NEWS & ANALYSIS

‘I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK’: Britney Spears Unravels Conservatorship Trauma in Rare Court Appearance


In an extremely rare and emotional court appearance, Britney Spears unraveled 13 years of trauma, begging the judge to end her father’s legal control over her life. 

“I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized,” Spears said in a 23-minute speech that was played to the courtroom. “I just want my life back.” 

This is the first time Spears has spoken out about the traumas brought forth by the conservatorship granted to her father, James Spears, in 2008 when concerns about her mental health and potential substance abuse reached an all-time high. 

Her father’s concerns led him to petition the court for legal authority over his daughter. 

Spears called for a termination of the conservatorship without her “having to be evaluated.” 

“I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work. The laws need to change,” she added. “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. I don’t feel like I can live a full life.” 

Confidential court records recently obtained by the New York Times reveal that, while her lawyer requested in April that she be allowed to directly address the judge, Spears has raised issues with the conservatorship since as early as 2014. 

“It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through, and that’s the main reason I didn’t say it openly,” Spears said. “I didn’t think anybody would believe me.” 

Spears had no idea that she had the option to petition the conservatorship’s termination. 

“I’m sorry for my ignorance,” she said, “but I didn’t know that.” 

Indeed, Spears’ father currently oversees her nearly $60 million fortune, alongside a professional wealth management firm she requested; a licensed professional conservator took over her personal care on an ongoing temporary basis in 2019, according to the New York Times. 

Spears called her father “the one who approved all of it,” and recalled being punished by him and her management team. 

“They should be in jail,” she said. 

Spears described the horrors of her conservatorship, including such a tight leash that she isn’t able to visit friends who live “eight minutes away.” Spears said she had even been prevented from going to the doctor to remove her IUD birth control: “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.” 

“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” she added. “I was told right now in the conservatorship I am not able to get married and have a baby.” 

“All I want is to own my money, for this to end, and my boyfriend to drive me in his car,” she added.