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Britney Spears speaks out against ‘abusive’ conservatorship at emotional hearing: ‘I want my life back’

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 24/06/2021 Sean Morrison
Tony Leung Chiu Wai et al. holding a sign: SEI84421446.jpg © Getty Images SEI84421446.jpg

Britney Spears has asked a judge to end her conservatorship and said the court-ordered legal arrangement controlling her life is “doing me way more harm than good”.

It is the first time the pop star’s words have been heard in open court for the first time in the 13-year conservatorship.

Spears made a highly awaited virtual appearance at a court in Los Angeles on Wednesday and told judge Brenda Penny she wants the conservatorship ended without a further medical assessment.


She said: “This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good. I deserve to have a life, I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three-year break.”

In an emotional statement, Spears, 39, said she believed the conservatorship was abusive. “I just want my life back,” she said.

“I’m traumatized. I’m not happy, I can’t sleep,” she said, “I’m so angry and I cry every day,” she added.

The pop superstar’s finances and personal affairs have been controlled by the conservatorship since 2008 when she suffered a series of mental breakdowns.

Video: Britney Spears speaks out against 'abusive' conservatorship during hearing (Cover Video)


Her father, Jamie, has largely overseen her life and career since, though Spears has been trying to oust him from the role.

Last year the singer said she was “afraid” of Jamie, 68, and would not return to the stage while he managed her estimated £43 million estate.

Speaking at Wednesday’s hearing, Spears said the law should be changed and she should not be under a conservatorship while she is able to work and provide for herself.

Spears, who is in a relationship with Iranian actor and model Sam Asghari, said she wants to be able to get married and have a baby.

Spears told the court she has to use birth control to prevent her getting pregnant.

She complained about the amount of therapy she said she is forced to undertake, arguing “I don’t even believe in therapy”.

Spears said she is still being hounded by the paparazzi, telling the judge speaking to her had been a welcome change from her handlers, who always tell her “no”.

Spears said: “I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone. And I’m tired of feeling alone.”

Following Spears’s testimony, Judge Penny praised her for speaking out and said: “I certainly am sensitive to everything you said and how you’re feeling and I know it took a lot of courage for you to say what you had to say.”

Spears thanked the judge for allowing her to take part in the hearing.

Spears’s lawyer, Sam Ingham, said she has not yet officially told him to file a formal request to end the conservatorship.

Vivian Thoreen, a lawyer for Jamie, asked the judge for a break to discuss matters with her client.


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