Britney Spears says she was banned from ‘self-care’ by her mother Lynne for an entire year in the testimony at her conservatorship court case.
The singer, 39, spoke in court on Wednesday to plead with a Los Angeles judge to free her from a court-ordered conservatorship that has given her father Jamie control over her life and $60m fortune for the last 13 years.
Among many heartbreaking details in the statement, she said that her mother told her no outlets were open for styling, despite Britney seeing her mother and her maids come to her home with fresh nails and hair.
She said: ‘It also took a year, during COVID, to get me any self-care methods. [My mom] said there were no services available. She’s lying, ma’am… For a year, I didn’t have my nails done — no hairstyling and no massages, no acupuncture.’
Hitting out: Britney Spears says she was banned from ‘self-care’ by her mother Lynne for an entire year in the testimony at her conservatorship court case (Britney and Lynne, pictured in 1999)
The groundbreaking case saw Britney plead in a passionate 25-minute appeal to Judge Brenda Penny to be emancipated from her father’s grasps.
Britney measured that her mother was as bad as her dad just with ‘different dynamics’, before she went on to reveal the self-care ban.
Speaking about the deception, she said: ‘It also took a year, during COVID, to get me any self-care methods. She said there were no services available…
‘She’s lying, ma’am. My mom went to the spot twice in Louisiana during COVID. For a year, I didn’t have nails done — no hairstyling and no massages, no acupuncture…
Tough: The singer, 39, spoke in court on Wednesday to plead with a Los Angeles judge to free her from a court-ordered conservatorship that has given her father Jamie control over her life and $60m fortune for the last 13 years (Britney pictured at home earlier this year)
‘Nothing for a year. I saw the maids in my home each week with their nails done different each time. She made me feel like my dad does. Very similar, her behavior and my dad, but just a different dynamic.’
She also said to the Judge: ‘I want this conservatorship to end – I truly believe that this conservatorship is abusive. I want to be able to get married to my boyfriend and have a baby but the conservatorship told me I can’t do that.’
Britney explained that her contraception is controlled by her conservators: ‘I have an IUD (intrauterine device) inside me to prevent me from having a baby.
Heartache: The groundbreaking case saw Britney plead in a passionate 25-minute appeal to Judge Brenda Penny to be emancipated from her father’s grasps (pictured in 2012)
A court sketch from inside the Los Angeles County Courthouse, with Judge Brenda Penny presiding
What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a legal concept whereby a probate court appoints a person to manage an incapacitated person or minor’s financial and personal affairs.
It is often a relative.
The terminology and details vary state-by-state, but the general principals are all similar.
The conservator’s duties include overseeing finances, medical care and living arrangements.
In Britney’s case, the conservators also oversee visitation arrangements with her two teenage sons, who are under the full custody of her ex-husband, Kevin Federline.
It is most frequently used for someone who is severely mentally incapacitated, or suffering from dementia.
Yet in the 13 years of Britney’s conservatorship, she has released four albums – two of them going platinum; appeared as a judge on both The X Factor and American Idol; and had a four-year residency in Las Vegas that reportedly grossed close to $138 million.
The specific details of Britney’s case have not been revealed.
Unless a judge says otherwise, they still retain rights to make certain decisions, according to the California handbook.
They can control salaries they earn, spend an allowance, retain legal representation, vote in elections, get married, draft their own wills, make medical decisions for themselves and ask a judge to terminate conservatorships or replace their guardians.
‘All conservatees have the right to be treated with understanding and respect and to have their wishes considered. They have all basic human rights, as well, and the right to be well cared for by you,’ the California handbook says.
Britney says that she has not had these rights. It is unclear whether this is a violation of her case, or as agreed.
There are two types of conservators: a conservator of the person, who looks after meals, housekeeping, transport, housing and recreation, and a conservator of the estate who manages finances and protects assets.
Sometimes one person can play both roles.
The conservator of the estate must file periodic activities reports by the first year after their appointment and every two years following, until the relationship is terminated.
The estate managers have to disclose asset values, gains and losses, and show receipts for all expenditures of conservatorship funds. They are also prohibited from borrowing money from the conservatee or lending out their cash.
‘I want to go to a doctor and take it out so I can have a baby but they (the conservatorship) told me no. I feel ganged up on and bullied and alone.’
The status hearing did not hear any petitions, meaning that a decision was not asked for. Judge Penny said that she will set a hearing as soon as possible, so that Britney can make her petition.
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.
Details of her mental health have never been disclosed.
She began her statement with: ‘I have a lot to say, so bear with me. I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court last time.’
Speaking about her prior music and tour commitments, Spears said she ‘is not here to be anyone’s slave.’
Speaking rapidly by audiolink with LA Superior Court – where dozens of fans and supporters gathered outside chanting ‘Free Britney’ and waving placards saying, ‘We Love You Britney’ – Spears launched an extraordinary attack on her father for his actions as her co-conservator.
Her highly-recognizable voice was still girlish, but on Wednesday is was strong, emotional and so rapid-fire that it was tough sometimes to understand her words.
At times she was tripping over her words, as though she could not wait to let out the obvious frustration and anger she feels over the conservatorship that has ‘enslaved’ her for 13 years.
Her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, a 27-year-old Iranian personal trainer and actor, who she met when he starred in her 2016 video for the song Slumber Party, posted a photo to Instagram shortly before the hearing.
It showed with him in a t-shirt reading: ‘Free Britney’. He has been outspoken against her father, calling him ‘a d***’.
‘I want changes. I want changes going forward, and I deserve changes,’ she said, at the end of a moving speech to the court.
‘It’s my wish and dream for all of this to end.’
She said: ‘In California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking, making anyone work against their will, taking all their possessions away credit card, cash, phone, passport.
‘The reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t think the state of California can have all this written in the court documents from the time I showed up and do absolutely nothing.’
When a doctor put her on medications, including lithium – she she said made her feel ‘drunk’. ‘My family didn’t do a thing about it. My dad was all for it,’ she said.
When she was put in a $60,000-a-month treatment facility against her will, ‘I cried on the phone to my dad for an hour and he loved every minute of it,’ she said.
She added: ‘My dad and everyone else who has played a key role in my conservatorship should be in jail. They have way too much control. I don’t drink alcohol but I should, considering what they put my heart through.’
Way back when: Britney and Lynne are pictured in 2000
Supporters of Britney Spears gathered outside the Stanley Mosk courthouse in Los Angeles on Wednesday as the 39-year-old singer spoke at a hearing about her conservatorship