Britney Spears Speaks Out on "Abusive" Conservatorship: "I Just Want My Life Back"

The singer addressed the court Wednesday, saying she has felt bullied and depressed.

hollywood, california july 22 britney spears attends sony pictures once upon a time in hollywood los angeles premiere on july 22, 2019 in hollywood, california photo by axellebauer griffinfilmmagic
(Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin)

On Wednesday, Britney Spears remotely addressed a judge regarding the status of her conservatorship, revealing horrifying details about its 13-year hold on her life and finances. Speaking for more than 20 minutes, the singer called the conservatorship, held by her father, Jamie Spears, "abusive."

"Ma'am, I'm not here to be anyone's slave," she said, per E.T., adding that when she was a performer she "wasn't good, I was GREAT." She continued, "I'm so angry I can't sleep, and I am depressed."

"I want changes and I want changes going forward. I deserve changes," she said to Judge Brenda Penny. "I just want my life back, it's been 13 years and it's enough." She pointed to having a therapist come to her home instead of being forced to publicly attend therapy sessions twice a week as her conservatorship mandates (she called them "embarrassing and demoralizing") as well as being able to choose her own lawyer instead of court-appointed legal counsel.

Ultimately, she hopes to end the conservatorship without a "being evaluated" and would even consider suing her family.

The singer pointed out that she had not returned to speak at court because "the last time I spoke to you, it made me feel like I was dead, like I didn't matter. like you thought I was lying." And that she had adopted a "fake it 'til you make it" disposition to cope with the trauma, but she feels she was in "denial" and "shock" and still cries "every day."

According to CNN, the 39-year-old singer also revealed several intimate details from what she's endured over the past decade. "I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told I can't get married. I have an IUD inside me but this so called team won't let me go to the doctor to remove it because they don't want me to have anymore children. This conservatorship is doing me way more harm then good."

She also revealed that she can't "go somewhere unless I meet someone every week in an office" and that she isn't allowed to ride alone in her boyfriend Sam Asghari's car.

Spears said that she was forced to work without breaks, particularly during her 2018 Vegas residency. And later, when she publicly announced a hiatus from working, she said she was forced to take lithium. "It's a strong drug. You can go mentally impaired if you stay on it longer than five months. I felt drunk." And once, she claimed, after an argument at a rehearsal, her father forced her into rehab.

She also claimed that her family, and in particular her father, never helped her out of any painful situations. "My family didn't do a God damn thing," she said, saying that she'd cry on the phone to her father for hours. "Anything I had to do, [my dad] was the one who approved all of it. My whole family did nothing."

"I deserve to have a two to three year break. I feel open, and I'm OK to talk to you about this. I feel ganged up on, bullied, left out and alone. I'm tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights, having a child or any of those things."

"I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive," she said, adding clearly, "I want to end the conservatorship."

Following a recess, Jamie Spears's attorney issued a statement on behalf of his client: "He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much," E.T. reports.

Jamie Spears was appointed as his daughter's permanent conservator in 2008 for undisclosed reasons, though he often pointed to her mental health. Last year, Spears's attorney, Samuel Ingham III, filed to suspend Jamie's hold on the singer's approximately $60 million estate. It's been an ongoing battle for Spears, but it's come into recent public interest due to the growing #FreeBritney movement as well as the Hulu documentary Framing Britney Spears.


framing britney spears

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britney spears

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Entertainment Director

Neha Prakash is Marie Claire's Entertainment Director, where she edits, writes, and ideates culture and current event features with a focus on elevating diverse voices and stories in film and television. She steers and books the brand's print and digital covers as well as oversees the talent and production on MC's video franchises like "How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?" and flagship events, including the Power Play summit. Since joining the team in early 2020, she's produced entertainment packages about buzzy television shows and films, helped oversee culture SEO content, commissioned op-eds from notable writers, and penned widely-shared celebrity profiles and interviews. She also assists with social coverage around major red carpet events, having conducted celebrity interviews at the Met Gala, Oscars, and Golden Globes. Prior to Marie Claire, she held editor roles at Brides, Glamour, Mashable, and Condé Nast, where she launched the Social News Desk. Her pop culture, breaking news, and fashion coverage has appeared on Vanity Fair, GQ, Allure, Teen Vogue, and Architectural Digest. She earned a masters degree from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2012 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 2010. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and dog, Ghost; she loves matcha lattes, Bollywood movies, and has many hot takes about TV reboots. Follow her on Instagram @nehapk.