IKEA GA NAACP Not Down With Apology ... Calls Juneteenth Menu 'Performative'

IKEA has more work to do if it wants forgiveness for a misguided Juneteenth celebration ... because one of Georgia's leading Black voices ain't buying what the company's selling in the apology aisle.

Georgia State NAACP President James Woodall tells TMZ ... the Swedish-based big-box retailer's statement from earlier this week -- when they explained their Atlanta store was wrong for a Juneteenth-themed menu -- is pretty much lip-service without further action.

Woodall says he thinks the whole debacle speaks to a tone-deaf culture at the company -- adding its seemingly harmless gesture actually helps perpetuate attacks against Black people by what he described as white supremacy. He also called the employee menu an empty, performative gesture.

Woodall tells us IKEA should have to answer to its constituents -- AKA employees and customers.

Atlanta's NAACP Prez, Richard Rose, seemed a bit more forgiving -- or at the very least, not ready to torch them like Woodall did.

He says he can't say for certain their intention was to be racist with the menu -- which included fried chicken, collard greens and watermelon -- but does acknowledge it was obviously insensitive. He's chalking that up to a possible lack of diversity among decision-makers.

As for accepting the apology ... Rose says that's up to the 20 employees who called out in protest.

Meanwhile, an IKEA rep tells TMZ their workers are now reporting to work as scheduled, and that they'll continue to bring people to the table to continue the dialogue.

'Karen' Director Coke Daniels Flattered by 'Get Out' Comparison, But ... I Didn't Rip Off Jordan Peele!!!

IN GOOD COMPANY
TMZ.com

Coke Daniels is all for people comparing his film "Karen" to Jordan Peele's "Get Out," but to say he ripped it off? Coke essentially says get the hell outta here with that take!

The writer/producer tells TMZ ... they're 2 totally different films. His about an entitled white, racist woman who tries to run a Black family out of the neighborhood, while "Get Out" is about a mixed-race couple visiting her super-creepy family.

However, it didn't stop people from talking trash. One person said on Twitter, "Jordan Peele only has two films under his belt as a director and he already has people trying to copy his formula."

1, 2, KAREN'S COMIN' FOR YOU

Now, Coke will cop to the idea that the films do share a similarity in genre ... and the director thinks THAT is what haters were really describing after the trailer dropped on Tuesday.

ICYMI, they slammed "Karen" -- starring Taryn Manning in the creepy lead -- as a wannabe "Get Out." The criticism was so intense, Jordan Peele's name started trending on Twitter.

Coke noticed all the social media buzz, took a screenshot of several posts and captioned it, "Trending on Twitter!! Keep comparing Karen to Get Out! We’ll receive that!"

A ROLE FOR CHANGE
TMZ.com

Coke tells us he's also seen folks saying his movie looks more like an 'SNL' skit, but watch his reaction -- he's not too mad about that criticism ... and added a shout-out to Tyler Perry. Oh yeah, Jordan too.

'Grease' Actor Eddie Deezen Accused of Harassing Waitress Over Eyelashes ... He Claims Cyberbullying

Actor Eddie Deezen is being accused of harassing a waitress who claims he went scorched Earth on her over her eyelashes, of all things ... but he claims her peeps are cyberbullying him now.

So, here's the deal ... Deezen -- best known for playing nerdy Eugene Felsnic in the original 'Grease' films -- apparently went on Facebook earlier this week and wrote a lengthy post blasting the waitress in his hometown of Cumberland, Maryland.

So weird, but in a nutshell, he went on a rant about loving when she wears the eyelash extensions on days he goes into her restaurant ... but hates when she doesn't wear the extensions. Deezen even said he'd walk out if she didn't wear 'em.

The waitress, Kara Lashbaugh, called Deezen a creep for the repulsive Facebook post. Then, a couple of days after putting him on blast ... Deezen accused Kara of spreading rumors about him and getting him banned from a couple of restaurants in town.

Deezen also says he's been inundated with vile private messages from her friends. Even though he started this ridiculous beef, Deezen's claiming Kara just wants 15 minutes of fame because he's "a fairly well-known person."

Kara tells us she has not filed a police report, but is planning to meet with a lawyer to see what she should do going forward.

Deezen's attorney, Adam Hirshfield, tells us the actor feels like his life is in danger following the cyberbullying -- but police have told him he'll need to file for a no-contact order in court, if he's that concerned.

