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A day after beloved pop icon Britney Spears spoke publicly about her conservatorship for the first time, she posted an apology to her fans on Instagram.
“I apologize for pretending like I’ve been ok the past two years,” Spears wrote on Thursday, along with an Albert Einstein quote about encouraging children to read fairy tales. “I did it because of my pride and I was embarrassed to share what happened to me … but honestly who doesn’t want to capture their Instagram in a fun light.”
For the past two years, the “Overprotected” singer has reassured her concerned fans that she is fine, despite the increasing worry from the #FreeBritney moment. While the movement began in 2009, it really picked up speed in 2019 when her tone on Instagram seemingly changed, Vanity Fair reported that year. The perceived change led some of her fans to believe that handlers had taken control of her social media. Later, many of those fans believed that Britney was trying to express that she wanted out of her conservatorship through coded language on her Instagram, US Magazine reported in 2021.
Spears posted videos of her dancing, cute cat images and inspiring quotes. Still, many of her most devoted fans were convinced she was speaking through code: by mentioning or wearing colors that they previously told her in the comments to use if she was in trouble. While she has long remained quiet about her conservatorship, Spears is now expressing herself,
“[M]y life seems to look and be pretty amazing … I think that’s what we all strive for !!!!” she wrote in the post. “That was one of my mother’s best traits … no matter how sh--y a day was when I was younger … for the sake of me and my siblings she always pretended like everything was ok. I’m bringing this to peoples attention because I don’t want people to think my life is perfect because IT’S DEFINITELY NOT AT ALL … and if you have read anything about me in the news this week … you obviously really know now it’s not !!!!”
She went on to state that “pretending” has “actually helped” and noted that Instagram has given her “a cool outlet to share my presence … existence … and to simply feel like I matter despite what I was going through and hey it worked.”
She told her fans that she posted the Einstein quote because “I’ve decided to start reading more fairy tales.”
During a probate court hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, Spears did not hold back. She told a judge via video feed that she wants her conservatorship, which she characterized as “abusive,” to end.
Spears, 39, gave harrowing details about her life since the conservatorship was put into place 13 years ago, claiming that she has been forced to perform against her will while ill, pushed into a mental health facility as punishment for not wanting to do a specific dance move, and forced to take lithium. She said she’s forced to work seven-day weeks with no breaks and is not allowed to marry her partner or have another child. She said that her conservators won’t let her remove an intrauterine device from her body.
The conservatorship, largely maintained by her father Jamie Spears, was instituted by a court in 2008 not long after Spears endured what appeared to be a mental health crisis that played out in the tabloids. Under the conservatorship, Jamie Spears plays a key role in the singer's finances, business dealings, and legal matters. Court documents obtained by the New York Times this week show that the pop star has raised questions about the arrangement, and her father's fitness to oversee it, for years.
During the hearing, Spears said she believes her father should be in jail and declared that she'd like to sue her family.
Following this week’s hearing, celebrities and activists alike have rallied to support the pop star.
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