In recent years, the #FreeBritney movement has spread the message that Britney Spears wanted to get out of her conservatorship and that she was dropping clues to suggest as much in the captions on her Instagram posts. While it's still unclear whether the details in Spears' posts ever meant what speculators thought they did, the world finally received confirmation from Spears herself that she wants out of the conservatorship she's been held under since 2008.
ICYMI, in a statement she provided via audio livestream on Wednesday, Spears shared details about her 13-year conservatorship and how it's negatively impacted her mental health. She told the judge "I want to end this conservatorship without being evaluated." (You can read the full transcript of her statement on People.)
Last night, Spears spoke out for the first time since the hearing, posting a photo to her Instagram. In the caption, she apologized to her fans for pretending that everything was okay on her social media posts. "I'm bringing this to peoples' attention because I don't want people to think my life is perfect because IT'S DEFINITELY NOT AT ALL …" she wrote in the caption. "and if you have read anything about me in the news this week 📰 … you obviously really know now it's not !!!! I apologize for pretending like I've been ok the past two years … I did it because of my pride and I was embarrassed to share what happened to me … but honestly who doesn't want to capture their Instagram in a fun light 💡🤷🏼♀️ !!!!"
If the legality of Spears' situation is still a bit confusing, know that a conservatorship is essentially a legal arrangement where a person or persons is given control to manage the affairs of someone who can't make their own decisions, as deemed by the court. The reason that Spears' conservatorship arrangement has made headlines isn't just because of her celebrity status. Conservatorships are usually considered a "last resort for people who cannot take care of their basic needs, such as those with significant disabilities or older people with dementia," reports The New York Times, but as the #FreeBritney movement has pointed out, Spears has been so high-functioning that she's been performing while under the agreement.
During her hearing this week, Spears began her speech by sharing that she'd gone on a concert tour in 2018 that she was "forced to do" by her management, under threat of a lawsuit. Then she went immediately into rehearsing for a Las Vegas show planned for after the tour, she said. The Las Vegas show didn't end up happening because she told her management she didn't want to do it, she explained. (Related: Why We Need to Stop Speculating About Other People's Mental Health, According to Therapists)
"Three days later, after I said no to Vegas, my therapist sat me down in a room and said he had a million phone calls about how I was not cooperating in rehearsals, and I haven't been taking my medication," Spears recounted, according to the transcript published by People. "All this was false. He immediately, the next day, put me on lithium out of nowhere. He took me off my normal meds I've been on for five years. And lithium is a very, very strong and completely different medication compared to what I was used to. You can go mentally impaired if you take too much; if you stay on it longer than five months. But he put me on that, and I felt drunk."
The following year, Spears was also sent to a rehab program in Beverly Hills that she didn't want to go to, she shared, saying that her father "loved" making her go. "The control he had over someone as powerful as me - he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%," she said. "He loved it. I packed my bags and went to that place. I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking." While in the program, she spent 10 hours a day working, seven days a week, she said.
"And that's why I'm telling you this again two years later after I've lied and told the whole world "I'm OK and I'm happy." It's a lie," said Spears in court. "I thought maybe if I said that enough. Because I've been in denial. I've been in shock. I am traumatized. You know, fake it till you make it. But now I'm telling you the truth, OK? I'm not happy. I can't sleep. I'm so angry it's insane. And I'm depressed. I cry every day." (Related: Britney Spears Checks Into "All-Encompassing Wellness" Facility Amid Father's Health Battle)
In a particularly disturbing part of her statement, Spears said that she currently has an IUD and that her conservatorship has forced her to keep it in against her will. "I was told right now in the conservatorship, I'm not able to get married or have a baby, I have a (IUD) inside of myself right now so I don't get pregnant," she said. "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." (Related: What You Know About IUDs May Be All Wrong)
Before wrapping up, Spears made a final plea to the judge: "I deserve to have a life, she said. "I've worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three year break and just, you know, do what I want to do."
For the record, this isn't the first time that Spears spoke out against her conservatorship. Spears also spoke out in 2016, according to sealed court records recently obtained by The New York Times. "She articulated she feels the conservatorship has become an oppressive and controlling tool against her," the record reads.
Since Spears' statement in court, she's received supportive messages from fans and fellow celebrities. and her fans. She's shared details about her conservatorship with the public. While speculating about a person's - celebrity or otherwise - mental health can be harmful, the world has now heard Spears' side of the story in her own words. And she may share even more, as she also said she's hoping to make a statement to the press in the future. She would like "to be able to share my story with the world," she explained, "and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them. I want to be able to be heard on what they did to me by making me keep this in for so long, is not good for my heart."