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Former child star Amanda Bynes is freed from conservatorship

Amanda Bynes in 2011
Chris Pizzello
Amanda Bynes in 2011

After years of work on her mental health, Amanda Bynes and her mother have agreed to end the conservatorship the actor has been under since 2013.

Bynes became famous for starring in her own Nickelodeon sketch comedy All That and The Amanda Show and the WB sitcom What I Like About You and later in films such as the 2010 comedy Easy A.

But in 2013, when she was 27 years old, she was placed under a conservatorship after a few erratic incidents, including allegedly setting fire to a driveway. Her attorney, David Esquibias, says her parents were concerned about her well-being "and it seemed like the right thing to do at the time."

The following year, Bynes tweeted that she was diagnosed as bipolar and was on medication and seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist every week. Now she's almost 36, and a judge in Southern California has ruled she no longer needs to be cared for by her mother.

Esquibias says Bynes has been working on herself for years and reporting to the court regularly and now "all of her hard work has come to fruition." He says her mother agreed to the termination, and he filed the paperwork to end the conservatorship in February.

The news follows another high-profile termination case by pop star Britney Spears, which highlighted issues of conservatorships, which are generally geared for people with dementia or a cognitive disability. "But Amanda's conservatorship is nothing like Britney's conservatorship," Esquibias told NPR. "Amanda's conservatorship was a collaborative effort with her parents. There was no fighting between her and her mother or father. Everyone was working together, including Amanda."

He says Bynes never fought against having all of her decisions made by her mother. "She recognized that it was operating in her best interests and she allowed it. And it worked."

Esquibias says Bynes is excited to continue her studies at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. "She has been studying merchandising and she has expressed an interest in creating a fragrance line," he says.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: March 23, 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT
A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Amanda Bynes was 28 when her conservatorship began and that she is now 36. She was 27 in July 2013 when the arrangement was set, and is currently 35, less than two weeks shy of her 36th birthday.
As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.

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