Singer Britney Spears appeared remotely in court today to plead her case to have the longstanding conservatorship over her lifted.
Here's what happened today:
- Fans rally support: Spears fans and activists gathered in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles as part of a “#FreeBritney” rally. Multiple other, similar rallies were scheduled for today across the country and internationally. Those attending hoped to bring an end to Britney Spears’ conservatorship case, which leaves Spears' father, Jamie Spears, in control of her $60 million estate.
- A life of trauma: "I've told the world I'm happy and OK," Spears said in court about the arrangement that has been in place for nearly 13 years. "I'm traumatized. I'm not happy, I can't sleep."
- On her family: Spears requested to address Judge Brenda Penny to speak out about the arrangement. The singer attended the hearing virtually by phone. Spears spoke more than 20 minutes as she read from a letter. Spears said, "A lot has happened since two years ago...the last time I was in court," she began. "I haven't been back to court in a long time because I don't think I was heard on any level when I came to court the last time." Spears went on to say that she felt she had been forced to go on tour in 2018 and perform in Las Vegas during her residency. In response to her remarks, Vivian Thoreen, an attorney for Jamie Spears told CNN, "Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much."
- On medication: Spears said on Wednesday that she was put on lithium against her will. "I felt drunk. I couldn't even stick up for myself. I couldn't even have a conversation with my mom or dad about anything. I told them I was scared and they had six different nurses come to my home to monitor me while I was on this medication that I didn't want to be on to begin with." Lithium is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, which often causes episodes of depression and mania, a feeling of uncontrolled irritability or excitement. It can also be used to treat depression. In court today, Spears did not mention any possible medical condition.
- On starting a family: Spears also said that she wants to start a family with her boyfriend, Sam Asghari. "I was told right now in the conservatorship, I'm not able to get married or have a baby," Spears said. "I have an I[U]D 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."
- Pleading with the court: Spears pleaded with a judge to take her concerns seriously at a court hearing regarding her court-ordered conservatorship. "The last time I spoke to you...made me feel like I was dead, like I didn't matter, like nothing had been done to me, like you thought I was lying," Spears said. "I want to be heard. I'm telling you this again so that maybe you understand the depth and degree and the damage...I want and deserve changes going forward."
- What happens next: Following her remarks, the court took a recess and then stopped the public audio feed of the proceedings, citing live tweets of the hearing. A previously scheduled court hearing is set for July 14.