Britney's not allowed have babies or paint her kitchen — Here's everything you need to know about her conservatorship
"'I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive."
Since Britney Spears' breakdown 13 years ago, she has been living under a legal conservatorship controlled her father, Jamie Spears.
Britney had been hospitalised after a mental health episode and placed in rehab, when her father petitioned the court for a temporary conservatorship in 2008.
At the time, Britney was also in the throes of a devastating custody battle for her two sons.
Conservatorships, for the uninitiated, are court-ordered arrangements drawn up in situations where someone is unable to look out for their own interests. They're typically reserved for extreme cases, such as very elderly people with dementia.
Britney made a comeback (the first of many) with her 2008 album, Circus and has continued to release albums, tour, star in a years-long Las Vegas residency and launch business ventures including new perfumes and a lingerie line, but the conservatorship remains.
The New York Times recently obtained documents with some fascinating details about the power the conservatorship has over Britney. They also prove that Britney has been quietly trying to get out of the arrangement for many years.
They reveal that in a 2019 hearing, Britney stated she had been forced into a mental health facility against her will. This was, she said, punishment for standing up for herself during a rehearsal in which she had been forced to perform with a 104-degree fever.
The documents also list strict rules such as banning all cast and crew of Britney's shows from consuming alcohol or energy drinks.
Britney also revealed at the time that she was not allowed to have control of her credit card or to repaint her kitchen cabinets.
She was given a weekly allowance of $2,000, while her father made twice that as his salary for being her conservator.
Britney's fight to regain control of her life continued yesterday with the court hearing she hopes will finally end the 13-year hold her father has over her life.
During the hearing she spoke out for the first time about how the conservatorship has affected her: “It is my wish and dream for all of this to end. I 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 depressed, I cry every day.
“I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. My request is to end the conservatorship without being evaluated like before.”
She also revealed some more chilling elements to the arrangement: “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."
Under his eye, much?
She went on to speak of her frustration at being restrained by a conservatorship when she’s clearly a functioning, earning, adult: “I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I’m working and am able to pay other people."
Other people, including her father who also gets a cut of her world tour money.
Not holding back, she laid it all bare for the judge in a desperate plea to finally be heard: "The last time I spoke to you, it made me feel like I was dead, like I didn't matter, like you thought I was lying. I'm not lying, so that maybe you understand the depth and degree, I deserve changes.
"I'd like to be able to share my story with the world. I want to be able to be heard. By making me keep this in for so long, it's not good for my heart. It concerns me I'm not allowed to be able to heard. I have the right to use my voice. My attorney says I can't let the public know what they did to me.
"I shouldn't be able to be in a conservatorship. The laws need to change. Ma'am, I've worked since I was 17 years old. I can't go somewhere unless I meet someone every week in an office. I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive, but ma'am there are a thousand conservatorships that are abusive as well. I want to end the conservatorship.
"I deserve to have a two to three year break. I feel open, and I'm OK to talk to you about this. I feel ganged up on, bullied, left out and alone. I'm tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights, having a child or any of those things."
All together now... FREE BRITNEY!