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Pop icon Britney Spears gave explosive testimony during a long awaited court hearing on Wednesday, slamming her family and management over the conservatorship her father Jamie Spears currently controls. It's the first time she's spoken openly in court.
"The conservatorship should end,” Spears said before a judge during a probate court hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon. “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive."
Spears, who will turn 40 in December, attended the hearing virtually. She was nearly denied access to the virtual feed entirely due to "technical difficulties,” Fox News reports. The much anticipated live feed from the court also crashed, leaving fans despondent and relying on those in the courtroom to live tweet despite the judge’s order against doing so. Before the hearing was over, the court shut down audio proceedings when it found out someone was recording the hearing.
While for a moment it wasn't certain that she'd be able to listen and speak, Spears gained access to the feed and she did not hold back.
“They’ve done a pretty good job of exploiting my life, so I think this should be an open hearing,” Spears stated.
“I am not happy, I can’t sleep. I’m so angry, it’s insane. And I’m depressed,” Spears said. “My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship, including my management […] they should be in jail.”
Spears says she has lied about her well-being "for years."
For many years, at least publicly, Spears complied with the conservatorship and told fans on Instagram that she was doing okay.
"I want changes and I want changes going forward," Spears told the court. She was asked by the court reporter several times to slow down as she talked candidly about her situation.
She told the court that she does not want to be evaluated to determine if she has regained her mental capacity. The conservatorship was granted following rumors of Britney's drug use, and allegations she was being taken advantage of by friends and struggling with her mental health. However, newly obtained documents show that her Spears has accused her father of being unfit to manage her affairs since at least 2014. In addition to being accused of taking advantage of his daughter for profit, he's also alleged to have been physically and emotionally abusive. Lynne Spears, his ex-wife had recalled years of “verbal abuse, abandonment” and “erratic behavior" by Jamie in her 2008 memoir, “Through The Storm,” which also divulged personal secrets about her daughter Britney's past.
“I just want my life back,” Spears said in court. "All I want is to own my money and for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car. I want to sue my family."
She continued, saying she “wants to be able to get married and have a baby” but cannot because she says she has an IUD implanted and alleges that her conservators have not allowed her to take it out.
“It’s not fair that they are telling lies about me openly. Even my family,” Spears said.
Later, she stated, “I don’t even drink alcohol. I should drink alcohol for what they’ve done to my heart.”
Spears told the court that it is her “wish and dream for all of this to end.”
“The people who did this, shouldn’t be able to walk away,” she said. Spears said her family should be reminded, “they work for me.”
Jamie Spears’ attorney Vivian Thoreen told CNN earlier this year that her client “would love nothing more than to see Britney not need a conservatorship. Whether or not there is an end to the conservatorship really depends on Britney. If she wants to end her conservatorship, she can file a petition to end it."
Britney Spears told the judge she did not know that she “could petition to terminate the conservatorship” and added that “my attorney said I can’t let the public know anything about what has been done to me.”
She also expressed disgust that she hasn’t been allowed to choose her own lawyer. Britney’s attorney Samuel D. Ingham III told the judge Wednesday that Spears has never sought to terminate her conservatorship. He said that if the court wants to replace him with private counsel he will follow their lead. An attorney for Lynn Spears said she wanted Britney to choose her own attorney.
During the hearing, Jamie’s attorney said he is "sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain" and that “Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much.”
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