10 troubling details from Britney Spears’ bombshell court appearance: ‘It is abusive’
Britney Spears begged a court to end her “abusive” conservatorship in a bombshell court appearance, finally making herself heard.
The pop star broke years of silence on Wednesday (23 June), painting a disturbing picture of a life where her every move is controlled, her reproductive rights are denied, and she is forced to work against her wishes.
It was the first time that the world had heard Britney speak in detail about her conservatorship, the complex legal arrangement that has seen her financial and personal affairs controlled largely by her father, Jamie Spears, since 2008.
“I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive,” Spears said. “I don’t feel like I can live a full life.”
After a brief recess, her father’s attorney read aloud a brief statement: “He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr Spears loves his daughter, and he misses her very much.”
Speaking with such speed that at times she didn’t even pause to breathe, Britney Spears finally spoke her truth. Here are the 10 most incendiary claims from her testimony.
1. Britney Spears wants to end her conservatorship for good
In one of the most striking developments, the 39-year-old said she wants out of the conservatorship, also called a guardianship, for good.
Spears has previously asked the courts to remove Jamie from the arrangement but there has never been any formal request for the conservatorship to end.
However, Spears told the court she “honestly didn’t know” that she had the right to request its dissolution. Now, she said: “I want to petition to end the conservatorship.”
She stressed that she wants the court to terminate the conservatorship “without [her] being evaluated”. This refers to her mental health and competency being assessed by professionals, which she said feels “embarrassed and demoralising”.
“I want changes going forward,” she said. “I deserve changes. I was told I have to sit down and be evaluated.
“I don’t think I owe anyone, to be evaluated. I’ve done more than enough. I don’t feel like I should even be in the room with anyone to offend me by trying to question my capacity of intelligence.”
2. She wants to ‘sue her family’
Britney admitted she knows those who have “lived off my conservatorship for 13 years” will push back on her ending her conservatorship.
She said: “I won’t be surprised if one of them has something to say [and] go[ing] forward say: ‘We don’t think this should end we have to help her’.
“Especially if I get my fair serve and exposing what they did to me. I personally don’t think at the very moment, I owe anybody anything.”
The more she speaks out about what she has weathered, the more she knows her family will try to silence her once more.
“I would honestly like to sue my family, to be totally honest with you,” Britney stated.
“I also would like to be able to share my story with the world, and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them.”
She urged the judge to let her speak to the public in an open call. “I have the right to use my voice and talk up for myself,” she said.
3. Britney feels ’embarrassed’ by ‘scummy paparazzi’
As much as Britney said she wants to put her faith in God, she acknowledged that therapy is crucial for her.
“I actually do know I need a little therapy,” she said with a laugh.
But the treatment she receives must be private, she said, as the paparazzi continue to wait and pounce on her whenever she travels to Westlake to see her therapist.
“Yesterday, paparazzis showed me coming out of the place, literally crying in therapy,” she said. “It’s embarrassing and it’s demoralizing. I deserve privacy when I go and have therapy.
“I’m not willing to go to Westlake and be embarrassed by all these paparazzi, these scummy paparazzi, laughing at my face while I’m crying [and] taking my pictures.”
The paparazzi are a particularly thorny topic for Spears, who was regularly swarmed by photographers who cared little for her mental health or dignity during the throes of her public breakdown in 2007.
4. Britney Spears compared her plight to sex trafficking
During her testimony, Britney Spears described being forced into involuntary medical evaluations and rehab after she spoke out during a rehearsal for her then-upcoming Las Vegas residency.
She objected to a piece of choreography. So, as “punishment”, she claimed, she was sent to a small rehabilitation program in a home in Beverly Hills that left her “traumatised.”
“It was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere,” she said, “I’m not here to be anyone’s slave. I can say no to a dance move.”
“I need your help,” she told the judge, adding that she had to allegedly pay $60,000 for the rehabilitation. Her father Jamie, she added, “loved every minute of it” as she “cried on the phone for an hour”.
