until now. However, the state of her finances, her treatment and how much it costs are cited as concerning to her fans, particularly those from the #FreeAmandaBynes Twitter account which houses over 500 followers.

HOW IS AMANDA'S CONSERVATORSHIP DIFFERENT TO BRITNEY SPEARS'?

When it comes to the differences between Spears' and Bynes' conservatorship, they differ vastly.

Back in 2017, Bynes' mother filed to allow her daughter to regain full control of her own finances again, telling the court that she was in a great place—which was something Spears' father never granted his daughter access to.

And this is the main difference between the two, our access to exactly what is going on in their cases is completely opposite. While Bynes is still under medical conservatorship powers by her mother, she is no longer in financial constraints, which means she is not required to make frequent court appearances to ask for financial permissions. Whereas, Spears was a regular in court, and concerning changes made to her case were documented.

Another important aspect to mention is the difference in media coverage between both Bynes and Spears. With vastly different public perceptions, Spears has remained right in the public's eye for many, many years—performing around the world and committing to a Las Vegas residency. She was constantly adding to the success of her career, which left many questioning how the same couldn't be done for her own life.

However, for the ever-so-private Bynes, the only moments we saw of her life were during the times she later regretted.

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Of course, the endless documentaries about Spears' life, career and conservatorship also helped draw attention to her situation, as well as the entire #FreeBritney movement, it only makes sense that that level of attention will see an equal level of commotion.

As for whether Bynes' story will receive the documentary treatment will remain unknown while the specifics of what exactly the conservatorship entailed are under lock and key.

For now, watch this space.

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