Britney Spears Conservatorship Update: The Singer Finally Speaks Out Against The ‘Abusive’ Arrangement In Court

Britney Spears
Credits: The New York Times

Britney Spears spoke in public and in open court for the first time about how she feels about her conservatorship. The conservatorship, which was put in place in 2008 and has controlled her life for 13 years, is complicated. The singer’s father Jamie Spears has been in charge. It was first imposed after Britney’s very public mental breakdown in 2008, which landed her in the hospital twice.

It’s also incredibly restrictive, according to an article by the New York Times. The 39-year-old singer told a court in 2016 that she didn’t even get final say over what color her kitchen cabinets were painted. Jamie has controlled virtually everything, from her finances to whom she dates.

What Is Going On With Britney Spears?

In the last couple of years, things have gone from bad to worse for Jamie Spears. In January 2019, he suffered colon rupture that almost killed him. This forced Britney to cancel her upcoming Vegas residency. In September 2019, Kevin Federline, the father of Britney’s two teenage children, filed a restraining order against Jamie. It was alleged that he had a physical altercation with one of their sons.

Britney Spears With Father Jamie Spears

Credits: Kaizen Law/ Getty Images

In August of last year, Britney and her lawyers asked the court to amend the conservatorship. They asked that Jodi Montgomery, a long-time caregiver to Britney, be instated as the sole conservator. Consequently, removing Jamie. Although no decision was made at the time.

With this latest appearance, she’s clearly had enough. Just like laying out all the hoops she must jump through to do things the rest of take for granted. Even visiting a friend’s house without permission from the conservator. Now, she has told the judge, “It’s my wish and my dream for this to end.”

Appearing via Zoom, Britney Spears calmly laid out everything she doesn’t like about the conservatorship. And what changes she’d like to see happen. She knows she’s become a cash cow for her family, and is trapped by her father’s conservatorship, saying–

“I should not be in a conservatorship when I can work and provide for my family.”

Every Aspect Of Her Life Is Controlled

Spears, 39, also said she had been denied the right to have more children. Also, she was put on the psychiatric drug lithium against her wishes. This could be the most shocking accusation as to how her sex life is being controlled. Britney says she wants to get married and have a baby, but–

“I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby and my conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out.”

What this means, in the long run, is still unclear. The courts will have to make a decision on the future of the conservatorship. While the movement to #freebritney has grown over the last few years, it’s ultimately in the judge’s hand now. She said she was traumatised and cried every day. She told a judge in Los Angeles: “I just want my life back”.

‘I Deserve To Have A Life’

The special hearing on Wednesday was the first time Spears has spoken in open court about her case. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny thanked Spears for her “courageous” words during the proceedings. However, a long legal process is likely before any decision is made on ending the conservatorship, the Associated Press reports.

Spears delivered an impassioned address which lasted for more than 20 minutes. After launching into her speech, she was asked by the judge to slow down. Later, said she wished she could stay on the phone “forever” to avoid returning to her life. As there she was surrounded by people who always said no to her.

Spears told the court she wanted the conservatorship to end and described the arrangement as “embarrassing and humiliating”. Referring to past Instagram posts, the singer said–

“I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m okay and I’m happy. I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatised. I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day.”

‘More Harm Than Good’

Spears said she felt “forced” to tour by her management. She said she spoke out against going straight onto a Las Vegas residency. Additionally, her therapist was falsely told she was not co-operating or taking her medication. She alleged she was then put on the drug lithium – a common medicine for bipolar disorder – against her wishes and it had made her feel drunk and unable to converse.

Spears said it was her belief that the conservatorship was doing her “way more harm than good”. Also, she said she “honestly didn’t know” she could petition for the arrangement to end. She told the court–

“I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does, by having a child, a family, any of those things.”

The full extent of why the court order was extended has never been made public. But Spears has maintained a public career, including a Las Vegas residency and a stint as an X-Factor judge. This lead many to question the validity of the arrangement.

What The Other Side Has To Say

Her father remains co-conservator of her estate, along with the financial firm the Bessemer Trust. A lawyer for her father, Jamie Spears, said he had been troubled by the singer’s allegations in court. The lawyer said in a statement read out in court–

“He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter, and he misses her very much.”

Mr. Spears’s legal team has insisted he has done a good job of managing his daughter’s finances. But a court-appointed lawyer for the pop star said she is afraid of him. And that she will not return to the stage as long as he remains in control of her career.

Fighting For Freedom For Years

The pop star has never commented directly on her conservatorship battle, with her online persona remaining upbeat. A lawyer for the singer’s mother, Lynne, has asked for her daughter’s wishes to be heard.

Britney Spears Parents

Credits: Whas11

Court records from 2019, the last time she spoke in court, have never been made public. But earlier this week the New York Times said it had obtained confidential court documents that showed the singer had opposed the restrictions since 2014.

The singer felt she was forced to stay at a mental health facility in 2019. That was on exaggerated grounds which she viewed as punishment for standing up for herself. In April, the pop star asked to address the court through her court-appointed attorney.

Public Reaction

Dozens of fans gathered outside court on Wednesday, holding signs that read “Free Britney now!” and “Get out of Britney’s life!” Megan Radford, one of the movement’s founders, told the BBC–

“Everything she said was absolutely heartbreaking and it was actually even worse than I really thought it was.”

A number of celebrities have posted messages of support.

Pop star Justin Timberlake, her boyfriend in the 1990s, posted a thread of tweets calling for people to stand by her–

Timberlake made a public apology to Spears earlier this year after the New York Times documentary suggested he had treated her disrespectfully by discussing their sex life on the radio.

Spears’s current boyfriend, the personal trainer and actor Sam Asghari, posted a picture on Instagram of himself in Free Britney T-Shirt.

Singer Mariah Carey tweeted: “We love you Britney!!! Stay strong.”

Rose McGowan, the actor and MeToo activist, said Spears had every right to be angry, adding: “How would you feel if your life was stolen, dissected, mocked? STOP CONTROLLING WOMEN.”

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