5 Heartbreaking Details From Britney Spears's Legal Saga
The day advocates of the #FreeBritney movement have been waiting for is finally here. After years of silence, pop icon Britney Spears testified in court on Wednesday over her highly controversial conservatorship, detailing how the 13-year-long legal arrangement, which placed her father, Jamie, and later, a group of legal and financial professionals in charge of her every decision, has left her “traumatized” and “depressed," confirming fans' worst fears regarding the star's wellbeing.
From performing international tours against her will to being forced to use contraceptives despite wanting to have another child, here are five heartbreaking takeaways from Britney Spears's testimony.
1.Britney Compared Her Situation to Sex Trafficking And Says She's Depressed And Cries “Every Day."
Throughout the testimony, the singer spoke candidly about how she feels her father, who was largely in control over her estate and personal decisions before being recently demoted to a co-conservator of her finances, found great joy in holding such a high degree of power over her. “The control he had over someone as powerful as me — he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%” Spears said. “He loved it.”
The star even went as far to claim that the tight restrictions she faces, her profound lack of privacy, and the conditions under which she works are comparable to what someone enduring sex trafficking may face. “I packed my bags and went to that place. I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking,” she explained. “Making anyone work against their will, taking all their possessions away — credit card, cash, phone, passport — and placing them in a home where they work with the people who live with them. They all lived in the house with me, the nurses, the 24-7 security. There was one chef that came there and cooked for me daily during the weekdays. They watched me change every day — naked – morning, noon and night. My body – I had no privacy door for my room. I gave eight vials of blood a week.”
Like most anyone in such a situation, Spears says living and working under these conditions have taken a serious toll on her mental health. “I’ve lied and told the whole world ‘I’m OK and I’m happy,’” Spears said. “It’s a lie. I thought I just maybe if I said that enough maybe I might become happy, because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized. You know, fake it till 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. I cry every day.”
2. Britney Says She Was Forced To Work Against Her Will
Alongside having virtually no privacy, Spears says she also had hardly any say over her work schedule, and as such, was forced to perform against her will in a 31-show North American and European tour throughout the summer of 2018. “I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do [it],” She said. “My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney, and by contract, my own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with the tour.”
And it seems her team wasn't messing around, with the star claiming she was ambushed with strongly-worded documents after a performance during her Las Vegas residency. “He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off the stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary. And with the conservatorship, I couldn’t even get my own attorney. So out of fear, I went ahead and I did the tour.”
3. Britney Says She's Not Allowed To Remove Her IUD Despite Wanting to Have Another Child
In a testimony full of terrifying twists and turns, one of the most gut-wrenching moments came when Spears disclosed some disturbing allegations surrounding her reproductive health, namely, alleging that she has been forced to keep an IUD (Intrauterine Device) against her will. For those of you out of the loop, an IUD is a t-shaped device, both implanted and removed by a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional, that is designed to prevent pregnancy for anywhere from 3-12 years, depending on which type of IUD a patient selects.
Although the star expressed her aspirations "to be able to get married and have a baby,” in her testimony – Spears has been in a relationship with personal trainer Sam Asghari since 2016 – it seems her conservators have thwarted both those plans, including allegedly forbidding her from having the device removed. “I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby and my conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out,” Spears explained. "I would like to progressively move forward and I want to have the real deal. I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now on the conservatorship I'm not able to get married or have a baby."
4. Britney Says She was Placed On Medication That Made Her Feel "Drunk” After Taking A Break Following Her Las Vegas Residency and 2018 Tour
Britney's IUD is far from the only medical treatment she claims she was subjected to without her consent. Fresh off of her long-running Las Vegas Residency, “Britney: Piece of Me,” and the aforementioned tour she says she was “forced” to perform throughout summer 2018, the singer said she needed a break. As such, she requested some time off before launching into her next venture, another Sin City show entitled “Domination."
“I started rehearsing early, but it was hard because I’d been doing Vegas for four years and I needed a break in between," Spears recalled. "But no, I was told this is the timeline and this is how it’s going to go."
Despite pressing forward, the rehearsal process was seemingly tumultuous, including several claims that Spears was not participating or taking her medication – all of which the singer denies – and an instance where the star says she was iced out by her entire team for objecting to a dance move. “It was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere,” Spears told the court. “And I said no, I don’t want to do it this way. After that, my management, my dancers and my assistant of the new people that were supposed to do the new show all went into a room, shut the door and didn’t come out for at least 45 minutes."
Eventually, the singer says her management briefly came around, allowing her to opt out of her new show. "There was a week period where they were nice to me," Spears explained. “They said if I don’t want to do the new Vegas show, I don’t have to because I was getting really nervous.” As evident through one of the most awkward videos known to man, it seems the singer ultimatelyy got her wish. “It was like lifting literally 200 pounds off of me when they said I don’t have to do the show anymore because it was really really hard on myself and it was too much. I couldn’t take it anymore.”
However, it seems Spears still had to pay the price for her choice. Three days after she turned down the new residency, Spears says her therapist told her he had received “a million phone calls” detailing how she wasn't taking her medication or cooperating in rehearsal, claims, Spears maintains are false. Immediately after, the singer says she was taken off of her normal medication regimen and instead, placed on take Lithium, a very powerful drug used to treat bipolar disorder, without her consent.
“It's a strong drug. You can go mentally impaired if you stay on it longer than 5 months,” Spears recalled. "I felt drunk, I couldn't even have a conversation with my mom or dad about anything. They had me with six different nurses."
Despite feeling terrible from the side effects of her medication, her family reportedly remained nonchalant to her evidently extreme discomfort. "My family didn't do a God damn thing," Spears said. "Anything I had to do, [my dad] was the one who approved all of it. My whole family did nothing."
As CNN noted, Spears did not disclose any medical conditions that would have warranted her use of the drug.
5. Britney Says She Just Wants Her ‘Life Back’
Even after sharing this harrowing account, the singer says at the end of the day, she just wants to be able to exit her conservatorship without being subjected to psychological evaluations. “I just want my life back," the star said towards the end of her testimony. “And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested. Again, it makes no sense whatsoever for the state of California to sit back and literally watch me with their own two eyes, make a living for so many people, and pay so many people, trucks and buses on the road with me and be told, I’m not good enough. But I’m great at what I do."
As such, the singer set a clear boundary with the court. “Now, going forward, I’m not willing to meet or see anyone,” she continued. "I’ve met with enough people against my will. I’m done. All I want is to own my money, for this to end, and my boyfriend to drive me in his fucking car."
Even with this goal, Britney says she still wants justice, which to her, seemingly includes suing her family and speaking candidly about her experiences. “I also would like to be able to share my story with the world, and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them,” Spears said. “I want to be able to be heard on what they did to me by making me keep this in for so long, it is not good for my heart. I’ve been so angry and I cry every day. It concerns me, I’m told I’m not allowed to expose the people who did this to me.”
She continued, offering a heartfelt plea to the judge to allow her to tell her story. “For my sanity, I need you … the judge to approve me to do an interview where I can be heard on what they did to me,” Spears asked. “And actually, I have the right to use my voice and take up for myself. My attorney says I can’t. It’s not good. I can’t let the public know anything they did to me and by not saying anything, is saying it’s OK.”