In a court hearing on Wednesday, pop superstar Britney Spears was finally given the opportunity to speak out on her conservatorship of 13 years. The conservatorship has been public knowledge since it began in 2008, but has recently sparked intense scrutiny following the revealing “Framing Britney Spears” documentary from The New York Times.
People are placed under conservatorships when they are deemed unfit to take care of themselves. Conservatorships are typically reserved for elderly or disabled people, and can be used for control of the estate or the person. In this case, Spears’s father acts as the conservator of her estate and person.
Given that Spears, 39, has toured internationally and has made a plethora of public appearances over the past 13 years, many have begun to wonder why exactly this conservatorship is in place. “Free Britney,” a movement started by fans, has repeatedly called to end the conservatorship, gaining media attention and putting a closer spotlight on this unique case.
Spears’s father, Jamie Spears, holds control over his daughter’s assets and medical records, as well as controls her personal and professional decisions. Spears, under the tight control of her father, has rarely had the opportunity to speak on the conservatorship publicly, until this week.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money, and it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end,” Spears said to the judge. She later went into detail about the restrictions of the conservatorship, claiming that doctors forced her to take lithium after she spoke up at a dance rehearsal.
Furthermore, Spears told the court that she wishes to expand her family by having more children, but that she is unable to because she unwillingly has an intrauterine device -- also known as an IUD -- in her body, and “[her conservators] won’t let [her] go to the doctor to take it out.”
In addition to having no control of her estate and facing numerous medical violations, she stated that she was not allowed to pick her own attorneys or her doctors. She also alleged that, on one occasion, her father prohibited her from going anywhere for a month, including meetings with her recovery circle from three years of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Spears explained that the conservatorship has taken a toll on her mental health, too.
“I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane, and I’m depressed. I cry every day,” Spears said to the court.
In Wednesday’s hearing, she revealed that she does wish to petition and to sue her family, claiming that the arrangement “has done way more harm than good.”
In response to Spears' emotional statement, her father’s attorney, Vivian Thoreen, made a claim on behalf of Mr. Spears.
“Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much,” Thoreen said.
While the conservatorship cannot be terminated until a petition is presented in the courtroom, it is clear now that Spears is in support of ending the conservatorship and stands with those in the “Free Britney” movement.