As for his eyelash-obsessive post -- Hirshfield says Deezen feels terrible Kara was offended by it.

Raiders Owner Mark Davis In Parking Lot Crash ... You Drive a Mini?!?

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis got in a "mini" car accident on Wednesday ... and we mean that in more ways than one.

TMZ Sports has learned ... Davis -- the son of legendary Raiders owner Al Davis -- was involved in a wreck with another vehicle in a shopping complex near the Vegas strip early Wednesday afternoon.

From the looks of it, it was a fender bender -- nobody appeared to be seriously injured or anything like that.

In fact, it was such a minor incident, cops confirm no officers were called to the scene.

The bigger issue ... Mark Davis -- reportedly worth more than $500 million -- was spotted near a TJ Maxx and drives a Mini?? How financially responsible!!

MINI SITUATION
TMZSports.com

Hey, Derek Carr is in the middle of a $125 million contract ... gotta save up so the man gets paid!!

We've obtained video following the accident ... showing Davis driving his Mini away from the scene. So don't worry, Raider fans -- your owner's car seems to be okay!!

We've reached out to Davis and the Raiders for comment ... so far, no word back.

Guess Who This Basketball Boy Turned Into!

Before this basketball boy was playing his heart out on the NBA courts, he was just another aspiring athlete shooting for the stars in Santa Monica, California.

This hoopin' kid is known for his basketball career that has spanned over a decade. Throughout the years, this sports star has played for multiple teams and won numerous accolades because of his talented teamwork in the game ... from Most Improved Player back when he was starting out to the ultimate NBA Championship title. His team won the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 season.

Can you guess who he is?

Justin Timberlake What's Happening to Britney 'Just Isn't Right!!!' Urges Judge to Free Her

Britney Spears' ex-BF, Justin Timberlake, says she's being done wrong -- by her family, her conservators and the courts -- especially when it comes to controlling her own body.

Justin came out strongly in support of freeing Britney Wednesday, hours after her bombshell testimony for the judge in her conservatorship case ... saying, "No one should ever be held against their will ... or ever have to ask permission to access everything they've worked so hard for."

JT's support for Brit's efforts to end her conservatorship is especially interesting because he became a target of the #FreeBritney movement after the 'Framing Britney Spears' documentary came out. The film highlighted a moment when many feel he slut-shamed her by publicly bragging about having sex with Britney when they were dating.

The singer seemed to reference that low point in another tweet, when he said, "Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was ... what's happening to her is just not right."

As we reported, Britney told the judge in no uncertain terms she wants out from under the conservatorship, and without any further mental evaluation. She also said her conservators are forcing her to use an IUD, which she wants to remove because she said she wants to have another baby and get married to Sam Asghari, her BF of nearly 5 years.

That seemed to strike Justin as particularly unjust as he said, "No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body." He added that he and his wife, Jessica Biel, are fully supporting Britney.

Britney Spears Wants to End Conservatorship and Sue Family 'I'm Not Here to be Anyone's Slave'

Britney Spears railed on her dad and her management team during Wednesday's explosive court hearing ... saying she wants the conservatorship to end now, and she's so angry she thinks her family has abused her so much that she'd like to sue them.

She also said she wants to get married and have another baby but she's being blocked by the conservatorship. She says she has an IUD but the conservator will not let her have it removed.

Britney said she's "not here to be anyone's slave" ... which apparently is how she feels.

Britney said she does not want further medical evaluation. She wants out now.

She said her family did nothing to protect her. She was sent to a small home in Beverly Hills for rehab once and it cost $60,000 -- she says they were trying to hurt her and her dad "loved it."

She said the people who did this to her should not be able to get away with it. She wishes she could sue her family.

Britney says she was "forced" to do her Vegas residency. She said when she was doing the Vegas show, she told her management she didn't want to do it because it was too much. She said she was forced to do the tour and the next thing she knew they changed her medication, putting her on Lithium, which had a terrible effect on her. She said she was scared and her whole family did nothing.

Britney said even her therapist was uncaring. She says after she wanted to put an end to Vegas, the therapist said she was being difficult and not taking her meds. That's when she was put on Lithium. She said her family -- and especially her dad -- didn't care.

She says she pled for a break from Vegas after 4 years but wasn't heard. She said she was told she was uncooperative, which was absolutely not true.

As for why she's now asking to end the conservatorship, she said she didn't know she could until now.

