Britney Spears spoke out against the conservatorship she has been living under for the last decade, telling the court on Monday, “I should not be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people.”
She added: “It makes no sense. The laws need to change. What state allows people to own other people’s money and to threaten them, and saying you can’t spend your money unless you do what we tell you to do? And I’m paying them!”
The superstar has been under a court-approved conservatorship for 13 years, and Spears has unsuccessfully tried to have her father Jamie Spears removed as a conservator of her estate, with her court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, arguing that the singer is “afraid” of her father and does not want him to have control over her finances and career.
During the hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Spears testified via phone (recording her testimony was not permitted), speaking out against the conservatorship for the first time.
“I’ve lied to the world that I’m happy and OK, it’s a lie. Maybe if I said it enough, I would become it,” she said. “I am traumatized, fake it to make it. I am not happy. I can’t sleep. I am so angry, it’s insane, I am depressed and I cry every day.”
Spears went on to say that she wanted to sue her family and share her story. “All I want is to own my money, for this to end, and my boyfriend to drive me in his f—ing car. And I would like to sue my family … I want to feel heard. I’ve been so angry and I cry every day, it concerns me that I’m told I’m not allowed to tell my side of the story … I have the right to use my voice.”
The singer also said that she wants to get married and have a baby but can’t because she has an IUD and her team will not let her go see a doctor. She described the conservatorship as “abusive” and wants it to end without having to undergo an evaluation.
Britney Spears summed it all up, saying at one point, “I just want my life back.”
Spears also told the judge that she thought her father “loved every minute” of hurting his daughter, and that her family has done “nothing” to protect her.
“It’s demoralizing what I’ve been through,” she said. “I never said it openly because I didn’t think anyone would believe me.”
Before the hearing even began, Britney Spears made it known that she wanted the hearing to be public: When Jamie Spears’ attorney asked for the transcript to be sealed and the courtroom to be cleared as Spears began to talk about her medical history, Spears interrupted and said, “They’ve done a good job at exploiting my life … it should be an open court hearing.”
Following Spears’ statements, her father through his attorney, said, “He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much.”
Last fall, a judge appointed the financial institution Bessmer Trust as a co-conservator for Spears. Spears’ father wanted to retain delegation power over the singer’s investments, but Judge Brenda Penny rejected the objection.
In February, the documentary “Framing Britney Spears” hit Hulu. Though Spears herself did not participate, it discussed not only how the media treated her as she struggled at the peak of her fame, but the pop star’s legal struggle over the court-mandated conservatorship. In March, Spears said she was “embarrassed” and “cried” over the documentary although she hadn’t seen it.
Following the documentary’s release, stars like Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker tweeted “FreeBritney” with a hashtag, referencing the fan-formed movement that was created in support of the court abolishing Spears’ conservatorship that prohibits her from having control over her own fortune and from making her own financial decisions.