On 23 June, the “Womaniser” singer spoke directly to Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny about her long-running conservatorship, which has controlled her money and affairs since 2008.
It was the first time she had appeared in open court during the 13 years of the conservatorship, and at the hearing she called for her father and others involved in the conservatorship to “be in jail”.
As reported by The New Yorker, Spears called US emergency services on 22 June – the day before giving her testimony – to report herself as a victim of conservatorship abuse.
The publication states that a person close to the singer as well as law enforcement in Ventura County, California – where she currently resides – confirmed the call.
The New Yorker writes that although emergency calls in California are “generally accessible to the public”, the county has sealed the records of Spears’s call by “citing an ongoing investigation”.
In her testimony the next day, which spanned approximately 20 minutes, Spears made it clear that she wanted to end her conservatorship.
“My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship, including my management... they should be in jail,” she said. “I’ve told the world I’m happy and OK. I lied. I am not happy, I can’t sleep. I’m so angry, it’s insane. And I’m depressed.”
The Grammy Award-winner made a number of claims during her testimony, including that she was forced to take lithium after she announced that she was taking a break from live performances.
The 39-year-old also revealed that she would like to have another baby but that her conservators allegedly won’t allow her to go to the doctor to have her IUD removed.
“I feel ganged up on. I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone,” she told the court.
The renewed attention to Spears’s conservatorship comes in the wake of a number of documentaries about the singer’s legal situation, most notably Framing Britney Spears, which was produced by The New York Times.
Spears became famous at a young age and was hounded by the paparazzi, tabloids and TV interviewers until she had a public breakdown, famously shaving her head in 2007.
Fans had maintained the #FreeBritney movement for years, however, it is only more recently that documentary makers re-examined her circumstances and showed it in a more sympathetic light, fuelling greater public pressure for an end to the conservatorship arrangement.