WHAT DO WE WANT? #FREEBRITNEY
TMZ.com

She said she has absolutely no privacy and when she was at home there were times she couldn't see her boyfriend or kids. The caretakers of the conservatorship would violate her privacy and watch her change while she was naked.

She said she doesn't want to work for the people she pays, saying even if she's sick she's required to go to at least 3 meetings a week. She wants that limited to 1 therapy session a week.

Britney said she should be able to sue a conservator who threatens that if she doesn't do what they say in terms of therapy they can withhold her money and deny her a vacation in Maui.

Britney claims, "The conservatorship from the beginning ... it makes no sense. I pay people money and they control me. I worked since I was 17 years old and this conservatorship is abusive. I don't feel I can live a full life. I don't even believe in therapy. I always thought I could take it to God."

She repeated she wants the conservatorship to end. She says she is being hounded by paparazzi and the conservatorship is not protecting her or giving her any privacy.

Britney said she wants to end the conservatorship and doesn't want to be evaluated as a pre-condition.

Britney said, "They make me feel like I'm living in a rehab program and not my home. I will do therapy once a week because I do need it."

She continued, "I want to get married and have a baby. I wanted to take the IUD out and have a baby but the conservator won't let me because they don't want me to have a baby."

Britney stressed that it took a year during COVID for her to get self-care methods.

She says she's scared of people and doesn't trust people. Britney made a point that she's stuck going to therapy in Westlake, which is very public. She said the paparazzi saw her crying as she left therapy Tuesday.

Britney doesn't understand why she can't do therapy sessions at home -- and is upset with Jodi Montgomery, her personal conservator, who she says has become heavy-handed.

The judge thanked Britney and said it took a lot of courage to speak out.

Britney's lawyer was asked if he wanted to file a petition to end the conservatorship, but the lawyer said there were confidentiality issues. He said if Britney wants to file a petition he would do that, but she hasn't asked as of yet.

Lynne Spears' lawyer said in 2019 when Britney was in court she didn't feel she was heard, and it's important today that she be heard. Today is the day the court put an action plan in place to provide the relief Britney is asking for -- to end the conservatorship.

The judge said she would entertain any request to end the conservatorship and start the process of holding hearings.

The singer appeared live, via Zoom, in the Downtown L.A. courtroom, to voice her issues with her father, Jamie Spears ... who we now definitely know she wants removed as one of her conservators.

Earlier Wednesday, Sam Asghari seemingly provided some evidence on his t-shirt Britney would ask to terminate the conservatorship. He's the only person with day-to-day contact with Brit, and the "Free Britney" message emblazoned on his shirt was one big clue.

Britney called for this hearing and, as you'd expect, she had throngs of supporters from the #FreeBritney movement gathered outside the courthouse to support her.

Jamie already stepped down as co-conservator of Britney's person back in 2019 -- Jodi Montgomery is now her permanent personal conservator -- but we've been told Brit wants him out as the co-conservator of her estate as well ... so he can no longer manage her business affairs.

In fact, Brit's stated she will not perform again as long as Jamie is part of the conservatorship -- something she seemed to reiterate when she recently told fans on IG she has "no idea" if she'll ever take the stage again. Today's hearing could impact her decision.

6/18/21
"I'M ENJOYING MYSELF"

Of course, all of this is why Britney's fans couldn't wait for what she had to say in court.

As we reported, Britney asking the judge to end the conservatorship is only the beginning, because the issue is whether she's able to safely care for herself.

For answers, the judge will look to a throng of doctors, psychiatrists and others who have evaluated her over the years. Our sources say, in the past, the medical professionals determined her condition made the conservatorship necessary -- and they have weighed in over the last 13 years in court.

The judge will no doubt hear from the doctors, and they believe she's now able to safely care for herself, the judge would/should end the conservatorship. If not, it's unlikely she'd win the day, although the judge could still make changes to the conservatorship.

Many believe the #FreeBritney movement may have also sparked her desire to speak for herself -- instead of leaving it to lawyers -- and as you can tell from the crowd outside the court ... the movement's still going strong.

Paul Mooney Hollywood Sendoff ... Memorial Service with Leno, Griffin & Others

REMEMBERING OUR FRIEND
Roland S. Martin / YouTube

Paul Mooney's closest friends -- celebrity and not -- came together to honor the actor ... in a service that included a whole lot of laughs, and some tears too.

