Britney Spears appeared in court Wednesday (June 23) to make an impassioned plea for the end of her court-ordered conservatorship.
Spears, 39, gave a 23-minute statement to Judge Brendy Penny in a Los Angeles courtroom to beg for her freedom. In the course of her remarks, Spears alleged abuse and trauma at the hands of her conservator, her father, Jamie Spears. Trade paper Variety posted Spears’ full statement, the audio of which was later leaked to the internet.
In summary, Spears alleges that her father, in essence, forced to go on tour in 2018 over her own reservations. She claims her management, at her father’s behest, force-fed her medication and lied to the court about her condition in order to maintain the conservatorship. She also claims her family, doctors, and nurses held her prisoner in her home.
“Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing, my dad was all for it,” Spears claimed. “Anything that happened to me had to be approved by my dad. And my dad acted like he didn’t know that I was told I had to be tested over the Christmas holidays before they sent me away, when my kids went to home to Louisiana. He was the one who approved all of it. My whole family did nothing.”
Spears also accused her father of reveling in her situation, in particular, when he sent her to a lockdown rehab program in Beverly Hills.
“The control he had over someone as powerful as me — he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it,” she said.
Then Spears came to the emotional crux of her argument.
“That’s why I’m telling you this again two years later, after I’ve lied and told the whole world “I’m OK and I’m happy.” It’s a lie. 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.
And the reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t think how the state of California can have all this written in the court documents from the time I showed up and do absolutely nothing — just hire, with my money, another person and keep my dad on board. Ma’am, my dad 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. Their cruel tactics working for Miley Cyrus as she smokes on joints onstage at the VMAs — nothing is ever done to this generation for doing wrong things.
But my precious body, who has worked for my dad for the past f*cking 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. They also threaten me and said, If I don’t go, then I have to go to court. And it will be more embarrassing to me if the judge publicly makes the evidence we have.”
Spears concluded her remarks by pleading for more freedom, and apologizing for her ignorance about the rules of her conservatorship in the past and lying to the public about her state of mind. She also expressed wishes to sue her family for years of abuse. In the end, Judge Penny thanked Spears for her remarks, though it remains unclear how or even if Spears’ plea will affect her conservatorship.
The conservatorship for Britney Spears began as a temporary measure in 2008 following an involuntary psychiatric hold, reported to be linked to substance abuse. Courts continued to extend the measure thereafter, even as Spears continued to record new music and perform a Las Vegas residency. In 2019, Spears canceled a new Las Vegas residency as leaked audio gave rise to rumors that she was, in essence, a prisoner in her own home. Said rumors sparked the #FreeBritney “movement,” a fan-organized support campaign aimed at ending her conservatorship.