Britney Spears details ‘abusive’ conservatorship in court. Here are the biggest revelations.
The 39-year-old pop star addressed the court herself Wednesday for the first known time in more than two years following the increased interest in her conservatorship after the release of The New York Times' "Framing Britney Spears" documentary and the #FreeBritney movement organized by her fans.
"I’m not here to be anyone’s slave," Spears said while appearing in Los Angeles court remotely via telephone. "I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I'm happy. It's a lie. I thought that maybe if I said it enough, I would maybe become happy because I've been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized … I’m so angry it’s insane. And I'm depressed."
No longer holding back, Spears condemned her father and the others who have controlled her conservatorship: "I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. … I don't feel like I can live a full life. … I want this conservatorship to end without having to be evaluated."
Until now, Spears has remained relatively mum on her 13-years long conservatorship – managed by her father Jamie Spears and Bessemer Trust Co. over her estate, and professional conservator Jodi Montgomery over Spears' person.
This marks the first time since May 10, 2019, that the singer has spoken in court. The last time, the courtroom was sealed and none of what she said became public.
"A lot has happened since two years ago,” Spears said Wednesday. “I haven’t been back to court because I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court last time.”
During the court hearing, an attorney for Montgomery requested any information pertaining to Spears’ and her children’s medical privacy be sealed, but Spears pressed for everything to be public. “They’ve done a good job at exploiting my life,” she said. “So I feel like it should be an open court hearing and they should listen and hear what I have to say.”
Judge Brenda Penny thanked Spears for her remarks, which she called “courageous,” but made no further comment. A decision from the judge on whether to remove her father from his conservator role may depend on input from medical and mental health professionals assigned to assess the singer. However, it's unclear whether or when those assessments have been made – they are not public record.
Here is what happened at Wednesday's hearing and the shocking revelations Spears made about her conservatorship in her 20-minute speech:
Britney Spears revealed she's forced to use an IUD, despite wanting to have more children
Spears claimed Wednesday that her conservators have complete control over her and her body, adding that her conservators will not let her remove an intrauterine device (IUD) in order to have children. The singer shares sons Sean, 15, and Jayden, 14, with ex-husband Kevin Federline.
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” she said during the hearing. “I was told right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby. I have (an) IUD inside of (me) right now so I don’t get pregnant.”
Spears noted: “I wanted to take the IUD out so I can 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.”
Spears said she was forced to take lithium against her will after canceling her Las Vegas residency
The singer claimed her management used "threatening" and "scary" measures to force her to do the Piece of Me tour in 2018, adding that she was forced to change her medication "to punish me" after she opted out of an additional Las Vegas residency show. (The singer hasn't performed since she postponed her residency in January 2019.)
"(My therapist) immediately, the next day, put me on lithium out of nowhere. He took me off my normal meds I’d been on for five years," Spears said, referring to a medication typically used for treating bipolar disorder that she "never wanted to be on to begin with."
She continued: “You can go mentally impaired if you take too much … but he put me on (lithium) and I felt drunk. I really couldn’t even (stand up) for myself. I couldn’t’ even have a conversation with my mom or dad.”
Spears said "six different nurses" came to her home for a month to administer the medication and she wasn’t allowed to go anywhere: "Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing, my dad was all for it."
She said conservators 'made up' rehab, stripped her of all possessions
Spears said she was subjected to psychological tests for "four hours a day" over a two-week period, which she was told she "failed." She said her conservators sent her against her will to a "small rehab program" that they "made up" for her in a "small home in Beverly Hills" for $60,000 a month.
"I cried on the phone for an hour and (James Spears) loved every minute of it," she said. "The control he had over someone as powerful as me. He loved the control to hurt his own daughter."
Spears equated her experience at the rehab program to "sex trafficking," saying she was stripped of all her possessions, including her credit card, cash, phone, passport and car, forced to work seven days a week, lived with nurses and was subjected to security 24/7.
"They watched me change every day naked, morning, noon and night. I had no privacy door for my room," Spears said, adding she had to get blood withdrawn weekly. "If I didn’t (go to) any of my meetings or work … I wouldn’t get to see my kids or my boyfriend."
She added, "I never had a say in my schedule. They also told me I had to do this."
Spears said her conservators should be in 'jail'
Spears said her conservators, including her "ignorant dad," have “way too much control” over her life, adding that she feels "enslaved."
"My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management, who played a huge role in punishing me when I said 'no,' should be in jail,” she said.
Spears said the judge refusing to remove her father from the conservatorship "made me feel like I was dead. Like I didn’t matter, like nothing had been done to me, like I was lying or something."
"I’m not lying," she added. "I just want my life back. It’s been 13 years and it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money and it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested."
Spears said she shouldn’t have to do more than she’s already done to prove her competency, especially since she’s "made a living for so many people." Court records put Spears’ fortune at more than $50 million.
"My family has lived off my conservatorship for 13 years," Spears said. "I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people. It makes no sense. The laws need to change."
Spears closed out her speech by saying that her conservatorship is "doing way more harm than good."
"I deserve to have a life," she concluded. "I feel ganged up on, I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone."
Jamie Spears responds to his daughter's allegations
Vivian Thoreen, attorney for Spears’ father, gave a brief statement on behalf of her client, who appeared remotely via telephone.
“He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain,” Thoreen said. “Mr. Spears loves his daughter, and misses her very much.”
James Spears did not address the court or his daughter directly.
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#FreeBritney supporters turn out in force
Dozens of #FreeBritney supporters gathered outside Stanley Mosk Courthouse in L.A. with signs in support of the pop star, reading, “Free Britney now!” and “Get out of Britney’s life!”
Some fans made it inside of the courtroom: Marissa Cooper was inside the courtroom, and cried and occasionally clapped during the remarks.
“It was insane,” Cooper said outside court. “Everyone that’s been following this has been called crazy since the beginning, and conspiracy theorists, so it just feels really really good to actually hear it from her.”
Jennifer Preston, 33, traveled from Richmond, Virginia, to be outside the hearing because, she says, “I’m a mom and I’m a fan.”
“We’re here to hear what she has to say,” Preston said. “She’s been treated like a child for the last 13 years, she hasn’t had control of her life or her finances, even though she’s clearly capable enough to do those things.”
Ahead of the hearing, Spears' boyfriend Sam Asghari shared a selfie of himself wearing a #FreeBritney shirt to his Instagram Story.
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Contributing: Maria Puente, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press