Mooney was celebrated Wednesday at The Hollywood Roosevelt in a memorial service that included recorded messages and in-person stories from the late comedians friends. Jay Leno, Eddie Griffin, Debbie Allen, Chris Tucker, Lunelle, Steve Harvey and Robert Townsend were just some of the names who contributed.

Townsend got particularly emotional when reciting a line Mooney used to tell him, "There's many stars in Hollywood, but there's only one moon." Townsend said, "... and there was truly only one moon."

The Roosevelt was decked out in flowers and tons of pics of Paul and the service program included stories and memories of the comedian.

TMZ broke the story ... Mooney died back in May at his home in Oakland after apparently suffering a heart attack.

He was 79.

RIP

Blink-182's Mark Hoppus Says He's battling cancer ... 'Trying to Remain Hopeful & Positive'

Blink-182's Mark Hoppus has quietly been battling cancer for months, and tells us while he's got a long road ahead of him, he's grateful for the support he's received.

Hoppus says, "For the past three months I’ve been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. I have cancer. It sucks and I’m scared, and at the same time I’m blessed with incredible doctors and family and friends to get me through this."

He adds, "I still have months of treatment ahead of me but I’m trying to remain hopeful and positive. Can’t wait to be cancer free and see you all at a concert in the hopefully near future. Love to you all."

The band's singer/bassist posted (and then quickly deleted) an Instagram photo of himself sitting in what appeared to be a doctor's office Wednesday, with a caption that read, "Hello, yes. One cancer treatment, please."

In the pic, Mark is seen sitting down in a chair, with an IV hooked up to his arm. He seems to be in relatively good spirits -- but his fans definitely weren't upon seeing this ... as it appears to be the first time anyone has gotten a whiff that he may be sick.

Of course, the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming -- with countless messages of encouragement being sent his way ... and just as many telling him he can beat it. It's still unclear what sort of cancer he has exactly, or at what stage it was diagnosed.

In any case, he's got a whole swath of music lovers in his corner. Get well soon.

John McAfee Dead at 75, Suicide in Spanish Jail ... Was Facing Extradition to U.S.

John McAfee -- the software mogul behind the famous antivirus software -- has died by suicide ... according to reports out of Spain.

McAfee was found dead in his jail cell in Barcelona ... just hours after the Spanish High Court ruled he could be extradited to the U.S. to face tax evasion charges.

McAfee's lawyer, Andrew Gordon, confirmed to TMZ he passed away. He had no information about the cause of death.

According to the Spanish outlet El País, McAfee was pulled from his cell and police are investigating the cause of death -- but McAfee's lawyer told Reuters the software tycoon hung himself.

McAfee had been busted in Spain back in October after years of allegedly failing to pay income taxes. A grand jury had slapped him with a 10-count federal indictment for ducking taxes from 2014 to 2018.

And, just a few months ago, McAfee was reportedly charged in Manhattan federal court for his role in a cryptocurrency scheme in which he's alleged to have bilked investors out of more than $10 million.

McAfee's death comes about a year and a half after he tweeted he was "getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: 'We're coming for you McAfee! We're going to kill yourself.'" He posted a photo of a "$WHACKD" tattoo he says he got on his arm, just in case. As McAfee said, "If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd."

A little context here ... McAfee showed off that tat a little over 3 months after convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide also while behind bars.

12/13/12
RETURNING HOME
MyPartyTonight.com

McAfee was briefly back on U.S. soil in 2012 after he was booted from Guatemala. He had sought asylum there after fleeing Belize ... the place he had called home since 2008. Authorities in Belize had wanted to talk to him about his neighbor's murder.

McAfee founded his antivirus software company in 1987 and he left in 1994. Intel eventually bought it in 2011 for $7.7 billion.

Three years after Intel bought the software company ... McAfee created a parody video telling users how to uninstall the software.

He founded several other tech companies, but he was always known for his self-titled antivirus software.

McAfee was 75.

Britney Spears BF Avoids conservatorship talk ... After His Major Hint

HEARING? WHAT HEARING?
Coleman-Rayner

12:47 PM PT -- Sam Asghari wasn't in as chatty of a mood as his IG post suggested he might be ... clamming up about Britney's conservatorship hearing, and instead talking about fitness.

Paps got SA as he was entering Gold's Gym Wednesday -- this not too long after he posted a photo of himself in a #FreeBritney shirt -- and despite their best efforts to talk about what he had just alluded to online ... the dude clearly wanted no part of the conversation.

