Britney Spears made it clear she would like to end her 13-year conservatorship in court on Wednesday afternoon (June 23), passionately pleading her case to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny.
“I am not here to be anyone’s slave,” Spears stated.
The 39-year-old pop star spoke publicly to the court for the first time since her conservatorship began in 2008 and chastised her family and management for taking advantage of her for years and exploiting the situation for their own financial gain. Spears said her management overworked her for years and that “they should be in jail” for the way they treated her. Spears went as far as to liken her experience to being sex trafficked.
Spears, who said she brought four pages of written notes for the hearing, had the harshest criticism for her father, Jamie Spears, who had power over her life choices from 2008-2019. He now sees to her financial affairs alongside estate management firm Bessemer Trust. Britney referred to Jamie as her “ignorant father,” whom she claims reveled in his control over his daughter after she cried on the phone to him for an hour.
According to Britney, this is the first time she has addressed the court in two years because she felt she was not listened to the last time she appeared. She says she didn’t think anyone would believe her if she came forward with her story of being “abused” by medical professionals and taken advantage of by those who were making money off of her.
In court, Spears said she thought “people would make fun of me or laugh at me and say, ‘She’s lying. She’s got everything. She’s Britney Spears.’ I’m not lying. I just want my life back.”
Spears also admitted that she would like to sue her family and finally be able to share her story with the world. Now, the pop star demanded to be heard by the court and asked to terminate her conservatorship without additional evaluation. She claimed Jodi Montgomery, who is the current conservator of her personal matters, has asked too much of her, including going to therapy several times a week at a location that leaves her exposed to paparazzi. She went on to lament that she no longer feels she can trust most people since she has been “burned” so many times and feels she was “abused” by her former mental health professional through the medication he prescribed her. Spears went as far as admitting that she got on her knees and thanked god when he died.
“I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive,” said Spears. “I don’t feel like I can live a full life.”
During the hearing, Spears added that she wants to get married and have a baby, but was told she was not able to while under her conservatorship. She said she currently has an IUD she would like removed in order to have kids, but her team denied her a doctor’s appointment to get it taken out.
Spears also says she was forced to go on the road in 2018 for the Piece of Me Tour or her former management would sue her. When that tour concluded, Spears says she was forced to immediately start work on her new Las Vegas residency, Britney: Domination, which was canceled indefinitely in January 2019.
“When I said ‘no’ to one dance move in rehearsals, it was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere,” says Spears. She says her management team and staff went into another room for 40 minutes and deliberated without her. “Ma’am,” Spears added, addressing the judge. “I am not here to be anyone’s slave. I can say no to a dance move.”
The next week, Spears alleges that her management said she no longer had to do the residency and it was “like lifting 200 pounds off of me.” Days later, Spears’ therapist said he was inundated with calls about how “uncooperative” she was being and immediately put her on lithium.
“Lithium is very, very strong and completely different medication compared to what I used to use,” Spears told the court. “He put me on that and I felt drunk.”
Following that, Spears says she was not allowed out of her home for a month and added, “Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing, my dad was all for it.” Her team then created a specialized program for her at a facility in Beverly Hills costing $60,000 a month. Spears called her father crying about the new care plan and says, “He loved every minute of it. The control he had over someone as powerful as me.” She continued, “I worked seven days a week — no days off — which in California, the only thing similar to this is sex trafficking.”
Spears says she was under constant watch with nurses and bodyguards at her home 24/7. She was watched even while changing naked as she had no privacy in her own room.
“That’s why I am telling you this again, two years later. After I have lied and told the whole world I am OK and I’m happy. It’s a lie,” Spears said to the court. “I thought that maybe if I said that enough I would become happy. I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized.”
Spears went on to say her situation needed to change and was told in order to do that, she would have to be evaluated again. She went on to say she doesn’t believe there is a need to evaluate her again and that doing so would “offend me by trying to question my capacity of intelligence.”
Jamie Spears’ attorney spoke on behalf of his client at the close of the hearing stating, “He’s sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much.” The attorney for Britney’s mother Lynne Spears called Britney’s testimony “courageous” and urged the court take her requests into consideration at its earliest convenience.
Though she says she have grown close to her court-appointed attorney Samuel D. Ingham III, Spears also requested to pick her own legal representation going forward. At the end of the hearing, Judge Penny informed Spears and her legal team that a petition to end her conservatorship would be needed to move forward. All parties agreed to schedule the next court appearance offline.
–Additional reporting by Anna Chan