FACT CHECK: Did The New York Times Publish An Article Titled, ‘Judge Rules That Britney Spears Is Allowed To Commit Crimes’?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 400 times claims The New York Times published an article with the headline, “Judge Rules That Britney Spears Is Allowed to Commit Crimes.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence The New York Times published such an article.

Fact Check:

Britney Spears, the singer of hit songs like “…Baby One More Time” and  “Oops!… I Did It Again,” spent more than 13 years in a legal conservatorship controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, according to CBS News. The arrangement was terminated last Friday by a Los Angeles judge, the outlet reported.

Since this news broke, social media users have been sharing a screenshot of a purported New York Times article claiming the judge also ruled that the singer is now allowed to commit crimes. “Judge Rules That Britney Spears Is Allowed to Commit Crimes,” reads the purported headline, written in The New York Time’s distinct font.

Check Your Fact searched The New York Times’ website, however, and did not find any article with that headline. A search of the newspaper’s verified social media accounts also did not yield any results for such an article. Jordan Cohen, the executive director of communications at The New York Times, confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email that the newspaper “did not write or publish that headline.”

The New York Times did publish an article on Nov. 12 titled, “Judge Ends Conservatorship Overseeing Britney Spear’s Life and Finances.” Check Your Fact examined several archived versions of the article, none of which showed the headline in the Facebook post. (RELATED: Did The New York Times Publish An Article Claiming Donald Trump Died?)

Check Your Fact has previously debunked images claiming to show headlines from The New York Times, including one in 2020 that purportedly showed an article with the headline: “Even If The Election Was Stolen, Recalling It Will Just Further Divide The Country.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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