Pop star Britney Spears' thoughts on her court-ordered conservatorship were shared publicly for the first time this week. Previous court hearings on the matter have been closed.
On Wednesday, Spears spoke for about 20 minutes from prepared notes. She called into the proceedings from another location. The remarks were not recorded; what follows is a transcript that has been lightly edited for clarity by CNN and other media outlets.
Britney Spears: Okay, well, I just got a new phone, so bear with me. OK, so I have this one, I have a lot to say. So, um, bear with me. Basically, a lot has happened in two years. I wrote all this down. Last time I was in court, I will be honest with you, 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.
I brought four sheets of paper in my hands and wrote at length, what I had been through the last four months before I came there. The people who did that to me, should not be able to walk away so easily. I'll recap. I was on a tour in 2018, I was forced to do. My management said if I don't do this tour...
Judge Brenda Penny: Ms. Spears, I hate to interrupt you but my court reporter is taking down what you're saying, so you have to speak a little more slowly.
Spears: The people who did this to me should not get away and to be able to walk away so easily. Recap: I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do. My management said if I don't do this tour, I will have to find an attorney and, by contract, their own management could sue me, if I didn't follow through with a tour. He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off the stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary. It was a conservatorship. I couldn't even get my own attorney, so, out of fear, I went ahead and did the tour.
When I came out that for a new show in Las Vegas was supposed to take place. I started rehearsing early, but it was hard because I've been doing Vegas for four years and I needed a break in between. But no, I was told this is the timeline and this is how it's going to go. I rehearsed four to four and a half days a week. Half of the time in the studio and a half of the other time in a Westlake studio. I was basically directing most of the show with my whereabouts where I preferred to rehearse and actually did most of the choreography, meaning I taught my dancers my new choreography myself. I take everything I do very seriously. There's tons of videos with me at rehearsals. I wasn't good, I was great.
It's funny to hear my manager['s] side of the story. They all said I wasn't participating in rehearsals, and I never agreed to take my medication, which with my medication is only taken in the mornings — never at rehearsal. They don't even see me. So, why were they even claiming that?
When I said no to one dance move into rehearsals, it was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere, and I don't want to live this way. After that, my management, my dancers and my assistant of the new people that were supposed to do the new show all went into a room, shut the door and didn't come out for at least 45 minutes. Now, I'm not here to be anyone's slave. I can say no to a dance move. I was told by my at-the-time therapist, Dr. Benson. who died, that manager called him and then, that moment, and told him I wasn't cooperating or following the guidelines and rehearsals. And he also said I wasn't taking my medication, which is so dumb because I've had the same lady, every morning for the past eight years, give me my same medication, and I'm nowhere near these group of people. It made no sense at all.
There was a week period where they, they were nice to me... and I told them I don't want to do that. There was, they were nice to me, they said, If I don't want to do the new Vegas show, I don't have to, because I was getting really nervous. I said I can wait. It was like, they told me I could wait. It was like lifting literally 200 pounds off of me when he, when they said I don't have to do the show anymore, because it was, I was really, really hard on myself, and it was too much.
I couldn't take it anymore. So, I remember telling my assistant, 'but you know what, I feel weird if I say no. I feel like they're gonna come back and be nice to me or punish me or something.' 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 at rehearsals and I haven't been taking my medication. All this was the problem.
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 [unintelligible]. 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. I really couldn't even stand up for myself. I couldn't even have a conversation with my mom or dad really about anything. I told him I was scared and my doctor had me on -- six different nurses with this new medication come to my home, stay with me to monitor me on this new medication, which I never wanted to be on to begin with.
There were six different nurse, nurses in my home, so they wouldn't let me get my car to go anywhere for a month. Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing, my dad was all for it. Anything that happened to me had to be approved by my dad, and my dad only he acted like he didn't know that I was told I had to be tested over the Christmas holidays before they sent me away when my kids went home to Louisiana. He was the one who approved all of it. My whole family did nothing. Over the two week holiday, a lady came into my home for four hours a day, sat me down and did a psych test on me. It took forever. But I was, I was told I had to. Then. after that. I was... I had to then after I got a phone call from my dad day after I did the psych test with this lady, basically saying I failed the test or whatever and whatever.
