In a Los Angeles court hearing that #FreeBritney supporters worldwide — and likely the pop icon herself — consider to be a moment of reckoning, Britney Spears has gone on the record and broken her decade-long silence regarding her conservatorship.
“I’ve been in shock. I am traumatised,” the 39-year-old ‘Toxic’ hitmaker said of her 13-year conservatorship to probate judge Brenda Penny today, in a 24-minute statement during the hearing that was streamed by the court.
“I just want my life back.”
Britney also said she wants to sue her family — her father James (Jamie) Spears is in charge of her conservatorship — and that she was “abused” by a previous therapist amongst other claims of mistreatment.
After being placed under a 5150 involuntary 72-hour psychiatric evaluation in January 2008, Jamie was given temporary conservatorship over Britney by a court ruling, which meant he had control over every aspect of her life, whether it be business, financial or personal.
That conservatorship was made permanent and persists to this day, and Britney testified virtually in court on June 23 to try and get it removed after a highly-publicised #FreeBritney campaign by fans, a controversial documentary and conspiracy theories — that may not actually be conspiracy theories after all — such as Britney not controlling her own social media (Britney did admit that she was “in denial” when she said she was okay on Instagram) thrust her situation under the spotlight at the centre of the world stage.
Here are the five biggest bombshells from her 24-minute statement.
Britney was forced to work against her will
Britney performed 31 shows as part of her tenth concert tour, Piece of Me: Exclusive Limited Tour, from July to October in 2018.
At the hearing on June 23, Britney told Judge Penny that she was “forced to do” the tour, which she did “out of fear.”
“My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney,” Britney said. “My own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with the tour.”
She said that when she got off the stage in Las Vegas — she was doing a Las Vegas residency entitled Britney: Piece of Me, which concluded in December 2017 — she was handed a piece of paper to sign (presumably to consent to the 2018 tour), and it was “very threatening and scary.”
Britney said that after the 2018 Piece of Me tour, she “needed a break” in between the tour and her new upcoming 2019 Las Vegas residency — at that point she had already been doing Las Vegas for four years — but she was not allowed to have a break and was “told this is the timeline and this is how it’s going to go.”
She said she rehearsed four days a week, and was “basically directing most of the show” and “did most of the choreography.”
“I take everything I do very seriously,” Britney said.
“There’s tons of video with me at rehearsals. I wasn’t good — I was great. I led a room of 16 new dancers in rehearsals.”
Britney’s management, however, said she was not participating in rehearsals and did not agree to take her medication, both claims which Britney refuted.
The ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’ singer also said that once, she said no to one dance move in a rehearsal, and her management, dancers and assistant “all went into a room, shut the door, and didn’t come out for at least 45 minutes.”
At this point, Britney said her now famous line to Judge Penny: “Ma’am, I’m not here to be anyone’s slave. I can say no to a dance move.”
But, she really couldn’t. Britney’s manager called her therapist and told him that she wasn’t cooperating or taking her medication.
After that, there was a week period where “they were nice to [Britney]” and then Britney was allowed to cancel her 2019 Las Vegas residency as she “couldn’t take it anymore.”
As well as this, Britney said that around Christmas and New Year of 2019, she was forced to work every day of the week with no day off, which she compared to “sex trafficking.”
Britney has not performed or recorded since being allowed to cancel the 2019 Las Vegas residency. Although, the ‘Womaniser’ songstress did say she vocalised her worry to her assistant that she would not go unpunished for fighting against her the residency — which later claims of medical retribution revealed to be true.
She says she was also punished in other ways from the end of 2019, saying she “never had a say in [her] schedule” and if she didn’t “do any of [her] meetings and work from eight to six at night, which is 10 hours a day, seven days a week, no days off” then she was not allowed to see her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, or her two sons.
“I deserve to have a life,” Britney said. “I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three year break and just, you know, do what I want to do.”
Britney was forced to take lithium
Three days after Britney’s fight to be able to cancel the 2019 Las Vegas residency she was signed up for against her will, she was allegedly sat down by her therapist, Dr Timothy Benson — who passed away in September 2019 from an aneurysm — who said he had received “a million phone calls” regarding her alleged lack of cooperation and refusal to take her medication.
