Music

Traumatised Britney Spears calls 13-year conservatorship 'abusive'

LOS ANGELES : An emotional Britney Spears on Wednesday called the 13-year-long conservatorship that has controlled her life stupid and abusive, saying she felt traumatised and angry and wanted her life back.

In a statement of more than 20 minutes, the 39-year-old US pop star told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny, who is overseeing the arrangement, that she wanted it to end.

"I just want my life back," she said. "I am not here to be anyone's slave. I am traumatised... I am not happy. I cannot sleep."

Spears said her frequent upbeat postings on her Instagram account were lies. "I am so angry. And I am depressed. I cry every day," she added.

Spears delivered her remarks via videolink, her first public statements about the court-approved arrangement that was first put in place in 2008 when she suffered a mental health breakdown.

"I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive," Spears said, her words tumbling out so fast that the judge asked her to slow down.

"My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a key role in punishing - ma'am, they should be in jail."

She said she was forced into a mental health facility that cost her US$60,000 (S$80,670) a month after cancelling her planned Las Vegas shows in early 2019. She has not performed since late 2018.

Spears has never formally petitioned to have the arrangement terminated until now.

Under terms of the conservatorship, she would have to demonstrate that she can take responsibility for her personal and financial affairs.

The last time Spears spoke directly to the judge was in May 2019 but the court was closed to the public and her testimony was sealed. On Wednesday, she stated that she wanted people to hear what she had to say.

The former teen phenomenon said she wanted to get married again and have a baby.

But she said she has a contraceptive device that she wants removed, but is not allowed to go to the doctor "because they do not want me to have any more children".

Spears, who has been dating boyfriend Sam Asghari for five years, has 30 per cent custody of her two children with former husband Kevin Federline.

Outside the courthouse, several dozen fans, many of them dressed in pink and holding Free Britney placards, rallied in support of their idol.

Last year, Spears began the legal process to remove her father Jamie Spears from handling her personal affairs, ranging from her medical care to who visits her secluded villa outside Los Angeles. He is also a joint conservator of her finances.

Her father said in a statement read out by his attorney on Wednesday that he was "sorry to see his daughter suffer and in so much pain".

"Mr Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much."

The singer however, called him "ignorant" and controlling.

"He loved every minute of it, the control he had. He loved it."

Spears complained that she had not been allowed to have her nails or hair done, or had a massage or acupuncture in a year.

"It is embarrassing and demoralising what I have been through," she said. "I feel bullied. I feel left out and alone." - REUTERS

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