Britney Spears Reflects on Conservatorship in Lengthy Video: 'I Felt Like My Family Threw Me Away'

·9 min read

Britney Spears offered new insight into the painful realities of life under her 13-year conservatorship in a lengthy video shared on social media on Sunday.

The "Hold Me Closer" singer, 40, posted a 22-minute video to YouTube and Twitter that openly reflected on the "trauma" of allegedly being forced to work and spend time in a mental health facility under the thumb of her father, and also accused her mother and sister of enabling the controlling aspects of the conservatorship, which was terminated in November.

"I was scared, broken, [and] I'm sharing this because I want people to know I'm only human," Spears said in the video, which was posted via an unlisted link and later deleted. "I do feel victimized after these experiences and how can I mend this if I don't talk about it?"

While the clip garnered social media support for Spears from fans, it also elicited a response from her mother Lynne Spears, who shared a message to her daughter on Instagram Sunday night alongside a throwback black-and-white photo of the pair.

"Britney, your whole life I have tried my best to support your dreams and wishes!" Lynne wrote. "And also, I have tried my best to help you out of hardships! I have never and will never turn my back on you! Your rejections to the countless times I have flown out and calls make me feel hopeless! I have tried everything. I love you so much, but this talk is for you and me only , eye to eye, in private. ❤️🙏"

Spears said in the clip that Lynne and her sister Jamie Lynn Spears turned a blind eye to the star's wishes to be removed from the treatment center, which frustrated her considering the Free Britney campaign had just started to take off.

"The whole thing that made it really confusing for me is these people are on the street fighting for me, but my sister and my mother aren't doing anything," she said. "To me it was like they secretly, honestly lied to me being the bad one, like I was messed up and they kind of just liked it that way. Otherwise, why weren't they outside my doorstep saying, 'Baby girl, get in the car, let's go'?"

Speaking to PEOPLE in January, Jamie Lynn Spears said of her strained relationship with her sister: "I've only ever tried to be helpful, so any notion that says the contrary is just completely ridiculous."

Here are more of the biggest revelations from Spears' video.

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The Conservatorship's Beginnings

After explaining that she was finally in a place where she felt "a little bit more confident" and was ready to share her experiences, Spears revealed that the conservatorship began shortly after she'd spoken in a British accent to a doctor prescribing her medication.

"Three days later there was a [SWAT] team in my home [and] three helicopters," she said. "They held me down on the [gurney] and again, none of it made sense. Literally the extent of my madness was playing chase with paparazzi, which is still to this day one of the most fun things I ever did about being famous, so I don't know what was so harmful about that."

Spears claimed that the swarms of people at her house, including hundreds of paparazzi, was "premeditated," and "pure abuse," as she did not have any drugs or alcohol in her system at the time.

After spending two weeks in the hospital, the star said she was "completely traumatized out of my mind" — but was still forced to get immediately back to work. Projects that followed included a guest spot on How I Met Your Mother and the album Circus.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Britney Spears arrives at the Sony Pictures' "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Britney Spears arrives at the Sony Pictures' "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Steve Granitz/WireImage Britney Spears

Life Under the Conservatorship

Spears said that her memories of that time in her life mainly consist of her having to "do what I was told," especially during the four and a half years that she hosted a residency in Las Vegas.

"I was told I was fat every day… I never remember feeling so demoralized and they made me feel like nothing. And I went along with it because I was scared and fearful," she said.

Performing night after night in Las Vegas was difficult for the "Piece of Me" singer, who said she struggled watching her dancers "playing and drinking and having fun at night" because, she said, her dad Jamie's rules under the conservatorship prohibited her from doing the same.

Spears said she started to regain a "spark" while recording her 2016 album Glory, as well as a renewed confidence that she believes was the catalyst for finally getting the public to pay attention to her plight.

