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Controlling Britney Spears Documentary Explores Bombshell New Claims About Her Conservatorship

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Britney Spears life under conservatorship appears to have even more toxic than imagined.

Bombshell new claims about the court-mandated arrangement, partially controlled by the star's father Jamie Spears, are made in a new documentary from the creators of one that had the whole world talking last February—even before the singer's shocking court testimony. The New York Times Presents "Controlling Britney Spears," set to premiere on FX and Hulu on Friday, Sept. 24, features interviews with people with alleged firsthand information about how the legal arrangement has controlled Britney's life for the past 13 years.

Among the insiders is a man identified as a former member of her security team, who talks about how Britney was being monitored. In Controlling Britney Spears, the follow-up to The New York Times Presents "Framing Britney Spears," the man alleges that Edan Yemini, owner of Black Box Security—which worked with the singer, and an agent working with him handed him an audio recording device and a USB drive and asked him to "wipe it."

"Framing Britney Spears'" Most Disturbing Moments

"I had them tell me what was on it," the interviewee said, as seen in clip that aired on Good Morning America. "They seemed very nervous and said that it was extremely sensitive, that nobody can ever know about this, and that's why I need to delete everything on it, so there's no record of it. That raised so many red flags with me and I did not want to be complicit in whatever they were involved in so I kept a copy because I didn't want to delete evidence."

Edan's lawyer said in a statement to GMA, "Black Box have always conducted themselves within professional, ethical and legal bounds and they are particularly proud of their work in keeping Ms. Spears safe for many years."

In addition, a lawyer for Britney's father told GMA that "his actions were done with the knowledge and consent of Britney, her court-appointed attorney, and/or the court." He did not elaborate.

Britney Spears, Jamie Spears
Nicholas Hunt/FilmMagic, VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

The documentary suggests, however, that he had pretty free reign. "When Jamie was appointed Britney's conservator back in 2008, he was given the authority to hire security for Britney 24/7 and no one really knew what they did. They'd be in the background of photos with Britney," documentary co-creator Liz Day said on GMA. "But the level of control and the ways that they monitored and surveilled her, we certainly didn't know, and I don't know that anyone ever knew before."

Liz and documentary co-creator Samantha Stark also obtained access to confidential court documents from the past few years while researching for the new project.

"We saw from 2019 that Britney had been expressing to the court that she wanted the conservatorship to end," Samantha told GMA. "She wanted to know how she can make it end and she really wanted her father not to be in control of her...Those documents really revealed to us that she had been expressing to the court that she wanted out far earlier than anybody knew."

Britney Spears
Matt Baron/Shutterstock

In June, Britney spoke publicly about and against her conservatorship for the first time in a bombshell court testimony. She called the court-mandated arrangement, put in place following a 2007 psychiatric hospitalization, "abusive."

Lawyers for Britney, who was not involved in the making of either documentary, had no immediate comment about Controlling Britney Spears, though the singer has said that watching parts of Framing Britney Spears, focused on her past struggles and the continued #FreeBritney movement to get her conservatorship lifted, left her feeling "embarrassed."

Still, in the months since, Britney has made huge strides in her legal battle. Following her court testimony, she has since hired a new lawyer of her own choosing, who has filed to remove her father as a co-conservator and is trying to expedite the matter, citing the singer's recent engagement to longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari, 27.

Jamie, who has defended his treatment of the singer through his attorney, recently petitioned the court to end the conservatorship entirely. "As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter," his filing stated. "If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance."

The next hearing on the case is set to be held on Sept. 29.

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