Pop Culture

Britney Spears Breaks Her Silence: “I Truly Believe This Conservatorship Is Abusive”

Four months after her controversial conservatorship was covered in a bombshell New York Times documentary, Britney Spears is addressing the arrangement publicly for the first time. On Wednesday, she spoke virtually to a Los Angeles judge during a court hearing about her 13-year conservatorship. “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive,” she said during her 23-minute speech, according to The New York Times. “I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated.”

Speaking from “prepared remarks,”  the Times reports, Spears outlined the reasons she opposed her father, Jamie, retaining control of her estate. “I’ve been in denial,” the 39-year-old explained. “I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized…. I just want my life back.” She also claimed that she had not appeared in court since a 2019 closed hearing “because I don’t think I was heard on any level.” Spears also requested that Wednesday’s hearing be open to the public.

“I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m okay and I’m happy,” Spears explained, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “If I said that enough, maybe I’d become happy.” She added, “I’m in shock. I’m traumatized…. I’m so angry it’s insane, and I’m depressed. I cry every day.” Spears also suggested that she didn’t know contesting her conservatorship was an option. “It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through, and that’s the main reason I didn’t say it openly,” she said. “I didn’t think anybody would believe me.”

In 2008, the year Jamie was appointed conservator of his daughter’s estate, Spears claimed that she was coerced into a Las Vegas show. She then remembered feeling like “200 pounds” were lifted off her when she was no longer required to perform. Days later, however, Spears alleged that her doctor prescribed her lithium and she was confined to her home, per the Los Angeles Times. She also took issue with the fact that her conservatorship enforced that Spears attend therapy at a location where she is allegedly “exposed” to paparazzi. Spears expressed a desire to receive therapy from home. “Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing,” Spears said of the arrangement, “my dad was all for it. Anything that happened to me had to be approved by my dad.” 

Spears also said that she would like to have a third child—something that her conservators have control over. “I have an IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have any more children,” she claimed, as reported by Us Weekly. “I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby.” Spears is currently dating actor Sam Asghari, who appeared in a “Free Britney” shirt on his Instagram Story hours before the hearing.

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that, according to confidential court records obtained by the outlet, Spears had been voicing “serious opposition” to her conservatorship since at least 2014. In 2016, a court investigator assigned to her case reportedly wrote that the singer was “‘sick of being taken advantage’ of, and she said she is the one working and earning her money but everyone around her is on her payroll.” Three years later, Spears reportedly claimed in court that the conservatorship required her to “stay at a mental health facility and to perform against her will.” (Representatives for Jamie didn’t comment to the Times, citing Wednesday’s hearing.)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, an attorney for Lynne, Britney’s mother, said she would like her daughter’s grievances “addressed as soon as possible.” Jamie’s attorney reportedly requested a “brief recess” before telling the judge he’s “sorry to hear she’s suffering and in so much pain” and that he “misses his daughter very much.” Spears’s court-appointed lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III will need to formally file paperwork for his client’s wishes to proceed further, the judge said.

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