On Wednesday 23rd June, 2021, a recording was released to the press of Britney Spears speaking to a judge about ending her current conservatorship, which she’s been under since 2013. The conservatorship has relinquished Britney’s control over her health, finances, relationships and other areas of her life to a team of lawyers, therapists, and Britney’s own father, Jamie Spears.
This was the first time Britney has openly discussed the extent of the control she was under the effect it has had on her health. Here, we’ve summarised some key points.
“He immediately, the next day, put me on lithium out of nowhere”
Britney claims that throughout her conservatorship she’s been subject to unwanted therapy sessions, which she describes as “abusive”, and been forced to take a number of psychiatric medications against her will. After an incident on tour where she refused to incorporate a certain dance move, she said her doctor put her on lithium.
“He took me off my normal meds I’ve been on for five years,” she said. “And lithium is a very, very strong [drug] and a completely different medication compared to what I was used to. You can go mentally impaired if you take too much, if you stay on it longer than five months. But he put me on that and I felt drunk. I really couldn’t even talk up for myself.”
“Out of fear, I went ahead and I did the tour”
Following a four year Las Vegas residency in 2018, Britney claims she had requested a break from performing, but that she was threatened by her lawyers.
“My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney, and by contract my own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with the tour,” she said. “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. And with the conservatorship, I couldn’t even get my own attorney.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money”
One of the most restrictive, and shocking, aspects of Britney’s conservatorship is that it is funded with her own money. Under the terms of the conservatorship, Britney does not have access to the money she earns and instead it’s used to employ the lawyers, doctors and others involved in enforcing the measures.
She said, “It makes no sense whatsoever for the state of California to sit back and literally watch me with their own two eyes, make a living for so many people, and pay so many people - trucks and buses on the road with me and be told - I’m not good enough.
“But I’m great at what I do. And I allow these people to control what I do, ma’am. And it’s enough. It makes no sense at all. All I want is to own my money, for this to end.”
“He loved the control to hurt his own daughter, 100,000%”
Britney’s strained relationship with her dad Jamie has been at the centre of endless speculation about the conservatorship. Jamie was responsible for placing Britney under the restrictions following her 2007 battle with her mental health, but Britney claims it was never about protecting her.
“How come I was always threatened by my dad and anybody that participated in this conservatorship?” she said. “If I don’t do this, what they tell me to do, they’re going to punish me. 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…
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“My precious body, who has worked for my dad for the past fucking 13 years, trying to be so good and pretty. So perfect, when he works me so hard. When I do everything I’m told and the state of California allowed my father — ignorant father — to take his own daughter, who only has a role with me if I work with him, they’ve set back the whole course and allowed him to do that to me. That’s given these people I’ve worked for way too much control.”
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby”
Britney is already a mother two her two sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline who, under the terms of her conservatorship, she has extremely limited access to. She’s been dating dancer Sam Asghari since 2016 and says she wants another baby with him.
“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 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,” she said.
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“I’ve lied and told the whole world 'I’m OK and I’m happy.' It’s a lie."
While Britney’s loyal fans have long advocated for the conservatorship to end, up until now, she’s always maintained that she was fine.
She said, “I thought I 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 traumatized. 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.”