Amanda Bynes Is Free!

The Nickelodeon actresses was placed in the conservatorship at the request of her parents in 2013.

Former Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes’ 9-year conservatorship is officially coming to an end, the New York Times first reported. A California judge ruled in her favor during a 5-minute hearing on March 22, a month after the retired actress filed a request to end the conservatorship. 

The Los Angeles Times reported on March 21 that Ventura County Judge Roger L. Lund intended to end the conservatorship following a declaration filed on Feb. 22, noting Bynes’ “capacity” to consent to medical treatments. The move came just six months after a judge issued a tentative extension on the conservatorship until 2023.  

“She’s done everything the court has asked over a long period of time,” Judge Lund said at the hearing.

Bynes, who will turn 36 next month, had been shackled by the conservatorship since 2013, when her increasingly worrying behavior came to a head with a DUI charge. The conservatorship, which was requested by her parents, Lynn and Rick Bynes, left them in charge of her medical and personal affairs, as well as her finances, which were moved into a trust in 2017.  

Bynes shot to fame in the early ‘00s with iconic roles in Nickelodeon’s All That and movies like What a Girl Wants and She’s the Man. After working on 2010’s Easy A, she retired from acting, and her behavior took a turn for the worse. Her substance abuse problems led to erratic and oftentimes explicit tweets and the DUI in 2013.

Her mother, Lynn, was named her official conservator in 2014, and after that Bynes laid relatively low until 2018, when she was profiled in Paper Magazine. In the interview, Bynes spoke openly about substance abuse and her path to sobriety, as well as the body image issues that plagued her very public youth.   

Bynes’ petition to end the conservatorship came two years after she moved into a community for women in need. Bynes has maintained her sobriety, and is currently engaged and working towards a bachelor’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She is supported by her parents in her move to gain back her independence.  

Despite her well-documented struggles and the news of her conservatorship being public information, many people were shocked to hear that she was ever in a conservatorship in the first place when the news of her petition broke last month. 

Bynes’ conservatorship struggles failed to amass the same amount of public outrage as Britney Spears, who was also famously stuck in a conservatorship at the request of her parents up until last year. #FreeBritney became a worldwide phenomenon, as fans and haters of the singer alike bound together to help campaign for her freedom. But while Bynes has always had the support of her parents, Spears has had to actively fight against her family, whom she has publicly called out since the conservatorship’s termination. Bynes has also been in control of her own finances since 2017, a luxury that was not awarded to Spears until November’s ruling. 

Time will tell what Bynes plans to do now that she is officially free. Whatever she decides, we are so happy for her.

Congratulations to Amanda (and also Britney)!

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