In explosive testimony before a Los Angeles court Wednesday afternoon, Britney Spears officially requested that the conservatorship under which she is living be terminated.
Since 2008, Spears has been confined by the courts to a conservatorship that leaves both her personal life and her considerable fortune in the hands of a conservator — currently her father, Jamie Spears — but on Wednesday, Spears told Judge Brenda Penny, "I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated. I want to petition to end the conservatorship."
Spears’s testimony was one of the only times the singer has spoken out publicly about her conservatorship. For most of its 13-year history, Spears has been mum on the subject in public, and few details about her experience living under it or how controlling it was have filtered out into the press. It wasn’t until this Monday that a New York Times article revealed that Spears has been quietly pushing to find a way to end the conservatorship for years. Wednesday’s testimony, in contrast, was very public. "They’ve done a pretty good job of exploiting my life," she said, "so I think this should be an open hearing."
Over the course of her remarks, Spears alleged that her conservatorship has become abusive, and has extended to preventing her from seeing friends she made in AA and taking away her reproductive freedoms. "I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby, and my conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out," Spears said.
Spears further said that she was forced to perform against her will during her 2018 tour, and that her medication was changed to lithium without her consent after she announced a hiatus from performing. "It was like I was drunk," she said of being on the drug, adding, "Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing, my dad was all for it."
Spears says that her handlers have been treating her for dementia since the conservatorship began in 2008, but she maintains that she is of sound mind. "I taught my dancers my choreo myself," she pointed out. She said that when she told her father she didn’t like the way he was handling the conservatorship, he was unresponsive.
"The control he had to hurt his own daughter, he loved it," she said. She compared her labor conditions to those suffered by sex trafficking victims. "I was working seven days a week," she said. "I didn’t have a credit card, cash, or my passport."
"It’s enough and it makes no sense at all ... I’m done," she said. "I want to sue my family, to be totally honest with you."
Spears' explosive testimony is the most public she's been about the conservatorship, and hopefully leads to action. All we have to say now is #freebritney.