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Britney candidly shares the painful reality of life under conservatorship

With the conservatorship trial approaching on October 26, Britney has shared, in a now-deleted 22-minute video, new insights into the painful reality of what it was like to live under the constant rule of her father.

Living life as a 26-year-old conservatee is no small thing, especially with two small children, and the constant pressure of celebrity life where there is a camera lying in wait to capture every misstep you make. 

After a mass wave of support for the singer, which will be forever known in history books as the #FreeBritney movement, the singer has opened up and candidly reflected on the trauma she underwent over the past 13 years. In particular, the time her father forced her to spend time in a mental health facility.

free britney
Credit: Reuters

“I was scared, broken, [and] I’m sharing this because I want people to know I’m only human,” she said. I do feel victimised after these experiences and how can I mend this if I don’t talk about it?”

Spears revealed in the video that the conservatorship began shortly after she’d spoken in a British accent to a doctor prescribing her medication: “Three days later there was a [SWAT] team in my home [and] three helicopters. They held me down on the [gurney] and again, none of it made sense.

She continued, “Literally, the extent of my madness was playing chase with paparazzi, which is still to this day one of the most fun things I ever did about being famous, so I don’t know what was so harmful about that.”

Britney talked about family members, her mother, and her sister Jamie in particular, turning a blind eye to her plea to be removed from the treatment center: The whole thing that made it really confusing for me is these people are on the street fighting for me, but my sister and my mother aren’t doing anything.”

The songstress added, “To me it was like they secretly, honestly lied to me being the bad one, like I was messed up and they kind of just liked it that way. Otherwise, why weren’t they outside my doorstep saying, ‘Baby girl, get in the car, let’s go’?”

On Sunday night, Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, responded to her daughter’s open post by sharing an image of the two of them on Instagram: “Britney, your whole life I have tried my best to support your dreams and wishes!” Lynne captioned it. “And also, I have tried my best to help you out of hardships! I have never and will never turn my back on you! Your rejections to the countless times I have flown out and calls make me feel hopeless! I have tried everything. I love you so much, but this talk is for you and me only, eye to eye, in private. ❤️🙏”

After spending two weeks in the hospital, Spears said she was completely traumatised,  but was pressured to get back to work. She revealed that her life mainly consisted of having to “do what I was told,” especially during her four-year residency in Las Vegas: “I was told I was fat every day… I never remember feeling so demoralised and they made me feel like nothing. And I went along with it because I was scared and fearful.”

 

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The Vegas residency was extremely difficult for the singer, who says she struggled to watch her dancers “playing and drinking and having fun at night,” as her dad’s rules under the conservatorship prohibited her from joining in.

Spears said she started to regain her confidence in 2016 while recording her album, Glory. Public recognition for her plight also helped her speak up about what she was going through.

britney spears #freebritney
Credit: Reuters

“I think with confidence, people kind of were like, ‘Oh wait what’s going on now? She’s speaking up a little bit more’,” Spears shared. “But it might not be particularly a good thing if I’d been quiet for 15 years. I think with confidence comes enlightenment, which makes you think better, and that’s the last thing they wanted me to do… because then who would be in control then?”

After her Las Vegas show ended, Britney began working on a new show. Just four days into rehearsals, she “said no to a dance move,” something she says pushed her father to place her in a facility once again. She recalled at the time: “And I remember his last words were, ‘Now, you don’t have to go, but if you don’t go, we’re going to go to court and there’ll be a big trial and you’re going to lose. I have way more people on my side than you, you don’t even have a lawyer. So don’t even think about it’.”

Britney Spears
Credits: Jamie McCarthy / GI

Spears said she “stopped believing in God at that time,” as nothing made sense. The singer continued to work a full day, then returned to the facility in which she had “no privacy” and was unable to smoke cigarettes.

The #FreeBritney campaign had gained a lot of momentum at this time, and with the help of a friend, Britney secured a lawyer and was eventually let go from the facility. But her heart remained broken, and the biggest hurt she revealed was that her family did not support her or fight for her freedom as she believes they could have: “I couldn’t process how my family went along with it for so long, almost a year and a half, and their only response was, we didn’t know. I’m like, I’m on the phone telling you right now. I’m here, please.” 

“To me the thing was, I think, the trauma of all of it and just the whole thing together and going down to how much effort and work and heart I put into what I did when I did work, even down to the details of how many rhinestones are gonna be in my costume,” she said. “And I cared so much and they literally killed me. They threw me away. That’s what I felt, I felt like my family threw me away.”

Spears is most angry with her mother Lynne, whom she claims “could’ve gotten me a lawyer in literally two seconds,” but didn’t. Spears said that she had made many attempts to hire a lawyer, but that each time she tried, due to her phone being tapped, she had her phone taken away. “I get nothing out of sharing this. I have offers to do interviews with Oprah and so many people, lots and lots of money, but…I don’t want any of it. For me, it’s beyond a proper sit-down interview.” 

“I had no contact in that place for so long and my heart would just want to stand up in my family’s faces and scream and cry and throw a tantrum and go back in time and do exactly what I wanted to do with those times. It might even spit in their f—ing faces. Why? Because the pain my family gave me, sitting there all day and not being able to use my feet, as they watch their grandchildren run base to base in the family neighbourhood, as I’m dead or I don’t exist, honestly makes me look up and say, how the f— did they get away with it?”

In July, a judge decided that Britney will not have to sit for a deposition in the father-daughter pair’s ongoing legal battle. The next hearing in the case is set for October 26.