Britney Spears in an incendiary, impassioned and exactingly prepared speech to the courts Wednesday afternoon (23 June) has called for an end to her “abusive” conservatorship for good.
Shattering her years-long silence regarding the complex legal arrangement that has controlled much of her life since 2008, the singer sharply laced into her father and conservator, Jamie.
“I’ve told the world I’m happy and OK, I lied,” an agitated and angry Spears bristled.
“I am not happy, I can’t sleep. I’m so angry, it’s insane, and I’m depressed.”
“I’ve been in denial,” she added. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatised.”
Britney Spears: ‘It is my wish and dream for all of this to end’
And in a striking shift from her initial legal bid to strip Jamie of his power over her, Britney asked the judge to dissolve the guardianship altogether.
“I want to end the conservatorship without having to be evaluated. I want to petition to end the conservatorship.
She told the Los Angeles County Superior Court: “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. There are thousands of abusive conservatorships.”
“It is my wish and dream for all of this to end,” she added, “I want my life back.”
Outlining a desire to “sue” her family, she added: “My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship, including my management, they should be in jail.”
“The last time I spoke to you [the judge] made me feel like I was dead,” she said, referring to her last private court appearance in 2019.
“I am telling you again because I am not lying, so maybe you can understand the depth and the degree and the damages. I deserve changes.”
It lasted around 20 minutes, but Spears in a remote appearance at the Los Angeles court hearing delivered her most outspoken and public attack against her conservatorship in its 13-year-long history – all while her parents and the lawyers listened on.
Throughout much of her address, she spoke so quickly and breathlessly that reporters at times struggled to make out what she was even saying.
Among her litany of grievances – and there were many – claims that the decision-makers in her life “exploit” and “bully”, concerns the world would never “believe” her and likening her situation to “sex trafficking”.
The “Toxic” hitmaker detailed the extent of the control her management and Jamie has exerted over her personal and professional life. She described instances of being barred from going anywhere for a month or see her friends.
She even said her court-appointed caretaker, Jodi Montgomery, “is starting to take it too far”. While Jamie, she said, “loved the control he had over me, one hundred thousand per cent”.
“The people who did this to me should not be able to get away and walk away easily,” she said, before speaking directly to judge Brenda Penny: “Ma’am, I’m not here to be anyone’s slave.”
Her comments are almost certain to rankle a wing of Spears’ fanbase valiantly fighting for her freedom, the #FreeBritney movement, whose members have packed the streets outside the courthouse in anticipation of her bombshell address.
It comes after the singer’s court-appointed lawyer in the conservatorship, Samuel Ingham, requested in April that Spears be allowed on an expedited basis to address the judge directly.