Britney Spears Says She Was Made to “Feel Like Nothing” Under 13-Year Conservatorship
Britney Spears finally addressed everything she went through under her 13-year conservatorship directly with her fans.
The pop star posted and then deleted a 22-minute video about the experience, containing just audio and no visuals, to YouTube and Twitter on Sunday in which she detailed the years of “pure abuse” and emotional turmoil. She explained that she wanted to post the video, “honestly just to open myself to others and try to shed a light on if anyone out there has ever gone through hardships—just to put a light on it so that person doesn’t feel alone because I really know what that feels like.” She added that from the very beginning her conservatorship made no sense to her and escalated rapidly, alleging that the entire situation was a “premeditated” plan by her family to put her under their control. “A woman introduced the idea to my dad, and my mom actually helped him follow through and made it all happen,” Spears said. “It was all basically set up. There [were] no drugs in my system, no alcohol, nothing—it was pure abuse and I haven’t even really shared even half of it.” She said that the thing she remembers most from those early days was her father, Jamie Spears, and just how much “he loved to control everything I did. I remember the first day he said, ‘I’m Britney Spears, and I’m calling the shots,’ and I’m like, ‘Alrighty then.’”
The “Circus” singer also opened up about her rigorous work schedule, which included releasing four studio albums and performing in a Las Vegas residency between December 2013 and December 2017. “All I do remember is I had to do what I was told,” she said. “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.” Looking back, she also recognizes that some of her performances from that time were “horrible” because, “I was just like a robot, honestly. I just didn’t give a fuck anymore because I couldn’t go where I wanted to go, I couldn’t have the nannies that I wanted to have, I couldn’t have cash, and it was just demoralizing. So I was kind of in this conspiracy of people claiming and treating you like a superstar, but yet they treated me like nothing.”
Spears noted that it wasn’t until the #FreeBritney movement started picking up steam that some of the restrictions of her conservatorship started to lift. She explained that the owner of the facility where she was staying at the time “had to let me go because the #FreeBritney campaign came out with all the pink T-shirts. I saw it on a lot of the morning shows and people [spreading it] by word of mouth and just by my fans knowing by heart that something was up.”
However, the pop star concluded, it was her family’s willing cooperation in her conservatorship that was “the main thing that hurt.” She admitted that she even “kind of stopped believing in God” at the time she was in the facility as she couldn’t understand how her family and everyone around her were able to “get away with it.” Spears continued, “The whole thing that made it really confusing for me was these people are on the street fighting for me, but my sister and my mother aren’t doing anything. It was like they secretly, honestly liked me being the bad one, like I was messed up. Otherwise why weren’t they outside my doorstep saying, ‘Baby girl, get in the car, let’s go?’…I couldn’t process how my family went along with it for so long. And their only response was, ‘We didn’t know.’” She added, “They literally killed me. They threw me away. That’s what I felt like: My family threw me away.”
In an apparent response to the recording, Spears’s mother, Lynne Spears, shared a happy photo of the two of them together on Instagram, writing, “Britney, your whole life I have tried my best to support your dreams and wishes! 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.”
Vanity Fair has reached out to Jamie Spears, who didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.