“The control he had over someone as powerful as me, as he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000 per cent,” Spears said, shaking.
“I packed my bags and went to that place. I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking.
“Making anyone work, work against their will, taking all their possessions away, credit card, cash, phone, passport, car and placing them in a home where they work with the people who live with them.”
Security survived watched her 24/7, she said. Spears alleged: “They watched me change every day naked, morning, noon and night. My body, I had no privacy door for my room.”
5. She was threatened with being cut off from her kids and boyfriend
While in rehab, Britney alleged, she was told if she refused to carry on working “from eight to six at night, which is 10 hours a day, seven days a week, no days off, I wouldn’t be able to see my kids or my boyfriend”.
Threats of being isolated from her friends patterned her testimony. She claimed that she’s unable to see the women she made friends with when she previously attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, nor can she see her “friends that live eight minutes away”.
“I find [it] extremely strange,” she said. “I feel like they’re making me feel like I live in a rehab program.”
6. She ‘lied’ about being happy and is ‘traumatised’
After describing how debilitating rehab was, Britney broke down.
“I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK, and I’m happy,” she said.
“It’s a lie. I thought, just maybe if I said that enough, maybe I might become happy because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatised.
“You know, fake it till you make it. But now I’m telling you the truth, OK. I’m not happy.
“I can’t sleep. I’m so angry, it’s insane and I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
7. Britney’s been silent for years as she thought nobody would ‘believe’ her
Throughout her prepared address, Britney Spears sought to stress that she has long felt taken advantage of for her money and talent.
She’s sick of putting the work in for a payroll of people who “exploit” her.
Why didn’t she speak out sooner? She thought nobody would believe her, she said.
Being cut off from so much, she felt like an “outsider”.
“I thought people would make fun of me or laugh at me and say: ‘She’s lying, she’s got everything, she’s Britney Spears,'” she said.
“I honestly don’t think anyone would believe me, to be honest with you.
“I’m not lying. I just want my life back and it’s been 13 years and it’s enough.
“It’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested again.”
8. Britney said she isn’t allowed to remove her IUD to have a baby
“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,” Spears said.
“I wanna be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now in the conservatorship I am not able to get married or have a baby.”
9. She was ‘forced to take lithium’
Another disturbing allegation from Spears was her claim of being drugged when she expressed a desire to cancel her Las Vegas residency.
She explained: “Three days later after I said no to Vegas, my therapist sat me down in a room and said he had a million phone calls about how I was not cooperating in rehearsals and I haven’t been taking my medication.
“All of this was false. He immediately, the next day, put me on lithium.”
Spears said she was swiftly taken off the medication she has been on for five years and put on lithium, “a very, very strong, and completely different medication compared to what I was used to”.
The drug made her “feel drunk” and she felt unable to confide in her parents.
10. Britney Spears thinks her father should go to jail
Jamie Spears and “anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management, who played a huge role in punishing me when I said, ‘No ma’am’, they should be in jail,” Britney bluntly said.
The court-given power granted to her father and others is “way too much control”, she said, claiming that she was routinely “threatened” if she refused to do what they wanted.
She said she looks longingly at celebrities today who do the “cool” stuff she has been long denied the autonomy to do, such as smoking on-stage and other “wrong things”.
“But my precious body, who’s worked for my dad for the past f**king 13 years, trying to be so good and pretty, so perfect when he works me so hard when I do everything I’m told, the state of California allowed my ignorant father to take his own daughter, who only has a role with me if I work with him, they set back the whole course and allowed him to do that to me.”
As she ended her phone call with the judge, Britney admitted she fears ramifications.
“I wish I could stay with you on the phone forever,” she told the judge, “because when I get off the phone with you, all of a sudden all I hear all these nos — no, no, no.
“And then all of a sudden I get I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone. And I’m tired of feeling alone.
“I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does.”
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