“All of this was false,” Britney said.
She said that he “immediately” took her off her regular medication, that she had been on for five years, and allegedly put her on lithium “out of nowhere” that she “never wanted to be on.”
“Lithium is a very, very strong and completely different medication compared to what I was used to,” Britney said.
“You can go mentally impaired if you take too much, if you stay on it longer than five months.”
Britney said she felt “drunk” when she was on it and she told Dr Benson that she was “scared” but to no avail.
Britney could not get changed without someone watching
Britney claimed that after being put on lithium and taken off her regular medication, her therapist had six different nurses come to stay with her in her home and monitor her.
Britney said the nurses wouldn’t let her get into her car or “go anywhere for a month.”
She also claimed that around Christmas and New Year in 2019, she had all her possessions taken away — including her credit card, cash, phone and passport — and was put into a home with workers that lived with her, and was not allowed to leave. This was after her father told her that she had failed a psychological evaluation.
These workers were nurses, 24/7 security, and a chef, who worked as part of a team to monitor her.
Britney said that the workers “watched [her] change every day, naked, morning, noon, and night.”
“I had no privacy,” she claimed.
She also said that her time in that “small room” caused her “trauma.”
Britney is on birth control against her will
Britney said that she wants to “progressively move forward” and have “the real deal,” which for her also means being able to get married and have a baby with her boyfriend Sam Asghari.
She is allegedly forbidden, however, from even driving in a car with him, let alone have a baby with or get married to him.
“I’m not able to get married or have a baby, I have a IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant,” she said.
An IUD is also known as an intrauterine device, which is a copper-coated contraceptive inserted into the uterus to prevent sperm from fertilising an egg, and it may also make it harder for a fertilised egg to be implanted in the uterus.
Unlike the contraceptive pill, an IUD is more permanent. While it can be removed, it takes considerable effort to do so, whereas if Britney was on the daily pill, one missed dosage could potentially result in a pregnancy.
“I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby,” Britney said.
“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.
“So basically, this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good.”
Britney also said that she is also unable to see her friends, who live less than 10 minutes away from her, which she finds “extremely strange.”
“I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does, by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so.”
Britney says her therapist was ‘abusive’
Britney said that when her therapist, Harvard-educated psychiatrist Dr Timothy Benson, passed away in September 2019, she “got on [her] knees and thanked God.”
She claimed Benson was “abusive” and that she “truly believe[s] this conservatorship is abusive” and that hers is not the only one that is so.
While Britney says doesn’t “owe them to see a man [she doesn’t] know and share [with] him [her] problems” and that she “[doesn’t] even believe in therapy,” she wants her therapist to go to her home once a week rather than the current twice a week she has to go out to see him.
She referenced a time where she was made to go to a facility in Westlake, California for therapy against her will.
“I’m not willing to go to Westlake and be embarrassed by all these scummy paparazzi laughing at my face while I’m crying, coming out and taking my pictures as all these white nice dinners, where people drinking wine at restaurants, watching these places,” Britney said.
“They set me up by sending me out to the most exposed places, and I told them I didn’t want to go there because I knew paparazzi would show up there.”
Britney says her dad is relishing controlling her
Britney said her father, Jamie Spears, approved and “was all for” sending her to a facility after her failed psychological evaluation around Christmas and New Year 2019, and that he “loved” telling her that she was being sent away.
For a period of two weeks over the Christmas 2019 holiday, a woman went to Britney’s house “for four hours a day” and did a psychological test on her, which Britney was told she had to do.
Britney claimed she got a phone call from Jamie after where he said “I’m sorry, Britney, you have to listen to your doctors. They’re planning to send you to a small home in Beverly Hills to do a small rehab program that we’re going to make up for you. You’re going to pay [US]$60,000 [approx. $79,000] a month for this.”
Britney said she “cried on the phone for an hour and [Jamie] loved every minute of it.”
“The control he had over someone as powerful as me — he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000 per cent. He loved it,” she said.
At this point, Britney said she is “not happy” and she “cries every day,” and she is “depressed” and “so angry.”
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“[Judge Penny], my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a huge role in punishing me — ma’am, they should be in jail.”
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