'I'm sorry, Brittany, you have to listen to your doctors they are planning to send you to a small home in Beverly Hills to do a small rehab program that we're going to make up for you. You're going to pay $60,000 a month for this.' I cried on the phone for an hour, and he loved every minute of it. The control he had over someone as powerful as me as he loved to control... to hurt his own daughter. and 100,000% 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. Making anyone work, work against their will, taking all their possessions away — credit cards, cash, phone, passport card— and placing them in a home where they, they work with people who live with them.
They offer, they all would be the nurses, the 24/7 security. There was one chef that came there and cooked for me daily on the... during the weekdays. They watched me change every day naked, morning, noon and night. My body — I had no privacy door for my room. I gave eight gallons of blood a week. If I didn't do any of my meetings and work from 8 to 6 at night, which is 10 hours a day, seven days a week, no days off, I wouldn't be able to see my kids or my boyfriend.
I never had a say in my schedule. They always told me how to do this, and ma'am, I will tell you, sitting in a chair 10 hours a day, seven days a week, it ain't fun. Especially when you can't walk out the front door, 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. I thought I just... maybe I said that enough. maybe I might become happy, because I've been in denial. I've been in shock. I am traumatized, you know, fake it 'til 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, and the reason I'm telling you this is because I don't think how the state of California can have all this written in the court documents from the time I showed up and do absolutely nothing, just hire with my money, another person to keep, I keep my word.
Ma'am, my dad and anyone involved in the conservatorship and my management who played two roles and punishing me when I said, 'no.' Ma'am, they should be in jail. Their cool tactics, working for Miley Cyrus as she smokes joints on stage at the VMAs. Nothing has ever been done to this generation for doing wrong things, but my precious body has worked for my dad for the past f***ing 13 years trying to be so good and pretty. So perfect because he works me so hard when I do everything I'm told. And the state of California, my father, ignorant father to take his own daughter, who only has a role with me if I work with him, they get back the whole course and allow him to do that to me? That's giving these people I've worked for way too much control.
They also threaten me instead. If I don't go, then I have to go to court, and it will be more embarrassing for me if the judge publicly makes scope at the evidence we pass. You have to go. I was advised for my image, I need to go ahead and just go and get it over with. They said that to me. I don't, I don't even drink alcohol. I should drink alcohol, considering what they put my heart through.
Also, the Bridges facility they sent me to, none of the kids thought that I was doing this program for four months, so the last two months I went to a Bridges facility, none of the kids there do the program. They never showed up for any of them. You didn't have to do anything if you didn't want to. How come they always made me go? How come I was always threatened by my dad and anybody that persisted. I don't do this, what they tell me to, enslave me to do, they're gonna punish me?
The last time I spoke to you by just keeping the conservatorship going and also keeping my dad 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 or something. I'm telling you again, because I'm not lying. I want to feel heard, and I'm telling you this again so maybe you can understand the depth and the degree and the damage... I deserve changes going forward.
I was told I have to sit down and be evaluated... hold on it. OK, I want to end on that... I'm sorry for my ignorance, but I honestly didn't know that. But honestly, I don't think I owe anyone to be evaluated. I've done more than enough. I don't feel like I should even be in a room with anyone to offend me by trying to question my capacity of intelligence, whether I need to be in this stupid conservatorship or not.
I've done more than enough. I don't owe these people, anything. It's embarrassing, and it's demoralizing, what I've been through, and that's the main reason. I've never said it openly. And mainly I didn't want to say it openly because I honestly don't think anyone would believe me. To be honest with you, the Paris Hilton story, on what they did at that school? I didn't believe any of it. I'm sorry I'm an outsider, and I'll be honest, I didn't believe it. And maybe I'm wrong, and that's why I didn't want to say in this. People would make fun of me or laugh at me and say she's lying, she's got everything, she's Britney Spears. I'm not lying. I just want my life back, and it's been 13 years, and it's enough.
