Britney Spears spoke in open court for the first time in 13 years on Wednesday, trying to convince a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to end the conservatorship that has controlled her life since 2008.
In a 24-minute address that was sometimes emotional, the 39-year-old Spears told the judge, "I just want my life back."
ABC News reports the conservatorship was established when Spears, then 26, was hospitalized for mental health reasons, following public displays of unpredictable behavior, which were captured on camera by paparazzi who constantly followed her. Through legal guardianship, Jamie Spears, Britney's father, has controlled his daughter's financial affairs since that time.
Last year, Judge Brenda Penny appointed the Bessemer Trust, a financial management firm, as a co-conservator of Spears' estate, but kept her father as a co-conservator against her wishes. Together, they oversee Britney's estimated $60 million portfolio, according to various media reports.
Britney Spears told the judge besides not being able to make her own financial decisions, the conservatorship has made her work against her will. It has also stopped her from getting married and having another child. She argued that she has been blocked from having an intrauterine birth control device removed, and was not allowed to go see a doctor.
This charge by Spears brought a host of responses from celebrities and others who support her effort to end the conservatorship. Two years ago, the hashtag #FreeBrittany went viral after her fans were concerned that she was being held against her will.
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who now runs And Then There Were None, a ministry that helps abortion workers leave the industry, noted how these pro-choice celebrities have been dishonest with their fans, expressing fake outrage that Spears has not been allowed to have another baby.
"The fact that pro-choice people are up in arms about this is so disingenuous," Johnson said. "First, many women are forced or coerced into getting abortions every single day due to pressure from the baby's father, their own family, or their abuser. Second, thousands of women who have abortions are not told that infertility is a possible side effect of abortion if there is a complication, not to mention the long-term side effects of hormonal birth control. Informed consent is practically non-existent in the abortion industry."
"So they are all angry about Britney Spears not being able to get an IUD out, but they say nothing about improper consent and forced abortion?" she added. "It's such fake outrage."
Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier told CBS This Morning on Thursday that since 2008, the singer has put out four albums, has gone on four world tours, had a four-year Las Vegas residency, and has a perfume fragrance that has brought in a staggering amount of money her brother later claimed was worth $100 billion worldwide.
When asked by CBS This Morning anchor Tony Dokoupil what stood out about Spears' allegations, Frazier, who has interviewed the singer numerous times answered, "There were two things."
"She didn't realize she could end or contest the conservatorship," he said. "But also, her medication was used as a sort of punishment. I interviewed Britney in 2006 in New Orleans. She was helping victims of Katrina, taking them shopping. She was a vibrant young woman. Then in December of 2008 at her birthday party, I interviewed her again. In my opinion, she was heavily medicated and that was a red flag to us. This woman was so heavily medicated but was still trotted out in front of the cameras, and I was really, really surprised at that. And now, I'm hearing these statements from Britney, it also confirms what I thought. Once again, I'm not a medical expert, but I'm telling you what it looked like to me when I saw her that night in 2008."