Britney Spears urges court to end her guardianship

Britney Spears in concert at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island, June 27, 2000. The legal battle over who should control Spears' finances and personal life is set to return to the courtroom in February 2021 amid a renewed debate about how she should be treated during her meteoric rise as a star Teen Bob.  (J. Paul Burnett/The New York Times)
Britney Spears in concert at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island, June 27, 2000.
Image Credit: NYT

LOS ANGELES: Emotional Britney Spears on Wednesday called the 13-year tutelage that has dominated her life stupid and abusive, saying she was shocked and angry and wanted her life back.

In a statement lasting more than 20 minutes, the pop star told Spears, 39, the Los Angeles judge who oversaw the arrangement she wanted to end.

“I just want my life back,” she said. “I am not here to be a slave.” She said, “I’m shocked… I’m not happy, I can’t sleep.” Spears said her frequent optimistic posts on her Instagram account were lies. “I am very angry. I am depressed. I cry every day,” she added.

Spears delivered her remarks by phone, her first public comments about the court-approved arrangement first drawn up in 2008 when she suffered a mental health breakdown.

“I really think this tutelage is offensive,” Spears said, her words fading quickly and the judge told her to slow down. “My parents, anyone involved in this guardianship and my administrator who played a major role in the punishment – ma’am, should be in prison.” She said she was forced to enter a mental health facility that cost her $60,000 a month after canceling her shows in Las Vegas in early 2019. She hasn’t performed since late 2018.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny said she would need to file a petition with the court demanding the termination of the guardianship before she could take any action.

Spears never formally petitioned to end the arrangement. Under the terms of guardianship, she will have to prove that she can take responsibility for her personal and financial affairs.

He praised Penny Spears for speaking out. “I know it took a lot of courage,” Penny said. “I just want to commend you once again for really stepping forward and coming out to hear your thoughts, not only for myself but from everyone involved in this cause.” The last time Spears spoke directly to a judge was in May 2019, but the court was closed to the public and her testimony was sealed. On Wednesday, the singer said she wanted people to hear what she had to say.

The former teenage phenomenon said she wanted to get married again and have a baby. But she said she has a contraceptive that she wants to remove, but is not allowed to go to the doctor “because they don’t want me to have any more children.” Spears, who has been dating boyfriend Sam Asgari for five years, has 30% custody of her two children with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Outside the courtroom, dozens of fans, many dressed in pink and holding “Free Britney” signs, rallied in support of the “Stronger” singer.

Last year, Spears began legal proceedings to remove her father, Jamie Spears, from handling personal affairs from her medical care to a visit to a secluded villa outside Los Angeles. Jamie Spears is also a joint supervisor of the singer’s finances.

Jamie Spears said in a statement read by his attorney on Wednesday that he is sorry to see his daughter suffer and is in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves and misses his daughter very much.” But the singer described her father as “ignorant” and controlling. “He loved every minute of him, the control he had. She said.

Spears complained that she was not allowed to straighten her nails, hair, get massages, or get acupuncture in a year.

“What I went through is embarrassing and frustrating,” she said. “I feel intimidated. I feel neglected and lonely.” During her regency, the singer made a comeback in late 2009 and performed and released albums and went on world tours aggressively through late 2018.

Details of her mental health issues have never been revealed, but Spears said on Wednesday that doctors put her on lithium and that she “felt drunk.” The unusually long period of restoration has come under increased scrutiny in recent years thanks to the fan-based #FreeBritney movement, a 2021 documentary, and a series of leaked court documents.

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