It's been a long time since I've owned my money, and it's my wish, my dream for all of this to end without being tested again. It makes no sense whatsoever for the state of California to sit back and literally watch me with their own two eyes make a living for so many people and take so many people, trucks and buses on the road with me and be told I'm not good enough. But I'm great at what I do. And I do not need people to control what I do, and it's enough, it makes no sense at all.
Going forward, I'm not willing to meet or see anyone. I've met with enough people against my will. I'm done. All I wanted...for this to end and for my boyfriend to drive me and share my story with a world 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 it in for so long. It's not good for my heart, as I've been so angry and I cry every day. It concerns me to be told I'm exposed to people who did this to me. For my sanity, I need you, Judge, to approve me to do an interview where I can be heard on what they did to me. And actually, I have right to use my voice and take after myself.
My attorney says I can't. It's not good. I can't let the public know anything they did to me and by not doing a thing... It's not okay. Actually, I don't want to interview. I'd much rather just have an open call for the (unintelligible) to hear, which I didn't know today we're doing because they do, instead of having an interview. Honestly, I need that to get it off my heart... the anger and all that, that it's not fair.
They're telling me lies about me and talking about the situation and making you feel so stupid, and I can't say one thing. And my own people say I can't fit in two years. I want to record a call to action, which I didn't know that we were doing this. And to the public knows what they did to me.
I know my lawyers warned me to be very careful before I speak up. Because I'm being overworked in that facility, that rehab place, the rehab place will see me. He told me, I should keep it to myself. I was actually... I had grown with a personal relationship with them. My lawyer, I've been talking to him like three times a week now — we've kind of built a relationship — but I haven't really had the opportunity by my own self to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself. And I would like to be able to do that.
I would like to also... the main reason was the conservatorship without having to be evaluated. I've done a lot of research, and there's a lot of judges who are in conservatorship for people without them having to be evaluated all the time. The only time they don't is that the conservator's family member says something's wrong with in person and considered otherwise. And considering my family has adopted my conservatorship for 13 years, I won't be surprised if one of them has something to say, go forward and say, 'we don't think this should be asked to help her.' Especially if I get my fair serve and trying to get something like they did to me.
Also, I want to speak to you about at the moment my obligations, which I personally don't think at the very moment I owe anybody anything. I have three meetings a week I have to attend no matter what. People I don't know. I'm talking to you today because I feel like Jodi is starting to kind of take it too far with me. They have me going to therapy twice a week and a psychiatrist.
I shouldn't be told I have to be available three times a week to meet people I don't know. I'm talking to you today because I feel, again, that's really my life. I shouldn't be told I have to work every session with my doctor and then the therapy person was forced to do and legally my life, I shouldn't be told I have to be available three times a week to people I don't know. I've never in the past had to see a therapist more than once a week. It takes so much out of me to talk to this man I don't know.
Number one. I'm scared of people. I don't trust people and the clever setup of being in Westlake, one of the most exposed places in Westlake, which today, yesterday paparazzi showed me coming out of the place, literally crying. It's embarrassing and it's demoralizing. I deserve privacy when I go. I deserve privacy when I go and have therapy, either at my home like I've done for eight years — they've always come to my home — or with Dr. Benson, the guy, the man that died, I went to a place similar to what I went through in Westlake, which was very exposed and really bad.
Okay, so where was I? It's, it was identical to Dr. Benson, the one who died legally, yes, 100% abused me by the treatment he gave me. And to be totally honest with you.."
*The judge interrupts at this point, asking Spears to slow down so the court reporter can keep up.
Spears: ..is identical to Dr. Benson who died. The one who illegally, yes, 100% abused me by the treatment he gave me. And to be totally honest with you, when he passed away, I got on my knees and thanked God. In other words, it was pushing it with me again. I have trapped phobias being in small rooms because the trauma lock me up for four months in that place. It's not okay for them to send me to that small room like that.
Twice a week with another new therapist, I pay that I never even approved. I don't like it. I don't want to do that. And I haven't done it to deserve this treatment. It's not okay to force me to do anything I don't want to do. By law, and this whole team, honestly, I should be able to sue them for threatening me and saying, if I don't go into these meetings twice a week, we can't let you go to Maui on your vacation. You have to do what you're told for this program and then you will be able to go.
