Entertainment

Britney Spears: ‘I just want my life back’

The singer, 39, said she was “exploited” by her father and management, kept in a drugged state for years, and likened herself to a “slave” as she addressed the Los Angeles Superior Court.The hearing formed the Gimme More singer’s bid to end her estranged father Jamie Spear’s control over her life and $80 million fortune.“I deserve to have a life,” Spears told the court. “I’m tired of feeling alone.“I’m not here to be a slave,” she said, in words that eerily echoed her hit song, I’m a Slave 4 U.Spears said she was “angry and traumatised” by the “abusive” conservatorship, which has been overseen by her father, and that she was “not OK”. She said she “lied” to the public, insisting that she was OK when she wasn’t.“I believe this conservatorship is abusive,” Spears said, pleading for the judge to end the 13-year conservatorship.“Bear with me, I’ve got a lot to say.”In a sensational 30-minute address, Spears likened the way she had been controlled by her father and managers to “sex trafficking”. “I’ve been in denial and I’ve been in shock,” Spears said. “I’m traumatised, I’m not happy, I can’t sleep and I’m depressed,” she said.Spears spoke about the “control” her father, Jamie Spears, had over her life. “He loved the control he had over me, one hundred thousand per cent,” she said.“I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and happy. I’ve been in denial,” Spears said. “You know, fake it till you make it, but now I’m telling you the truth, I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane … I cry everyday.”In her damning speech, Spears said the conservatorship “made me feel like I was dead, like I didn’t matter”.Speaking via video-link, she added: “I’m telling you again because I’m not lying. So maybe you can understand the depth and degree of the damage”.“I don’t feel like need to be evaluated (to end the conservatorship), I don’t owe these people anything.“It’s embarrassing and demoralising.” Spears said she wanted the controlling order over her ended “without having to be evaluated”. “I thought people would (also) make fun of me … say ‘she’s lying’. I want my life back.”In a disturbing moment, Spears claimed she had been forced to have an IUD birth control device implanted in her, preventing her from becoming pregnant. “I have an IUD (birth control device) 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.”She also claimed she was not allowed to marry her boyfriend, Sam Asghari and that she was put on the drug lithium for five years, and “forced” to perform her Las Vegas residency against her will.In a statement released via his lawyer, Jamie Spears said: “Mr Spears is sorry to see his daughter in so much pain. He loves his daughter and misses her very much”.Britney’s lawyer then made another statement on behalf of the singer:“Since she has made the remarks that she was able to make on the public record today she believes it will be advisable for proceedings to be sealed going forward.”#FREEBRITNEYThe hotly-anticipated proceedings came months after Spears’ lawyer filed last year to have her father removed as the guardian of her multimillion-dollar estate.“I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive,” Spears told Judge Brenda Penny — as she called for the legal arrangement to end.The mother-of-two requested permission through her lawyer to “address the court directly” about the “status of the conservatorship” and appeared via videolink on Wednesday local time.It marked the first time since May 10, 2019, that the singer has spoken in court. The last time, the information was sealed and none of what she said became public.Although some members of the media were able to listen in on Wednesday, they were “not allowed to be filmed, recorded, broadcast, photographed, or streamed live at any point during or after the hearing, whether listening remotely or attending the hearing in-person,” according to the LA Superior Court.The judge was able to order all video or phone links to be cut at any time, due to the sensitive nature of the hearing.The singer’s conservatorship has come under renewed scrutiny in recent months following the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears and by the #FreeBritney movement. Spears’ conservatorship came into effect after the star had a series of public meltdowns in 2007.During that period, Spears divorced backing dancer Kevin Federline, 43, shaved her head, attacked a photographer’s car with an umbrella and entered rehab.She also lost custody of sons Sean, 15, and Jayden, 14, and was committed to a psychiatric hospital.The arrangement put her financial assets, estate, and personal assets under the control of her father Jamie Spears and lawyer.At the time it was insisted that the conservatorship was designed to protect her and stop people from taking advantage of her financially.In April this year, the singer’s lawyer filed for Jodi Montgomery to officially replace Jamie as the permanent conservator over Britney’s personal matters.She also asked her estranged father to resign from the role.Jamie’s lawyer Vivian Thoreen previously claimed the conservatorship “saved” the singer’s life.“I understand that every story needs a villain,” she previously said. “But people have it so wrong here.”“This is a story about a fiercely loving, dedicated and loyal father who rescued his daughter from a life-threatening situation.”The New York Times uncovered documents which show that Spears has quietly pushed for years to end her conservatorship.The newspaper reported Jamie had total control over her life – claiming she had wanted to re-stain the cabinets in her home, but her father thought the renovation work would be too expensive.In new BBC documentary The Battle for Britney, documents show Jamie ticked a box saying the conservatorship related to “dementia placement or treatment”, according to journalist Mobeen Azhar.“There’s only two options with that. Britney might have dementia. Now I’m not a doctor but if that’s the case, then the world isn’t aware of that. But the other option is actually more sinister,” Azhar said.“That’s the idea that she doesn’t have dementia but the conservatorship team have suggested that she has because they want to push the conservatorship through. And if that’s the case, then that’s terrifying.” In August 2020, Jamie said that his daughter’s conservatorship was “no one else’s business” and #FreeBritney movement “is a joke”.“All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything,” Jamie Spears said. “The world don’t have a clue,” he said.“It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.”

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