Superstar Britney Spears has long lived a life in the limelight.
Shining an illuminating light on the pop star, “Framing Britney Spears,” examines the singer’s career and the resulting conservatorship under father Jamie Spears following her public breakdown in 2008.
With “The New York Times Presents” documentary peeling back the curtain on Spears’ life, fans and celebrities alike are abound with new perspectives regarding the star’s estate — with a rallying cry of “#FreeBritney” trending worldwide for days after the unauthorized documentary’s release.
Here are 5 things we’ve learned from “Framing Britney Spears.”
1) Photos of Spears were selling for upwards of $1 million at her peak
Photos of Britney Spears were going for upwards of $1 million in her peak.
Before the age of smartphones and social media, the paparazzi and tabloid industries were booming with the rise of Spears in the early 2000s. With the two industries synergizing, the singer became the epicenter of revenue generation — with any image of her selling for upwards of $1 million.
Needless to say, an image of Spears was so valued that publications were willing to go through any means to get one.
Former Us Weekly photographer director Brittain Stone, who worked at the publication from 2001 to 2011, revealed the company would shell out $7 to $8 million dollars annually for celebrity photographs. “Spending millions of dollars on pictures, that just, you know, quintupled the amount of money that was out there, which meant there were a lot more photographers coming in and doing it.”
Paparazzo Daniel Ramos stated that “it’s hard to get out of [the paparazzi industry] once you start making the kind of money that these guys were making.”
2) Spears had different plans for her conservatorship
Britney Spears has been under conservatorship of her father, Jamie Spears, since 2008 following her public meltdown.
According to trial attorney Adam Streisand, Spears allegedly wanted “a professional” and “somebody independent” to be the conservator to her person and estate, as opposed to her father.
In the documentary, Streisand, who was supposed to represent the singer, recalls Spears allegedly saying, “I don’t want my father to be my conservator.”
Furthermore, it was revealed that the judge overseeing Spears’ case deemed the singer unfit to retain counsel due to a “medical report,” which Streisand was allegedly not allowed to see.
3) The documentary has led to Spears’ fans slamming Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake was portrayed in the documentary as complicit in the media’s scrutiny of Britney Spears.
In the doc, Spears’ former relationship with fellow pop star Justin Timberlake is examined, once again bringing attention to their controversial split, which, according to Page Six, sparked rumors that Spears was unfaithful.
The outlet reports that Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” video featuring an adultress blonde character fueled such speculation, as did a 2003 interview between the “Toxic” singer and Diane Sawyer, who grilled the actress over what she did that caused “so much suffering” for Timberlake.
Diane Sawyer is being taken to task over a 2003 interview featured in the new Britney Spears documentary.
In one portion of the documentary, footage from Sawyer’s “ABC Primetime Thursday” interview is used. At the time, it was billed as a “no holds barred” look into the singer’s personal life amid her very public split from Timberlake.
“He has gone on television and pretty much said you broke his heart,” Sawyer says to the then-22-year-old singer. “You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering… What did you do?”
4) Spears personally hand-delivered $10,000 to her hometown for Christmas
In a humble move by the singer, Britney once hand-delivered $10,000 to residents of her hometown of Kentwood, La., as she slowly rose to the top.
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Intimate Britney Spears)
Former assistant Felicia Culotta told the story about how when Spears was just beginning her climb to the top, she stopped to personally hand-deliver money to residents of her hometown in Kentwood, La., for Christmas.
“… When she just was getting famous — we were home for Christmas, and she wanted to go get $10,000 in $100 bills, and she just drove through Kentwood and gave out $100 bills,” Culotta revealed. “It wasn’t ‘Hi, I’m Britney Spears.’ It was ‘Merry Christmas.’”
Further proving her love for her hometown, the documentary shows Britney’s humble beginnings, which feature the star performing for free in shopping malls around the area prior to her ascent.
5) Jamie was not particularly involved at the start of his daughter’s career
According to the documentary, father Jamie was allegedly not particularly present during his daughter’s rise to fame.
According to various testimonies from people interviewed — including Culotta — the singer’s father was not allegedly particularly present during his daughter’s rise to fame.
Former Jive Records executive Kim Kaiman noted that it was Spears’ mother, Lynne, who helped navigate the singer’s career in its early stages and not her father.
In regards to the singer’s father, Kaiman alleged, “The only thing Jamie ever said to me was, ‘My daughter’s gonna be so rich, she’s gonna buy me a boat.’ That’s all I’m gonna say about Jamie.”
A rep for Jamie Spears did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report