Britney Spears has quietly been advocating for the end of the court conservatorship that has controlled her life and career for more than 12 years, according to court records obtained by The New York Times.
On Tuesday (June 22), The Times revealed its findings from confidential court records of how the pop superstar expressed resistance to the conservatorship, which “restricted everything from whom she dated to the color of her kitchen cabinets,” the records indicate, and her father Jamie Spears’ central role in it.
“She articulated she feels the conservatorship has become an oppressive and controlling tool against her,” a court investigator wrote in a 2016 report, later recalling how Britney said that the system had “too much control.” “She is ‘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.”
The NYT recently explored her rare case in the documentary Framing Britney Spears, which premiered in February and shed light on the effects of her life under the spotlight and under the conservatorship, fueling more support for the #FreeBritney movement.
Britney told the court in 2019 that she felt the conservatorship made her perform and stay at a mental health treatment facility, where she completed a 30-day program following news of her father’s health struggles, against her will. She’s been on an indefinite work hiatus since early 2019. In November 2020, her attorney Samuel D. Ingham III told the court she will no longer perform as long as her father is in control of her career because she felt “afraid” of him.
The newly obtained court docs also reveal that Britney questioned her 68-year-old father’s condition for the role as conservator, which he took on in 2008 after his daughter suffered serious mental health issues that were publicly exacerbated by media and the paparazzi, as seen in Framing Britney Spears. In a 2014 hearing closed to the public, Ingham told the court that Spears wanted her father removed from the position after running down a “shopping list” of grievances, such as his drinking. Jamie serves as the co-conservator of Britney’s $60 million estate with Bessemer Trust Company, the bank the superstar originally requested to oversee her finances instead of her father.
Britney will address the Los Angeles court directly about the status of her conservatorship on Wednesday, which she requested on an expedited basis in April.
Billboard has reached out to Britney and Jamie’s lawyers as well as her reps for comment.