Britney Spears spoke in a court hearing addressing her conservatorship for the first time today. The conservatorship, which has been in place since 2008 and stipulates that Spears is not in control of much of her own finances or medical decisions, has come under renewed public criticism in recent months.
Today’s hearing marks the first time she’s spoken on the conservatorship in court since it was put in place 13 years ago. During the hearing, Spears asked that her remarks be public—and she requested to end the conservatorship, CNN reports.
In her remarks, she accused her parents of using the arrangement of the conservatorship to control nearly every aspect of her life. She alleged that she was taken off her usual medications and put on lithium instead, according to Rolling Stone. Spears also said that her conservators won’t allow her to see a doctor to remove her IUD.
Spears said she told the world she was OK, but it was a lie. “I’m traumatized. I’m not happy, I can’t sleep.” Spears said that she initially didn’t know she could petition to end the conservatorship, but now she wants it to end. “I just want my life back,” she said.
Laws around conservatorships (also sometimes called guardianships) vary from state to state. In California, “a conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the ‘conservator’) to care for another adult (called the ‘conservatee’) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances,” the Judicial Council of California explains.
In Britney’s case, her father Jamie Spears has been the co-conservator of her estate since 2008. He shared that role with Andrew Wallett until Wallett resigned in 2019, according to CNN. Later that year, Jamie stepped down after experiencing health issues and was replaced with Jodi Montgomery, a professional conservator. This past November, the court ruled that Jamie and Bessemer Trust act as co-conservators of Britney’s estate. But in March, Britney’s lawyer formally requested her father’s resignation from the role and that Montgomery stay on permanently as her conservator instead.
Today’s hearing comes after the release of the Framing Britney Spears documentary earlier this year, which brought renewed attention to her case and the long-running #FreeBritney movement. It’s no secret that Britney has been unhappy with her father’s conservatorship for many years. She previously alleged that the arrangement is oppressive and that she is afraid of him according to court documents, as People reports.
“I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive,” Britney said in the hearing today. She requested to end the conservatorship without a mental health evaluation, and said that she wants to be able to pick her own attorney. Her current (court-appointed) attorney said that Britney hasn’t yet asked him to formally file the necessary request for the termination of the conservatorship to proceed. But for her to speak in court was a powerful first step in the process.