Speaking her truth. After years of silence on the matter, Britney Spears finally spoke out about her conservatorship during a court hearing on Wednesday, June 23, explaining why her father, Jamie Spears, should not be in charge of her estate.
The pop star, 39, did not appear in person but called in to discuss her legal situation with the court. Early on, she objected to the hearing being closed to the public, telling the court, “They’ve done a good job at exploiting my life. [This] should be an open court hearing and they should listen and hear what I have to say.”
She added that she should be able to “handpick” her own legal team. “The main reason why I’m here is because I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated,” Britney added.
The performer was placed under a conservatorship in February 2008 after a series of personal struggles, including her 2007 divorce from Kevin Federline. Since then, she has been unable to make major financial decisions without the approval of her father. Jodi Montgomery became part of the Louisiana native’s conservatorship team in September 2019, after Jamie, 68, underwent a life-threatening surgery for colon issues.
In August 2020, Britney requested to have her father permanently removed as one of her conservators in favor of having Montgomery become her sole care manager. In court documents obtained by Us Weekly at the time, the “Womanizer” singer did not request to end the conservatorship, but did note that she was “strongly opposed” to have Jamie continue in his role.
Three months later, Britney’s lawyer, Samuel Ingham, claimed that she told him she was “afraid” of her father. “She also stated that she will not perform as long as her father is in charge of her career,” he added in a November 2020 court hearing. “We are really at a crossroads.”
Earlier this year, Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, filed an objection to $890,000 in fees reported by Jamie’s team of attorneys at the law firm Holland & Knight. The Heart to Heart coauthor, 66, who divorced Jamie in 2002, claimed that the firm’s services were not “performed in good faith for the benefit” of Britney.
Jamie responded to Lynne’s claims with his own court filing, in which he said his ex-wife had “no knowledge” of what was best for their daughter. “Despite having zero involvement in her daughter’s conservatorship until very recently, Lynne Spears is asserting claims as if she were a party directly involved in the litigation (which she is not),” the documents read, adding that her accusations “threatened to tarnish [Jamie’s] reputation as a loving, caring father.”
Public interest in the conservatorship reached a new peak in February, when The New York Times Presents released an episode called “Framing Britney Spears.” The documentary explored the events leading up to the imposition of the conservatorship as well as the #FreeBritney movement, whose members want the Crossroads star to be released from the conservatorship entirely.
Shortly after the film premiered, Britney told her Instagram followers that she had only watched part of it. “From what I did see of it I was embarrassed by the light they put me in,” she wrote via Instagram in March. “I cried for two weeks and well … I still cry sometimes.”
In April, a source told Us that the whole situation had turned into a “nightmare” for the “Lucky” songstress, who was worried about the documentary’s repercussions for her sons Preston, 15, and Jayden, 14.
“She’s embarrassed by the documentary mainly because her kids are at the age where they can access it and watch what their mom has gone through,” the insider explained. “It’s turned into a nightmare for her because she can’t imagine what her kids are going to think now, and it’s certainly triggered some emotions from her past. She’s a major pop star, but she’s still a human being who is super sensitive and, sadly, is really affected by the public’s opinion about her.”
Scroll down to see more of what she said in court.
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez