- Title: Britney Spears' "bombshells" in conservatorship case stun fans
- Date: 24th June 2021
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JUNE 23, 2021) (REUTERS) SIGN READING (English) "Justice for Britney" TO MEDIA AND PROTESTORS OUTSIDE COURT PAN OF BRITNEY SPEARS FANS TRYING TO LISTEN TO AUDIO FANS GASP AS THEY REALIZE SPEARS IS TALKING FANS GATHER AROUND SPEAKER FANS LISTENING FANS CHEERING (SOUNDBITE) (English) #FREEBRITNEY SUPPORTER, LEANNE SIMMONS, SAYING: "She dropped a lot of bombshells. The worst one was probably that they forced her to take lithium, which we all know the effects of that are very dangerous. Just the day to day abuse. They're forcing her to work seven days a week. If she doesn't work, she doesn't see her kids or her boyfriend. They threaten her with that. Her family, she wants to sue all of them. She's mad at her family because they're all on the side of the conservatorship and she says 'I'm feeding them and clothing them and putting roofs over their heads and I've proven myself' so not only did she ask for it to end, but she said 'I shouldn't have to be evaluated. I've proven myself'." (SOUNDBITE) (English) #FREEBRITNEY SUPPORTER, JENNIFER PRESTON, SAYING: "For me personally, the fact that she has an IUD that they will not let her take out. She wants to have children, she wants to get married and they will not let her do that. It's heartbreaking, it's heartbreaking because, like, you know, part of the reason why she was in this thing to begin with is because she was post partem and they took advantage of that and they didn't help her and she's lost 13 years and she wanted more children and it's just heartbreaking that she hasn't been able to have them." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSERVATORSHIP AND PROBATE ATTORNEY, LISA MACCARLEY, SAYING: "She complained, Britney complained that she was being forced to strip naked, she complained that she was forced into an institution for treatment, basically for some type of retreat that she didn't want to go to and she even complained, for example, that she wasn't allowed her nails done and she said 'The housekeepers that come to my house over the pandemic have had their nails done and I'm not allowed to have my nails done'. I mean, they have treated her so shabbily and that was really revealed in her statements to the court."
- Embargoed: 8th July 2021 02:29
- Keywords: #freebritney Britney Spears abuse conservatorship court judge laws protests speech
- Location: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Celebrities,Arts/Culture/Entertainment,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001EIREZWN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: An emotional Britney Spears on Wednesday (June 23) called the 13-year-long conservatorship that has controlled her life stupid and abusive, saying she felt traumatized and angry and wanted her life back.
In a statement of more than 20 minutes, pop star Spears, 39, told the Los Angeles judge overseeing the arrangement that she wanted it to end.
"I just want my life back," she said. "I'm not here to be anyone's slave."
"I'm traumatized ... I'm not happy, I can't sleep," she said. Spears said her frequent upbeat postings on her Instagram account were lies. "I'm so angry. And I'm depressed. I cry every day," she added.
Spears delivered her remarks by phone, her first public statements about the court-approved arrangement that was first put in place in 2008 when she suffered a mental health breakdown.
"I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive," Spears said, her words tumbling out so fast the judge asked her to slow down. "My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a key role in punishing - ma'am, they should be in jail."
She said she was forced into a mental health facility that cost her $60,000 a month after canceling her planned Las Vegas shows in early 2019. She has not performed since late 2018.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny said she would need a petition submitted to the court asking for the conservatorship to be terminated before she could take any action.
Spears has never formally petitioned to have the arrangement terminated. Under terms of the conservatorship, she would have to demonstrate that she can take responsibility for her personal and financial affairs.
Penny praised Spears for speaking out. "I know it took a lot of courage," Penny said. "I just want to commend you again for really stepping forward and stepping out to have your thoughts heard, not only by myself but by everybody who has been involved in this case."
The last time Spears spoke directly to the judge was in May 2019 but the court was closed to the public and her testimony was sealed. On Wednesday the singer stated that she wanted people to hear what she had to say.
The former teen phenomenon said she wanted to get married again and have a baby. But she said she has a contraceptive device that she wants removed, but is not allowed to go to the doctor "because they don't want me to have any more children."
Spears, who has been dating boyfriend Sam Asghari for five years, has 30% custody of her two children with her former husband Kevin Federline.
Outside the courthouse, several dozen fans, many of them dressed in pink and holding "Free Britney" placards, rallied in support of the "Stronger" singer.
Last year, Spears began the legal process to remove her father, Jamie Spears, from handling personal affairs ranging from her medical care to who visits her secluded villa outside Los Angeles. Jamie Spears also is a joint conservator of the singer's finances.
Jamie Spears said in a statement read out by his attorney on Wednesday that he was "sorry to see his daughter suffer and in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much."
The singer however, called her father "ignorant" and controlling. "He loved every minute of it, the control he had. He loved it," she said.
Spears complained that she had not been allowed to have her nails or hair done, or had a massage or acupuncture in a year.
"It's embarrassing and demoralizing what I've been through," she said. "I feel bullied. I feel left out and alone."
During the conservatorship, the singer made a comeback in late 2009 and performed, released albums and went on world tours solidly until late 2018.
Details of her mental health issues have never been disclosed but Spears said on Wednesday that doctors had put her on the drug Lithium and that she "felt drunk."
The unusually long conservatorship has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years thanks to the fan-based #FreeBritney movement, a 2021 documentary, and a series of leaked court documents.
(Production: Rollo Ross, Alan Devall, Jack Ferry)
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