Britney Spears breaks her silence on 'abusive' conservatorship

During heartbreaking testimony, Britney described the past 13 years under her father Jamie Spears’ control: “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive”.

A woman with long hair on the red carpet of an awards show

Britney Spears broke her silence in a court hearing yesterday, Wednesday June 23, regarding her court-ordered conservatorship by her father that has been in place for nearly 13 years. 

She appeared in the court via Zoom, and spoke for more than 20 minutes as she read from prepared notes. Britney presented her side of the last 13 years of her life, which have been controlled by the Jamie Spears-led conservatorship. 

Britney, who will turn 40 this year, said she has not had autonomy over her own body during the conservatorship. She explained that she has been told she was not allowed to get married or have another child; her guardians would not grant her permission to have her IUD removed. 

“I’m not able to get married or have a baby,” Spears said. “I have an IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the IUD out so I could 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.” 

She said she felt she had been forced to perform, was given no privacy, was made to take medication, and attend therapy sessions against her will. She was put on Lithium, which is a very strong drug usually used to treat bipolar disorder. It often causes episodes of depression and mania: a feeling of uncontrolled irritability or excitement. 

“I felt drunk. I couldn’t even stick up for myself… I told [my parents] I was scared and they had six different nurses come to my home to monitor me while I was on this medication that I didn’t want to be on to begin with.

“I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.”

Her father, Jamie Spears, has been managing the conservatorship since the beginning in 2008. He now co-manages her estimated $60 million fortune along with a wealth management company, the latter of which was at his daughter’s request. 

In a new report by The New York Times, previously sealed court records revealed that Britney voiced concerns regarding her father’s fitness to be in charge of her assets far earlier than initially reported, along with requests for other changes to the arrangement.

Britney also addressed why she has not brought up these issues on her social media accounts, which her fans have been scouring for hints about her wellbeing.

“I thought I might become happy because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatised. You know, fake it ‘til 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.” 

More public attention was brought to her case in early 2019, when she suddenly cancelled her newly-announced second Las Vegas residency after her father fell ill. Over the course of 2019, the #FreeBritney movement began to grow online, with celebrities who have been friendly with Spears in the past voicing concern. 

In early 2020, Framing Britney, a documentary focusing on the Free Britney movement, was released. The documentary also shone a light on the media treatment that Britney was subjected to, as well as the controls over her due to the conservatorship.

Many fans have waited outside Spears’ court hearings with signs in support of the star. A previously scheduled court hearing is next set for July 14. 

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