And it was very clever to send me to one of the most exposed places in Westlake and knowing I have the hot topic of the conservatorship that over five paparazzis are going to show up and get me crying coming out of that place. I want to make sure that they do this at my home so I would have privacy. I deserve privacy.
The whole conservatorship from the beginning... Once you see someone, whoever it is in the conservatorship, making money, making them money and myself money and working. That whole, that whole statement right there, the conservatorship should end. There should be... I shouldn't be on a conservatorship. If I can work and provide money and work for myself. It makes no sense. The laws need to change. What state allows people to own another person's money and accounts and threaten them saying 'you can't see your money unless you do what we want you to do,' and I'm paying them, and I was since I was 17 years old.
You have to understand how thin that is for me every morning to get up to know I can't go on somewhere unless I meet people I don't know every week in office, identical to the one where the therapist was very abusive to me. I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. And they'll say 'Oh, conservatorship is here to help people.' But then there's 1,000 conservatorships that are abusive as well.
I don't feel like I can live a full life. I don't owe them. I don't owe them to go see a man I don't know and share my problems. I don't even believe in therapy. I always think you take it to God. I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated. In the meantime, I want this therapist once a week. He can either come to my home,.. No I just want [him] to come to my home. I'm not willing to go to Westlake and be embarrassed by all these paparazzi, vicious, scummy paparazzi, laughing at my face and taking my pictures. They sent me out by sending them to the most exposed places, and I told them I didn't want to go there because I knew paparazzi would show up there.
They only gave me two options for therapists, and I'm not sure how you make the decisions, ma'am but this is the only chance for me to talk to you for a while. I need your help, so if you can just kind of let me know where your head is, I don't really honestly know what to say, but my requests are just to end the conservatorship without being evaluated.
I want a petition basically to end the conservatorship, but I want it to be a petition to end up... I don't want to be evaluated to be sat in a room with people for hours a day like they did me before, and they made it even worse for me after that happened. So, I just.. I'm honestly new at this, and I'm doing research on all these things. I do know common sense, and the method that things can end. For people that has ended without them being evaluated, so I just want you to take that in consideration. I've also done research.
It also took a year during COVID to get me any self care methods. During COVID, she said there were no services available. She's lying, ma'am. My mom went to the spa twice in Louisiana during COVID. For a year, I didn't have my nails done, no hairstyling and no massages, no acupuncture, nothing for a year. I saw the maids in my home each week with their nails done, a different each time.
She made me feel like my dad does — very similar behavior to my dad's — but just a different dynamic. The team wants me to work and stay home, instead of having longer vacations. There, they use, they are used to me sort of doing a weekly routine for them. And I'm over it. I don't feel like I owe them anything at this point. They need to be reminded, they actually work for me.
Also I'm supposed to be able to have a friend that I used to do AA meetings with. I did AA for two years to have like, you know, I did three meetings a week, you know. I met a bunch of women there, and I'm not able to see my friends that live eight minutes away from me, which I find extremely strange. I feel like they're making me feel like I live in a rehab program. This is my home.
I'd like for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car, and I want to meet with a therapist once a week, not twice a week, and I want him to come to my home, because I actually know I can take a little therapy (laughing). I think that's...and I would like to progressively move forward, and I want to have the real deal. I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now on the conservatorship. I'm not able to get married or have a baby I have a ID [IUD] inside of myself right now so I don't get pregnant. I wanted to take the I[U]D 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 any children, any more children.
Basically, this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good. I deserve to have a life. 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. But I do feel lik, it's a crutch here, and I feel open and I'm okay to talk to you here today about it, but I wish I could stay with you on the phone forever because when I get off the phone, all of a sudden, I hear all these no's. 'No, no, no,' and then, all of a sudden, I feel ganged up on, and I feel bullied, and I feel left out and alone, and I'm tired of feeling alone.
I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so.
And that's all I wanted to say to you, and thank you so much for letting me speak to you today.