Sunday, 25 July

Britney Spears speaks out against 'abusive' conservatorship at hearing

Entertainment
The singer has been under the legal arrangement for 13 years

US pop star Britney Spears has launched a blistering attack on the "abusive" conservatorship that has controlled her life for 13 years at a court hearing.

Speaking in open court for the first time in the case, she accused her father of controlling her "100,000%".

She said she had been denied the right to have more children, and put on the psychiatric drug lithium against her wishes.

Jamie Spears was granted control over her affairs by court order in 2008.

The order was granted after the star was put in hospital amid concerns over her mental health.

Speaking on Wednesday via telephone to a judge in Los Angeles, the pop star said she was traumatised and cried every day. "I just want my life back," she said.

 

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny thanked Spears for her "courageous" words but made no ruling. A long legal process is likely before any decision is made on ending the conservatorship, the Associated Press reports.

There has been speculation for years about how Spears, 39, felt about the arrangement, with fans eagerly combing her social media output for clues.

"I want to end this conservatorship without being evaluated," Spears told the court in an emotional 20-minute address by video link.

"I deserve to have a life, I've worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three-year break."

Spears, a mother of two, said she wanted to marry her boyfriend and have another baby, but the conservatorship would not allow her to. She accused her conservator of stopping her from having a contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) removed so she could get pregnant.

She also said she had been put on the drug lithium - a common medicine for bipolar disorder - against her wishes, and that it had made her feel drunk and unable to converse.

 

"This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good," she said.

"I'm not happy, I can't sleep. I'm so angry and I cry every day."

Specifics of the conservatorship have never been made public.

Jamie Spears stepped down temporarily as his daughter's personal conservator in 2019 because of health reasons - and the pop star has requested for this to be made permanent.

She is seeking to permanently install Jodi Montgomery, a care professional, into the role instead of reinstating her father.

Jamie Spears was troubled by the singer's allegations in court, according to his lawyer.

 

"He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain," the representative said in a statement read out in court. "Mr Spears loves his daughter, and he misses her very much."

Jamie Spears's legal team has previously insisted he has done a good job of managing his daughter's finances.

Dozens of fans from the so-called #FreeBritney movement gathered outside the court, holding signs reading "Free Britney now!" and "Get out of Britney's life!"

"Everything she said was absolutely heartbreaking and it was actually even worse than I really thought it was," Megan Radford, one of the movement's founders, told the BBC.

"But I'm so thankful that her truth is out there and it cannot be denied anymore."

Source: BBC