A disturbing video of Britney Spears has resurfaced of the singer appearing to perform while unwell, as she demands a court end her “abusive” conservatorship arrangement.
The singer spoke out publicly for the first time about her controversial conservatorship, which she claims is exploitative and abusive.
Spears spoke to a Los Angeles court about the devastating impact of the 13-year legal arrangement restricting almost every aspect of her life.
Under California law, conservatorships involve “a judge appointing a responsible person (a conservator) to care for another adult who cannot care for herself or her finances”.
The legal guardianship is typically used to protect the very old or those who are mentally or physically disabled.
A court put Britney under one in 2008, after a mental health crisis left the singer hospitalised.
But Britney has now spoken out about the “harm and trauma” of the arrangement in her first public comments.
“It is my wish and dream for all of this to end,” she said.
“I just want my life back. After I’ve told the whole world I’m OK, it’s a lie.
“I’m not happy, I can’t sleep. I’m so angry, it’s insane. I’m depressed, I cry every day.”
Britney Spears says she was ‘forced into touring’
Britney claimed she was “forced” to go on tour in 2018 under threat of being sued by her own management if she refused.
“It was very threatening and scary. Out of fear, I went ahead and I did the tour,” she told the court.
“Ma’am, I’m not here to be anyone’s slave. I can say no to a dance move.”
The New York Times reported that Britney previously claimed she was forced to perform while suffering a fever.
She told a court in May 2019 it was “one of the scariest moments of her life.”
And on Twitter, a Britney Spears fan has shared a video of the singer seemingly performing while unwell.
“I’m about to pass out, and I’m sick,” she told the audience at the US concert in July 2018.
She was welcoming an audience member up on stage to perform with her during a song.
“I have, actually, a 102 (degrees Fahrenheit) fever right now,” Britney says.
“It’s going to be really, really hot up here. I’m warning you.”
Britney fan gives singer an apology
The fan who posted the video tweeted, “Dear @britneyspears, I feel like we owe you an apology.
“We bought into the whole hype of BRITNEY the performer, without much consideration for how Britney Jean Spears, the person, was coping through each day.
“Looking back now, I remember you saying this in front of me.
“I just thought ‘Wow, she’s such a trooper and cares so much to put on a show for her fans.’
“Now I can see with clear eyes that this was a dig at the people controlling you, making you go onstage, performing under high powered lights, all while you had a high-grade fever.
“I’m heartbroken even more knowing that you haven’t been happy. Knowing that you’ve been forced to perform knowing the harsh consequences for standing up for yourself.
“You’ve been such a consistent staple in your fans’ lives. [We want] to help you live the life you want to live, whatever that may be… We love you.”
Dear @britneyspears ….I feel like we owe you an apology. We bought into the whole hype of BRITNEY the performer, without much consideration for how Britney Jean Spears, the person, was coping through each day. Looking back now, I remember you saying this in front of me… pic.twitter.com/I80ODPKPvq
— Zachary Gordon (@ZacharyGordon95) June 22, 2021
Britney Spears speaks out against conservatorship
Britney Spears spoke for 20 minutes to ask a Los Angeles court to end the years-long conservatorship. She explained the conservatorship “made me feel like I was dead, like I didn’t matter”.
“I’m scared of people. I don’t trust people with what I’ve been through,” she said.
She said she wants the conservatorship to end “without being evaluated.”
“I’ve done more than enough. I don’t owe these people anything,” she said.
“I’ve roofed and clothed and fed people on the road.
“It’s demoralising what I’ve been through. I’ve never said it openly. I never thought anyone would believe me.
“I just want my life back. It’s been 13 years and it’s been enough. I want to be able to be heard.
“I’ve kept this in for so long. It’s not good for my heart. I’ve been so angry and I cry every day.”
Britney says she’s forced to take birth control
She said others falsely accused her of not taking her medication, and a new doctor put her on lithium.
“Lithium is a very, very strong and completely different medication from what I was used to,” she said.
“I felt drunk. I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mom or dad.”
She claimed she told her dad how “scared” the new medication made her feel.
However she said he “did nothing” other than send her to a rehab program against her will.
Britney said she wants to marry her boyfriend Sam Asghari and have a baby. However she says the conservatorship won’t allow her to.
She also said the conservators are forcing her to take birth control against her will.
“I want to have the ‘real deal’, I want to get married and have a baby,” she said.
“I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby.
“My conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out.”
Britney’s father ‘sorry to see her in so much pain’
Britney Spears condemned her father Jamie Spears over his handling of the conservatorship.
“Anything I had to do, [my dad] was the one who approved all of it. My whole family did nothing,” she said.
“All I want is to own my money and for this to end and for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car.
“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, three year break and do what I want to do.”
She told the judge, “I wish I could stay with you on the phone forever because when I get off the phone, I hear all these ‘no’s’.
“I feel ganged up on, I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone. I’m tired of feeling alone.
“I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does by having a child, a family, all of those things.”
Britney’s father Jamie Spears’ lawyer said, “Mr Spears is sorry to see his daughter in so much pain.
“He loves his daughter and misses her very much.”
His lawyer Vivian Thoreen has previously claimed the conservatorship saved the singer from “a life-threatening situation”.
Free Britney rally outside court
Outside the Los Angeles court, about 100 fans gathered to support Britney.
The singer’s years-long conservatorship sparked the #FreeBritney movement, concerned about her welfare and questioning the years-long legal arrangement.
The movement got mainstream attention after the release of the New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears this year.
In one early moment in the documentary, activist Kevin Wu stands outside the Los Angeles Superior Court during a “Free Britney” rally.
“She gave me permission to be myself growing up as a gay boy in suburban Virginia. Britney gave me the power to be who I am,” he says through a megaphone.
Framing Britney Spears director Samantha Stark, who identifies as queer, said “so many of the loudest voices” in the movement are “queer voices”.
“Britney can’t choose where she lives. She can’t sign a cheque, she can’t sign a contract. She can’t choose what to do with her money,” Stark said.
“I do think that’s why people have such a deep connection to her.
“She’s still being told who she can be and what she can do, on an exponential level.”
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