So, yeah ... his whole rationale and state of mind on things -- not to mention Britney's herself -- is still a mystery. But, at least we know what Sam needs to work on for his gains. Leg day, baby!

Britney Spears' boyfriend may have tipped his hand on what will go down in court today ... not by what he said, but by what he's wearing.

Britney's boyfriend of 5 years, Sam Asghari, just posted a photo of himself wearing a "Free Britney" t-shirt as he looks sternly into his camera. It doesn't mean Britney necessarily feels that way ... but it sure seems that would be the case.

What's so significant about this ... is that Sam is the only person who interacts with Britney on a day-to-day basis. Translation -- he has her ear and she has his.

As we've reported, Sam made it clear ... he has major beef with Britney's dad, Jamie. Sam made it clear last February, he has contempt for Jamie ... calling him a "total dick." We know Britney wants her dad removed as co-conservator of her estate and at the very least, she will ask the judge to do just that when she testifies later today.

2/9/2021
I MEANT WHAT I SAID
TMZ.com

The t-shirt Sam is wearing, however, seems to considerably up the ante. If this isn't a signal of Britney's sentiment about the entire conservatorship, we don't know what is.

The hearing is set for 1:30 PM PT today, and we will be chronicling what happens in real time. We will also have a livestream analysis immediately after the judge slams the gavel.

Originally Published -- 9:56 AM PT

Blueface Wild Story Behind His New Restaurant ... Starts with Stolen Car!!!

CRAZY STORY
TMZ.com

Blueface is the proud new owner of a soul food restaurant in SoCal, but it might never have happened if he hadn't had a little misfortune ... with his car.

The rapper joined "TMZ Live" Wednesday on the heels of opening a new eatery called Blue's Fish & Soul in Santa Clarita -- which he says is the only spot to get legit soul food in the area -- and told a serendipitous story of how it went down.

Blueface says it all started when he got back from a trip, and discovered his car had been stolen from the airport valet ... bummer of a welcome home.

BRINGIN' THE SOUL FOOD
@bluefacebleedem / Instagram

He didn't let it get him down, though, and just went to a Mercedes dealership to buy a new ride ... and on his way home, he stopped at a restaurant called SCV Fish Market. He says the owner was literally minutes from selling the place to someone else.

That's when Blue seized his opportunity, and outbid the other buyer on the spot ... and the rest is history.

For those interested, the menu at Blue's features his mom's Southern recipes for fried fish, shrimp and hushpuppies, chicken platters, mac and cheese, collard greens and a lot more. Plus, his signature Blueface lemonade!

It's not often you'd thank someone for stealing your car, but ... worked out for Blueface!!! For the full interview check out "TMZ Live" Wednesday (check your local listings).

A-Rod Hamptons Rental Super Convenient ... But Not for J Lo Access

Alex Rodriguez is in close proximity to his ex, Jennifer Lopez, this summer -- but potential face time with her wasn't his intention when he signed the lease ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to A-Rod tell us ... his $200k/month rental in the Hamptons -- is all about shortening his commute and getting R&R. Yeah, they're about a mile or so from each other, but we're told that's more coincidence, than convenience.

In case you hadn't heard, Alex will be chilling in this beautiful fortress of a house in a very exclusive 'hood -- yes, even for the Hamptons -- in a gated community, and features all the bells of whistles of luxury. Seriously, it's a palace.

There are 7 bedrooms, 4 baths, a movie room, a game room, pool and spa, a waterfall and yeah ... it's overlooking the water nearby. Also, he is indeed about 3 minutes from Jen's own Hamptons home in town.

While some have theorized A-Rod was trying to cozy up to J Lo -- maybe to try rekindling their romance -- our sources say his summer pad is great for his ESPN gig, calling Sunday Night Baseball games.

Every week he has to be in-studio in Bristol, CT ... which is way easier commute to from the Hamptons than Miami. Also, we're told he's got buddies in the Hamptons, including his T-Wolves co-owner, Marc Lore. Fact is, it's just where celebs and rich folks go every summer.

It will be interesting to see how much time, if any, Jen spends there -- seeing as how she's all about getting cozy in L.A. with Ben Affleck.

