After nearly nine years, Amanda Bynes is expected to be free from her conservatorship.
A hearing on Tuesday morning will likely make termination official. On Monday, a judge issued a tentative ruling, stating that the conservatorship is “no longer required,” setting the stage for the end of the court-ordered arrangement that the former child star was placed under in 2013.
“I’m excited for her. She is excited,” Bynes’ attorney, David A. Esquibias, tells Variety, speaking Monday evening, ahead of the hearing. “We’re all excited and we’re all anxiously looking forward to Amanda living a life as a private and normal citizen.”
Bynes will not be present at Tuesday’s hearing, her attorney tells Variety.
Bynes — who rose to fame as a kid on Nickelodeon’s “All That” and then starred in a slew of hit films as a teen in the early 2000’s — has been under a conservatorship for the past decade. In 2013, her parents, Rick Bynes and Lynn Organ, petitioned the court for a conservatorship when their famous daughter allegedly set a driveway on fire and was hospitalized on an involuntary psychiatric hold. In 2014, her mother was granted a full conservatorship, becoming her official conservator.
Bynes’ parents have both been “very supportive” throughout the entire conservatorship, Esquibias says, and have helped her work towards a positive transition into the real world, which was the goal from the beginning of the legal arrangement. Last month, when Bynes filed to terminate the conservatorship, a family attorney for her mother said that the conservatorship was always “intended to be temporary” and stated that “Lynn is extremely happy and thrilled and proud of Amanda and ready to terminate this conservatorship based on the hard work Amanda has done.”
Currently, Bynes is a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Since 2020, she had been living in a structured community for women in need. The facility typically addresses drug, alcohol or substance dependency issues, but also medical issues, which a source close to Bynes says is the reason she had been living in the facility.
“She didn’t necessarily have an addiction,” an individual familiar with Bynes’ situation explains. “She had a medical condition that required supervision and required assistance and education.”
Bynes’ lawyer declined to comment on any medical issues, citing attorney client confidentiality.
In 2014, Bynes displayed erratic behavior on Twitter, posting a series of tweets accusing her father of abuse; she then walked back the comments, saying she had a microchip in her brain, which caused her to tweet the false claims. Shortly after, Bynes was admitted to an involuntary emergency psychiatric hold at a California facility. Around that time, Bynes tweeted that she was diagnosed “bipolar and manic depressive,” explaining that she was taking medicine and seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist on a weekly basis.
Due to medical confidentiality and privacy, Bynes’ attorney declined to comment on whether his client was diagnosed as bipolar. However, a well-placed source does not dispute Bynes’ tweet from years ago.
In a 2018 interview with Paper Magazine, Bynes candidly spoke about her past and reflected on some of her tough years in the spotlight. “I just had no purpose in life. I’d been working my whole life and I was doing nothing,” she told the magazine. “I can’t turn back time but if I could, I would. And I’m so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me…It makes me feel so horrible and sick to my stomach and sad. Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter.”
Bynes spoke about her drug use, in that 2018 interview, explaining that despite her “good girl” image in Hollywood, she began smoking marijuana when she was sixteen years old. “Later on it progressed to doing molly and ecstasy,” Bynes revealed, adding that she tried cocaine a few times, and “abused” Adderall. “I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me,” Bynes said. She also shared that she did not like her performance in the 2010 film, “Easy A,” in which she co-starred with Emma Stone. After seeing the movie, she convinced herself that she needed to stop acting.
Today, now 35 and happily engaged, Bynes is focused on a normal life, her attorney says.
At Tuesday’s hearing, there are not expected to be any objections to Bynes’ petition to terminate. That petition, which was filed on Feb. 23 with the support of her mother, attorney and psychiatrist, was accompanied by a capacity declaration, since the state of California requires all conservatees to provide updated information on their mental state from their physician or medical practitioner. Bynes’ psychiatrist wrote in the filing that she “has no apparent impairment in alertness and attention, information and processing, or ability to modulate mood and affect, and suffers no thought disorders.”
Bynes, who recently joined Instagram to update her fans on her conservatorship, is grateful for the support she has received over the years. “My court date is coming up in two weeks,” Bynes recently said in a video message on social media. “I want to thank you all so much for your love and support.”
Speaking to her living arrangement in the structured community for women, Esquibias tells Variety that Bynes “has done very well in a very short period of time that she’s been there.” He adds, “Now she’s able to live on her own independently and free of the conservatorship.”
With freedom on the horizon, what’s next for Bynes, as she focuses on her well-being?
“Besides normalcy as a person and a student, I know that she is looking forward to what her next step is going to be,” Esquibias says. “One of the things that she’s talking about is a fragrance line and possibly a clothing line, while she is concentrating on school. She is very creative, so she’s trying to find an outlet for that.”
To tap into her creativity, would Bynes ever consider a return to acting?
“I have not heard her say that she’s interested in returning to becoming an actress, but I wouldn’t rule that out,” Esquibias says. “She has a new life ahead of her and she is so young… She was a great actress. I’m sure many people would love to see her return to acting.”