Whether you listened to Britney Spears’ words via audio or read the official transcript of her testimony in court on Wednesday, it’s easy to grasp a sense of the trauma she’s been through. The #FreeBritney movement has been warning us for years that something wasn’t right about her conservatorship and the documentary, Framing Britney Spears, took that a step further — but it’s much, much worse than we could have ever imagined.
A conservatorship, that began in 2008 as a way for the pop star to get back on track in her personal and professional life while she tended to her mental health, has essentially become a prison for her 13 years later. From being forced to go on tour in 2018 (and being threatened with a lawsuit from manager Larry Rudolph if she backed out) to changing her medication against her will is just too heartbreaking to even believe this could happen in modern times. “He [her therapist] took me off my normal meds I’ve been on for five years,” she said to the court, via Variety. “He put me on that and I felt drunk. I really couldn’t even take up for myself.” She claims to have been monitored by “six different nurses” who wouldn’t let her “go anywhere for a month.”
It’s also the policing of her body when it comes to reproductive choices for her and boyfriend Sam Asghari. They want to get married and start a family, but father Jamie Spears is making sure that won’t happen. “I want to be able to get married and have a baby. 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,” Britney explained. “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.” If the “Toxic” singer can helm 248 headlining performances that generated over $137 million, she should be able to make major life choices about her body.
The saddest part about all of this is that Britney hasn’t felt heard in over a decade — by her family, by the court and by the media. It took a hashtag and a grassroots movement to get the ball rolling and help her find her power and courage to fight back. With Jamie making approximately $16,000 a month off his daughter, there is no incentive for him to set her free, but Britney said it best, “I deserve to have a life.”
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