After being under a strict conservatorship for 13 years, Britney Spears spoke out about her situation in open court today for the first time – and her testimony was devastating.
The 39-year-old singer appeared remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions, and began by requesting her testimony be open to the public. “They’ve done a good job at exploiting my life. [It] should be an open court hearing and they should listen and hear what I have to say.”
Despite frequently reassuring her fans that she’s happy via Instagram posts, she admitted in court, “I’ve lied to the world that I’m happy and OK, it’s a lie. Maybe if I said it enough, I would become it. I am traumatized, fake it to make it. I am not happy. I can’t sleep. I am so angry, it’s insane, I am depressed and I cry every day.”
Confirming rumours many in the #FreeBritney movement believed, she said she was forced to tour in 2018: "My manager said they would sue me if I didn't follow through with the tour. Out of fear I did that tour...He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off the stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary."
Spears also admitted that she’s afraid of her father, Jamie, who controls her finances. She compared him to a sex trafficker, saying, "The control he had over someone as powerful as me — he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it...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 against their will, taking all their possessions away — credit card, cash, phone, passport — and placing them in a home where they work with the people who live with them."
Spears pleaded for the conservatorship to end, telling the judge, " I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough…And I would honestly like to sue my family, to be totally honest with you. 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 added, "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 singer confessed that she has little control over her life, saying, "I feel like they’re making me feel like I live in a rehab program. This is my home. I’d like for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car." She also said that she'd like to get married and have another baby, but isn't allowed to make decisions about her own body. "I have a [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 children – any more children."
Spears told the court that she wanted to petition to end the conservatorship, saying, "I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive, and that we can sit here all day and say 'oh, conservatorships are here to help people.' But ma’am, there is a thousand conservatorships that are abusive as well."
Samuel Ingham, Spears’ court-appointed attorney, told the court that he would talk to her about filing a motion to terminate the conservatorship. He also addressed Spears' remarks that she hadn't been given the opportunity pick her own lawyer, saying "I will abide by whatever decision she makes in that regard."
Read a transcript of Spears' full testimony here.