Britney Spears speaks out against 'abusive' conservatorship
Britney Spears broke her silence in a court hearing on Wednesday regarding her court-ordered conservatorship that has been in place for nearly 13 years.
Spears requested to address Judge Brenda Penny to speak out about the arrangement. The singer attended the hearing virtually by phone and spoke for more than 20 minutes as she read from prepared notes.
“A lot has happened since two years ago…the last time I was in court,” she began. “I haven’t been back to court in a long time because I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court the last time.”
She said she felt she had been forced to perform, was given no privacy and was made to use birth control, take medication and attend therapy sessions against her will.
Spears said on Wednesday that she was put on lithium, despite her objections.
“Lithium is a very, very strong [medication] and completely different medication than what I’ve been on. You can go mentally impaired if you take too much, stay on it longer than five months,” Spears said. “I felt drunk. I couldn’t even stick up for myself. I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mom or dad about anything. I told them I was scared and they had six different nurses come to my home to monitor me while I was on this medication that I didn’t want to be on to begin with.”
Lithium is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, which often causes episodes of depression and mania — a feeling of uncontrolled irritability or excitement. It can also be used to treat depression.
Spears criticized how her family, including her father Jamie Spears, has handled her conservatorship and responded to her concerns about her care.
“My family didn’t do a goddam thing,” she said. “Anything that happened to me had to be approved by my dad.”
Spears’ father had been the conservator of her estimated $60 million estate since 2008, along with attorney Andrew Wallet, following a series of personal issues that played out publicly for the singer. Following Wallet’s resignation in 2019, Spears had been solely responsible for overseeing her finances until Judge Penny appointed Bessemer Trust in November 2020 to serve as co-conservator.
In response to her remarks, Vivian Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears told CNN, “Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much.”
Britney Spears said she has expressed her frustration about her medical care and management of her career to her dad but that she felt like he “loved” the control he had over her.
“I never had a say in my schedule. They always told me I had to do this,” Spears said.
Spears also addressed why she has not brought up these issues on social media.
“I thought I might become happy because I’ve been in denial.” she said. “I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized. You know, fake it til’ you make it. But now I’m telling you the truth, OK. I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane and i’m depressed.”
Spears said that she wants to hire an attorney of her choosing, since her current counsel, Samuel Ingham III was court appointed in 2008.
She pleaded with judge to take her concerns seriously.
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