Yesterday, June 23rd, Britney Spears finally spoke to Los Angeles probate judge Brenda Penny, who will decide if and when Spears' 13-year-long conservatorship will come to an end. Spears has remained silent on the issue for years, but yesterday, she was allowed to talk directly to the judge, and the things she claimed were happening behind the scenes are sickening, frightening, and sadly, what #FreeBritney supporters have been predicting all along.
The conversation, during which Spears spoke for over 20 minutes straight, finally gave Spears the chance to speak her truth. The transcript, which Variety published yesterday (you can also listen to the audio here), is sometimes hard to follow. However, the facts of the situation are crystal clear and the public finally gained clarity regarding the treatment Spears has suffered through for over a decade of her life.
She was put on heavy medication after she refused to do her second round of Las Vegas shows.
Spears was reportedly "forced" to go on tour in 2018 following her residency in Las Vegas. And from that tour, Spears was slated to do another set of Las Vegas shows without a break in between. She was threatened with legal action if she declined, so she agreed and began rehearsals. However, after refusing to include a specific dance move in the show, her management contacted her then-therapist, the late Dr. Benson, and claimed she wasn't cooperating nor taking her prescribed medication.
She was ultimately allowed to bow out of the Las Vegas show, but feared retribution. And she wasn't wrong.
"Three days later, after I said no to Vegas, my therapist sat me down in a room and said he had a million phone calls about how I was not cooperating in rehearsals, and I haven't been taking my medication. All this was false," Spears said. "He immediately, the next day, put me on lithium out of nowhere."
She continued, "Lithium is a very, very strong and completely different medication compared to what I was used to. You can go mentally impaired if you take too much...I felt drunk. I couldn't even have a conversation with my mom or dad really about anything. There were six different nurses in my home and they wouldn't let me get in my car to go anywhere for a month."
"Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing, my dad was all for it," Spears said.
She was forced into rehab after failing a forced psych test.
"'I'm sorry, Britney, you have to listen to your doctors,'" Spears said her father Jamie Spears told her. "'They're planning to send you to a small home in Beverly Hills to do a small rehab program that we're going to make up for you. You're going to pay $60,000 a month for this.' I cried on the phone for an hour and he loved every minute of it."
While at the rehab facility, Spears worked seven days a week, had all her possessions taken away, including her credit card, passport, and phone, and was under 24/7 surveillance. "They watched me change every day-naked-morning, noon and night. My body-I had no privacy door for my room."
Spears' Instagram page is, in fact, a facade.
"And that's why I'm telling you this again two years later, after I've lied and told the whole world 'I'm OK and I'm happy.' It's a lie," Spears told the judge. "I thought just maybe if I said that enough maybe I might become happy, because I've been in denial. I've been in shock. I am traumatized. You know, fake it till you make it. But now I'm telling you the truth. I'm not happy. I can't sleep. I'm so angry it's insane. And I'm depressed. I cry every day."
Spears later added, "It's embarrassing and demoralizing what I've been through. And that's the main reason I've never said it openly."
Spears was abused by her former therapist.
Her previous therapist Dr. Benson died in 2019, and Spears told the judge, "to be totally honest with you, when he passed away, I got on my knees and thanked God." She briefly said before the judge asked her to slow down, "Dr. Benson, who illegally, yes 100% abused me by the treatment he gave me..."
However, even now that Dr. Benson is no longer in the picture, Spears said she is still being abused by those who are in control of her. "I have trapped phobias being in small rooms because of the trauma, locking me up for four months in that place. It's not okay for them to send me - sorry, I'm going fast - to that small room like that twice a week with another new therapist that I pay that I never even approved. I don't like it. I don't want to do that. And I haven't done anything wrong to deserve this treatment."
"You have to understand how thin that is for me every morning I get up to know I can't go somewhere unless I meet people I don't know every week in a office identical to the one where the therapist was very abusive to me," she continued. "I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive, and that we can sit here all day and say oh, conservatorships are here to help people. But ma'am, there is a thousand conservatorships that are abusive as well."
She has not been allowed to remove her IUD.
"I want to be able to get married and have a baby," Spears continued. "I was told right now in the conservatorship, I'm not able to get married or have a baby, I have a (IUD) inside of myself right now so I don't get pregnant. I wanted to take the (IUD) out so I could start trying to have another baby. But 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-any more children."
She is fully aware that if she has to be mentally evaluated again, the conservatorship will not end.
Spears recently learned that a judge has the power to overturn a conservatorship without the person at the center needing to undergo a mental health evaluation. This fact was kept from Spears, but she just recently did more research into the legalities. "Ma'am, I didn't know I could petition the conservatorship to end it," she said. "I'm sorry for my ignorance, but I honestly didn't know that."
"The main reason why I'm here is because I want to end the conservatorship without having to be evaluated," she told the judge. "I've done a lot of research, ma'am. And there's a lot of judges who do end conservatorships for people without them having to be evaluated all the time. The only times they don't is if a concerned family member says something's wrong with this person."
She continued, "And considering my family has lived off my conservatorship for 13 years, I won't be surprised if one of them has something to say going forward, and say, "We don't think this should end, we have to help her." Especially if I get my fair turn exposing what they did to me."
If and when her conservatorship ends, Spears plans to sue her family.
Though she firmly believes that her father and the other "managers" involved in her conservatorship should be in jail, her first order of business if and when she gets out of the situation is to sue her family.
"I would honestly like to sue my family, to be totally honest with you," Spears told the judge. "I also would like to be able to share my story with the world, and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them. I want to be able to be heard on what they did to me by making me keep this in for so long, it is not good for my heart. I've been so angry and I cry every day. It concerns me, I'm told I'm not allowed to expose the people who did this to me."
She went on, "The laws need to change. What state allows people to own another person's money and account and threaten them and saying, 'You can't spend your money unless you do what we want you to do.' And I'm paying them."
She's scared that this phone call was her last chance at freedom and happiness.
"I deserve to have a life. I've worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two- to three-year break and just, you know, do what I want to do," Spears said. "I feel open and I'm okay to talk to you today about it. But I wish I could stay with you on the phone forever, because when I get off the phone with you, all of a sudden all I hear all these nos-no, no, no. And then all of a sudden I get I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone."
"I'm tired of feeling alone," she continued. "I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does, by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so."
Judge Penny did not make a decision to give Spears any hint as to what her decision will be regarding the end of the conservatorship. Judge Penny did, however, say, she's "certainly sensitive to everything that you said and how you're feeling and I know that it took a lot of courage for you to say everything you have to say today." Spears' next step, the judge said, per NPR, is to file a legal petition so that the judge can make a legal ruling.