Britney Spears asks judge to free her from conservatorship

'I deserve to have a life,' star tells Los Angeles judge

Britney Spears asked a Los Angeles judge on Wednesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled her life and money since 2008.

The request at the hearing formed part of her first words in open court addressing the 13-year conservatorship.

Spears called the conservatorship abusive and condemned her father and the others who controlled it.

“I want to end this conservatorship without being evaluated,” she said in a long, emotional and sometimes profane speech.

“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good. I deserve to have a life.”

Spears said she wanted to marry her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, and have a baby but the conservatorship will not allow her to.

She told the court she was being forced to take birth control against her will.

"I was told I can't get married. I have an IUD inside me but this so-called team won't let me go to the doctor to remove it because they don't want me to have any more children."

In a written speech that lasted more than 20 minutes, Spears revealed many details that have been carefully guarded for years by the court.

When a lawyer representing her co-conservator said the hearing and transcript should be kept sealed if private medical information was to be revealed, Spears shouted her down to say her words should be public.

“They’ve interfered with my life so I feel like it should be an open court hearing and they should listen and hear what I have to say,” she said.

Spears said she was forced to take lithium against her will after rehearsals broke down for a planned Las Vegas residency in 2019, which was later cancelled.

She said all she had done was disagree with one part of the show’s choreography.

Britney Spears supporter Carlos Morales of Los Angeles wears a Free Britney mask outside a court hearing concerning the pop singer's conservatorship at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

“I’m not here to be anyone’s slave,” she said. “I can say no to a dance move.”

About 100 fans from the #FreeBritney movement gathered outside the courthouse before the hearing holding signs that read "Free Britney now", and "Get out of Britney's life".

Jennifer Preston, 33, crossed the country from Richmond, Virginia, to be outside the hearing because, she said: “I’m a mum and I’m a fan.”

“We’re here to hear what she has to say,” Ms Preston said. “She’s been treated like a child for the last 13 years.

"She hasn’t had control of her life or her finances, even though she’s clearly capable enough to do those things.”

Fellow musicians Mariah Carey and Brandy tweeted support for Spears shortly after her statement.

Her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, made a request for the pop star to address the court at an April hearing.

Mr Ingham said Spears has not officially asked him to file a petition to end the conservatorship.

The singer has spoken in court on the conservatorship before, but the courtroom was always cleared and transcripts sealed.

The last time she was known to have addressed the judge was in May 2019.

Spears has since requested greater transparency from the court.

The judge thanked her for her remarks, which she called courageous, but made no further comment.

FILE - Jamie Spears, father of singer Britney Spears, leaves the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Oct. 24, 2012, in Los Angeles. When Britney Spears speaks to a judge at her own request on Wednesday, June. 23, 2021, she'll do it 13 years into a court-enforced conservatorship that has exercised vast control of her life and money by her father. Spears has said the conservatorship saved her from collapse and exploitation. But she has sought more control over how it operates, and says she wants her father out. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

Vivian Thoreen, a lawyer for Spears’ father, James Spears, gave a brief statement on his behalf after conferring with him during a recess.

“He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain,” Ms Thoreen said. “Mr Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much.”

The conservatorship was put in place after Spears suffered a mental health crisis in 2008.

She has credited it with saving her from financial ruin and keeping her a top-flight pop star.

Her father and his lawyers have stressed that she and her fortune, which court records put at more than $50 million, are vulnerable to fraud and manipulation.

Under the law, the burden is on Spears to prove she is competent to be released and free to make her own choices.

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