A judge terminated Amanda Bynes’ conservatorship on Tuesday, ending the legal arrangement that has given the former actor’s mother control of her estate and personal affairs for nearly a decade.
The 35-year-old filed a petition last month, with support from her mother and psychiatrist, to end the conservatorship she was placed under in 2013 after she was forcibly hospitalized on a psychiatric hold.
“I’m excited for her. She is excited,” Bynes’ attorney, David A Esquibias, told Variety on Monday. “We’re all excited and we’re all anxiously looking forward to Amanda living a life as a private and normal citizen.”
On Friday, the Ventura county judge overseeing the case had already indicated he intended to end Bynes conservatorship. “Petitioner has provided facts that the conservatorship is no longer needed,” Judge Roger L Lund wrote in Friday’s tentative ruling.
Bynes starred in Nickelodeon’s All That and the Amanda Show and films such as What a Girl Wants and She’s the Man, before announcing her retirement from acting in 2010.
Bynes was placed on a psychiatric hold in 2013 after reportedly starting a small fire, and a judge granted her parents a temporary conservatorship that was extended several times in the years since.
In the years before the conservatorship was put in place, tabloids had seized on her legal troubles, which included hit-and-run and DUI charges.
Bynes has spoken out about mental health struggles, saying she was diagnosed “bipolar and manic depressive.” In a 2018 interview, she told Paper Magazine she struggled with body image issues and drug abuse that affected her behavior and mental health and “ruined” her life.
Bynes is now sober and has earned an associate degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She’s now pursuing a bachelor’s degree, and has gotten engaged. She has lived in a “structured community for women in need” since 2020, according to Variety, where her lawyer de ella said she has “done very well in a very short period of time that she’s been there” and she is now able to live independently.
In a statement to People on Tuesday, Bynes shared her appreciation for her fans.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Bynes’ effort to end her conservatorship comes months after Britney Spears years-long battle to end her own. A judge liberated the star from the nearly 14-year conservatorship in November in a triumph for Spears and the #FreeBritney movement, an eleven-dismissed fan-led campaign that brought attention to Spears’ situation de ella and cast a harsh spotlight on the controversial legal arrangement.
Disability rights advocates have said the movement brought an unprecedented level of attention to conservatorships, spawning efforts to dramatically reform conservatorships in California.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.