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Britney Spears calls for “abusive” conservatorship to be ended

By | Published on Thursday 24 June 2021

Britney Spears

Britney Spears has called her conservatorship “abusive” and said that it leaves her unable to “live a full life”. Speaking over the phone at a court hearing in Los Angeles, Spears said that she wants the conservatorship – which has put her personal and financial affairs under the control of others for thirteen years – to come to an end.

While she made reference to various people involved with her working life as not acting in her best interests during the hearing, she was most scathing about her father, who originally sought to place her in conservatorship back in 2008. “He loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%”, she said. “He loved it”.

“I just want my life back”, she told the court. “It’s been thirteen years and it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money … It makes no sense whatsoever for the state of California to sit back and literally watch me … 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”.

“I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people – it makes no sense”, she said. “The laws need to change. What state allows people to own another person’s money and account and threaten them and saying, ‘You can’t spend your money unless you do what we want you to do’? And I’m paying them”.

She said that her current goal in life is to marry her boyfriend and to have a baby with him, but that she has been told that she is not allowed to do either. She also said that she is barred from visiting friends who live nearby, and that her boyfriend is not allowed to drive her anywhere in his car.

Spears also claimed that she had been forced to work and take medications against her will. She said that, in 2018, when she had expressed concerns about being overworked, going from a tour straight into rehearsals for a new Las Vegas residency, her medication was changed to lithium. This, she said, left her unable to “even have a conversation with my mom or dad about anything”, adding that despite seeing this her “whole family did nothing” and that, in fact, her “dad was all for it”.

She added that she previously voiced concerns about the ongoing conservatorship in a closed court hearing in 2019 but that she was not “heard on any level” on that occasion. And, in fact, documents obtained by the New York Times actually show that she raised objections to her conservatorship, and her father’s involvement in it, as early as 2014.

Despite this, she has never formally petitioned to have the conservatorship brought to an end – something she said yesterday was due to her not realising that this was something that she could do until recently.

Yesterday’s court hearing wasn’t actually held to discuss whether or not the conservatorship should continue, but was instead considering attempts by Spears’ father Jamie to regain full control of her financial affairs, which are currently jointly overseen with the Bessemer Trust – and, according to reports, Spears’ bold statement took even her own attorney by surprise.

Concluding, she told the judge: “I deserve to have a life. I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three year break and just, you know, do what I want to do … I’m tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does, by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so”.

The judge praised the musician for her “courage” in speaking out, but did not make any ruling at yesterday’s hearing.

In a short statement on behalf of Jamie Spears, his attorney Vivian Lee Thoreen said: “He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr Spears loves his daughter, and he misses her very much”.

Exactly what happens now isn’t clear.¬†The Associated Press reports¬†that attempts to end the conservatorship will likely be subject to a “long legal process”. If the court does ultimately decide to free her, Spears suggested several times in her statement that she will then sue various people involved in her affairs to date, including her family and her management.

This article was updated on 2 Jul 2021 to clarify some aspects of the conservatorship



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