Britney Spears has finally spoken openly about her father’s control over her life, body and finances in a desperate bid to free herself from his legal authority.
The US pop star, 39, spoke via phone at a hearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday (US time) to end the controversial legal agreement that has granted her father, Jamie Spears, and others control over her life since 2008.
“He loved the control he had over me, 100,000 per cent,” she told the court of her father’s dominance.
In a 24-minute statement, Spears unleashed before probate judge Brenda Penny, saying she wants to sue her family and that she was abused by a therapist.
“Ma’am, I’m not here to be anyone’s slave,” she told Judge Penny.
Until now, Spears has rarely attended legal proceedings and has not spoken publicly about her fight for freedom.
Here are the biggest claims revealed in the hearing.
1. Allegedly drugged against her will
In her address, Spears alleged she was prescribed heavy medication that made her feel “drunk” and unable to talk properly.
While rehearsing for a show that she didn’t want to do in Las Vegas, Spears said her therapist suddenly changed his usual prescription and gave her lithium instead.
Lithium is a medication used to treat certain mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, and can sometimes help reduce manic episodes and suicidal feelings.
“Lithium is a very, very strong and completely different medication compared to what I was used to,” Spears told the court, according to the full transcript published by Variety.
“You can go mentally impaired if you take too much, if you stay on it longer than five months.
“But (my therapist) put me on that and I felt drunk. I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mum or dad really about anything. I told him I was scared.”
2. Banned from having more children
Spears also testified she is not allowed to remove a contraceptive device from her body that stops her from getting pregnant.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs), placed in the uterus, prevent pregnancy for five years or more.
They can be copper or hormonal, and only trained medical professionals are allowed to insert them.
It’s extremely dangerous to remove one yourself, which means that once it’s in, there’s nothing you can do about it.
“I’m not able to get married or have a baby,” Spears told the court.
“I have a [IUD] inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant.
“I wanted to take the [IUD] out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have children – any more children. So basically, this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good.”
3. Felt she couldn’t speak out publicly
Spears told the court she was too embarrassed by the conservatorship to speak openly about it.
“That’s why I didn’t want to say any of this to anybody, to the public, because I thought people would make fun of me or laugh at me and say, ‘She’s lying, she’s got everything, she’s Britney Spears’,” she said.
“I’ve lied and told the whole world ‘I’m OK and I’m happy’. It’s a lie. I thought 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 traumatised.”
4. Forced to perform and work when she didn’t want to
Spears said she wasn’t given a choice about whether she performed the 2018 Piece of Me Tour – her first international concert tour in seven years.
“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,” she told the court.
“[My manager] 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.”
The singer said she was forced to work seven days a week, no days off – a schedule she compared to “sex trafficking”.
“If I didn’t do any of my meetings and work from 8am to 6 at night, which is 10 hours a day, seven days a week, no days off, I wouldn’t be able to see my kids or my boyfriend,” she said.
Spears has two sons, Sean Preston, 15, and Jayden James, 14, with ex-husband Kevin Federline, an American rapper and DJ.
Family violence support services:
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Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491
Lifeline (24-hour crisis line) 131 114