Britney Spears appeared in Los Angeles court on Wednesday and formally asked a judge to end her decade-long conservatorship. The pop star appeared in court virtually via Zoom, during which she made a strong case for removing her father, Jamie Spears, as conservator. She gave examples of how the conservatorship is abusive, including being put on Lithium and not being able to get married and have a baby. Update: You can read a full transcription of Spears’ remarks in court below.
From the very onset of her remarks, she was on the offensive, objecting to a petition for a closed hearing: “They’ve done a good job at exploiting my life. So I feel like it should be an open court hearing and they should listen to what I have to say.”
Comparing her situation to “sex trafficking,” Spears said she was forced to work while having no control over her finances and no independence. She added, “The people who did that to me should not be able to walk away so easily.”
Britney had particularly pointed words for her father Jamie, saying he “loved the control he had over me, one hundred thousand percent.”
“It’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end,” Spears said of the conservatorship. “I just want my life back. The conservatorship should end. I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.”
Spears went on to detail particular examples of her conservatorship that she believes are abusive. One of her claims was that she was put on Lithium against her will.
“It’s a strong drug. You can go mentally impaired if you stay on it longer than 5 months,” she explained. “I felt drunk, I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mom or dad about anything. They had me with six different nurses.”
According to Britney, her father was responsible for the decision. “My family didn’t do a God damn thing,” she said. “Anything I had to do, [my dad] was the one who approved all of it. My whole family did nothing.”
The singer also claimed that the conservatorship is blocking her from expanding her family. “I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told I can’t get married. I have an IUD inside me but this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to remove it because they don’t want me to have anymore children. This conservatorship is doing me way more harm then good.”
Following a brief break, Spears’ court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III, told Judge Brenda Penny said he would discuss with Spears whether to file a motion to terminate the conservatorship and whether she should obtain a private attorney. “I will abide by whatever decision she makes in that regard,” Ingham said.
Ingham also said Spears wants all future proceedings to be sealed, so today’s remarks by Spears will likely be her only comments on the matter for the foreseeable future.
Back in March, Ingham formally asked the court to remove Jamie as his daughter’s conservator and permanently replace him with Jodi Montgomery. In 2019, Montgomery served as her temporary conservator when Jamie battled health issues.
The petition would not impact Jamie’s involvement in his daughter’s estate, which he has co-managed alongside Bessemer Trust Company since the organization was named a co-conservator in November 2020.
Britney’s conservatorship was first put in place in 2008, following a series of mental health issues and very public breakdowns. During recent years, he has sought to regain control of her career and finances, prompting a public legal dispute between her and her father.
A report published in The New York Times earlier this week detailed how Britney has quietly moved behind the scenes for several years to remove Jamie from his role as conservator. During a 2014 hearing closed to the public, Ingham told the court his client wanted to explore the removal of her father from control of her finances and career, citing a “shopping list” of grievances including Jamie’s drinking.
Two years later, a court investigator assigned to Britney’s case said she described the conservatorship as “an oppressive and controlling tool against her.” According to the investigator’s report, the singer wanted it terminated as soon as possible because she was “sick of being taken advantage of.” The investigator added, “She said she is the one working and earning her money but everyone around her is on her payroll.”
Britney announced she was taking an indefinite work hiatus in January 2019, one month before the opening of her Las Vegas residency. During a closed-door hearing that spring, she read a statement claiming she had been forced into a mental health facility against her will, which she interpreted as punishment for standing up for herself and making an objection during a rehearsal.
In November 2020, Spears threatened to stop performing altogether as long as her father remained her conservator. Earlier this year, she won a small legal victory when a judge declined Jamie’s request to remove Bessemer Trust as a third party co-conservator of her estate.