Jun 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Britney Spears asks judge to end conservatorship, saying: "I just want my life back"

Britney Spears

Britney Spears. Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Britney Spears asked a judge on Wednesday to end the conservatorship that has overseen her whereabouts and finances for the last 13 years, calling it "abusive," per AP.

Catch up quick: The singer has lived under a two-pronged conservatorship in California — covering her person and estate — since 2008 when she experienced a mental health episode. Her father, James Spears, then petitioned the court for authority over his daughter.

  • Confidential court records obtained by The New York Times revealed that Britney Spears raised concerns about her father’s role as early as 2014.
  • James Spears and his lawyers have said that his role remains necessary because the performer's money is vulnerable to "fraud and manipulation," AP reports.
  • "Under the law, the burden would be on [Britney] Spears to prove she is competent before the case could end," per AP.

The big picture: In her first address in open court since the start of her conservatorship, Spears said: “I haven’t been back to court in a long time because I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court last time.”

  • “It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through, and that’s the main reason I didn’t say it openly. I didn’t think anybody would believe me.”
  • “This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good," adding, “I deserve to have a life.”
  • “I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized,” Spears said.
  • “I want to end this conservatorship without being evaluated,” she noted, per AP.
  • “I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work. The laws need to change," the singer added, per the New York Times.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Sara Fischer: The #FreeBritney movement went viral following the New York Times documentary, but it was building momentum for years before, thanks to super fans taking to the internet.

  • Britney's Instagram presence has been the subject of much speculation, with fans suggesting she was sending secret messages about her conservatorship, though there has been no proof of this.
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