Kim Kardashian Gets Permanent restraining order Against Alleged Stalker

Kim Kardashian is going to have court-ordered protection from a man she claims wanted to make himself at home, literally, for a good long while ... as a judge just slammed the gavel.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Kim was granted a permanent restraining order against Charles Peter Zelenoff -- who she alleged was stalking her for some time now, while also expressing a burning desire to get inside her crib ... and getting too close for comfort.

During a hearing on the matter Wednesday -- one for which Kim was present, but only via audio -- Kim's team pushed for 5 years, but were only granted 3 ... because the court found Zelenoff wasn't threatening her, per se, but they did find basis in her stalking claim.

The new order basically extends what the TRO did last month -- namely, that Zelenoff has to steer clear from Kim and her family, and avoid contacting and/or harassing her for the said amount of time. Zelenoff didn't push back much on the argument -- in fact, he didn't say much at all in his defense.

Just a refresher on what Kim had to say about this guy -- she claimed in her original filing that Zelenoff had been "stalking" her for months ... expressing bizarre desires to pursue a relationship with her, while also apparently making stops outside her home, and filming it.

She also claimed he posted troubling messages about her online ... including frustrations about not being able to get INSIDE her pad, which was enough for Kim to go running to court for help.

Welp, she got it ... the forcefield is officially on.

Drake Bell Pleads Guilty in Endangering Children Case

PLEADING GUILTY

Drake Bell just pled guilty in his endangering children case ... but it's not clear yet whether he'll do any time behind bars.

The "Drake & Josh" star was in court for a hearing Wednesday in Ohio where he appeared via Zoom and pled guilty to attempted endangering children (a 4th-degree felony) and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles (a 1st-degree misdemeanor).

The judge accepted Drake's plea. He could face up to 18 months in prison on the felony charge. He's slated to be sentenced in July. As we reported ... Drake was in hot water in Ohio for an alleged incident from back in December 2017.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office ... a female juvenile filed a report with her local police department in Canada back in October 2018 regarding an alleged incident that she says occurred between her and Drake the previous year at a Cleveland nightclub.

We're told Canadian authorities contacted Cleveland PD ... and its probe revealed that the 15-year-old had established a relationship with Drake several years prior to the alleged incident.

Prosecutors say that, while at the concert, Drake "violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim." Prosecutors also say the probe revealed that, months leading up to the concert, Drake sent her inappropriate social media messages.

At this point, it's unclear what messages Drake's accused of sending via social media.

Britney Spears She Won't Have Final Say ... Doctors Rule in Conservatorship Hearing

Britney Spears has made it clear ... she wants the judge to hear her out over her long-running conservatorship, but even if she wants out, it's virtually certain that will not happen without a sign off by a team of doctors.

As you know by now, Britney will address the judge Wednesday at 1:30 PM PT, and there are plenty of fans who are praying she's cut loose from her conservatorship that has been in place for 13 years.

Up to now, she has never asked the court to end the conservatorship ... not once. Multiple sources tell TMZ, Britney has been at loggerheads with her dad, Jamie, for years. Jamie was once both her personal conservator and conservator of her estate. He stepped down as her personal conservator, and is now co-conservator of her estate with a financial institution.

One thing she's made clear ... she will NOT perform until her dad is out completely. That said, our sources say she has not taken any steps to plan for a return to the stage or the studio in the event Jamie is gone.

So, the question ... will Britney ask to end the conservatorship entirely? That is truly a wild card. What's different now is that she's in what appears to be a stable, fairly long-term relationship with her boyfriend, Sam Asghari. They started dating in 2016. It's certainly possible Britney feels Sam can care for her -- thus no need for a conservatorship.

That said, if Britney asks to end the conservatorship, that's the beginning of the saga ... not the end. She was placed in the conservatorship for medical reasons. Sources with direct knowledge tell us ... a team of doctors say she has a condition that prevents her from safely caring for herself. We're told the doctors have been in place for the entire conservatorship and have not changed their opinion.

It's pretty obvious ... if Britney wants out, the judge will want to hear from the doctors ... something the current and previous judges have regularly reviewed over the last 13 years. That is the core issue in the conservatorship -- Can Britney safely care for herself and others for whom she's responsible? If the answer is yes, then the judge should end the conservatorship, but if the judge believes the answer is no -- based on the testimony of doctors -- then she would almost certainly lose any such bid to terminate the conservatorship.

TMZ will cover all angles of the hearing today, and afterward we will live stream the analysis.

Stay tuned.

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