"I think with confidence, people kind of were like, 'Oh wait what's going on now? She's speaking up a little bit more,'" Spears said. "But it might not be particularly a good thing if I'd been quiet for 15 years. I think with confidence comes enlightenment, which makes you think better, and that's the last thing they wanted me to do… because then who would be in control then?"

Britney Enters a Facility

Spears, who married longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari in June, said that after her Las Vegas show ended, she began rehearsals for what would be a new show. But just four days in, she "said no to a dance move," something she says pushed her father to place her in a facility.

"The next day I was told that I had to be sent away to a facility and that I was supposed to say on my Instagram the reason why was because my dad is sick and I need treatment," she recalled. "I remember my dad calling me on the phone and I was crying and I was like, 'Why are you guys doing this?' And I just remember him saying, 'You have to listen to the doctors, the doctors are going to tell you what to do. I can't help you now.'"

She continued: "And I remember his last words were, 'Now, you don't have to go, but if you don't go, we're going to go to court and there'll be a big trial and you're going to lose. I have way more people on my side than you, you don't even have a lawyer. So don't even think about it.'"

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So Spears agreed to go to the facility. She said that doing so made her heart feel "frozen," and that she was even more distraught to learn that her family members were together at her beach house in Destin, Florida without her.

(A source told PEOPLE in April 2019 that Spears had checked into an "all-encompassing wellness treatment," as her dad's ailing health, including a ruptured colon, had been "so rough for her.")

The star said she "stopped believing in God at that time," as it "didn't make sense" why she had to continue to work a full day, then return to the facility in which she had "no privacy" and was unable to smoke cigarettes.

Spears said the owner of the facility eventually "had to let me go" as the Free Britney campaign gained momentum and she watched on TV as her supporters gave interviews that indicated they had an inkling something was not right with the singer.

The star also reflected on a secret relationship she had, in which she and her unnamed partner discussed leaving the country together. She said her "biggest fear" in doing so was her father's reaction, and that she worried she'd be "lock[ed] up" or "hurt" if she was found.

britney and jamie spears
britney and jamie spears

getty; Alex Berliner/Shutterstock Britney Spears, Jamie Spears

Frustrations with Her Family

During the clip, Spears repeatedly said that one of the most difficult parts of the entire experience was the fact that she felt as though her family did not support her and did not fight for her freedom in ways she believes they could have.

"I couldn't process how my family went along with it for so long, almost a year and a half, and their only response was, 'We didn't know,'" she said. "I'm like, 'I'm on the phone telling you right now. I'm here, please.'"

Spears said she eventually left the facility "by the grace of God," and through the help of a friend was able to secure herself a lawyer.

"To me the thing was, I think, the trauma of all of it and just the whole thing together and going down to how much effort and work and heart I put into what I did when I did work, even down to the details of how many rhinestones are gonna be in my costume," she said. "And I cared so much and they literally killed me. They threw me away. That's what I felt, I felt like my family threw me away."

Spears was "more angry" with her mother Lynne, whom she claimed avoided reporters and "could've gotten me a lawyer in literally two seconds," but didn't. The star said that she made multiple attempts to hire herself a lawyer, but that her phone was tapped, and each time she made contact with a firm, she had her phone taken away.

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"I get nothing out of sharing this. I have offers to do interviews with Oprah and so many people, lots and lots of money, but.. I don't want any of it. For me it's beyond a sit-down proper interview," she said. "I had no contact in that place for so long and my heart would just want to stand up in my family's faces and scream and cry and throw a tantrum and go back in time and do exactly what I wanted to do with those times. It might even spit in their f—ing faces. Why? Because the pain my family gave me, sitting there all day and not being able to use my feet, as they watch their grandchildren run base to base in the family neighborhood, as I'm dead or I don't exist, honestly makes me look up and say, how the f— did they get away with it?"

Jamie Spears denied bugging his daughter's bedroom during her conservatorship. In July, a judge decided that Britney will not have to sit for a deposition in the father-daughter pair's ongoing legal battle. The next hearing in the case is set for Oct. 26.