slammed the legal arrangement that has given her father and others control over her personal finances in explosive and detailed remarks on Wednesday, pleading with a judge
to end it.
“I’ve told the world I’m happy and OK,” Spears said in court in Los Angeles. “I’m traumatized. I’m not happy. I can’t sleep
Since 2008, the pop star has been under conservatorship, a previously little-known legal tool used to protect the finances of someone deemed mentally unfit to handle them. In recent years, public awareness and criticism of the arrangement have grown, with fans
frequently using the hashtag #FreeBritney to ask why a successful professional woman should not be allowed to control the money
Spears spoke for about 20 minutes, at times very quickly, on Wednesday, explaining that she was unaware she could petition the court to end her conservatorship.
This is the first time Spears, 39, has publicly spoken about the situation, despite press reports that she was unhappy with it. Speaking to the court remotely by phone, she railed against her family
and lawyers, painting a picture of herself as a woman imprisoned within her own life. The conservatorship, she said, is "abusive" and prevents her from living a "full life."
“I'm so mad I'm insane,” she exclaimed.
Spears asked Los Angeles Superior Court
Judge Brenda Penny to terminate the conservatorship "without further ado."
“I haven't done anything in the world to deserve this,” she said.
Spears accused her conservators at one point of refusing to take her to a doctor to have a birth control device removed so she could become pregnant.
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told... I can’t get married,” she said, referring to her boyfriend
, Sam Asghari, who had posted a photo of himself wearing a #FreeBritney T-shirt to social media
earlier that day.
“This conservatorship is causing me far more harm than good,” Spears said, adding, “I deserve to live.”
Spears also claimed that she was given lithium against her will and that it was so strong that she "felt drunk" and couldn't hold a conversation "about anything."
According to CNN
, she stated, "They had six different nurses
Spears' estate has been placed in the hands of her father, Jamie Spears
, who serves as joint conservator alongside her attorney, Jodi Montgomery. The singer wants the court to permanently remove her father from the conservatorship, leaving Montgomery in charge. However, she said on Wednesday that even Montgomery was going “too far” in overseeing Spears' life and money.
The extent of Spears' restrictions were revealed this week in The New York Times
, which reported that her father has the final say on even the smallest details, such as whether she can paint her kitchen cabinets. Jamie Spears reportedly referred to his daughter as a "racehorse who has to be handled like one."
produced by the Times, which was released earlier this year, also highlighted the pop star's unusual situation.
Britney Spears' path to conservatorship began with a series of mental health
crises in the mid-2000s, including two involuntary hospitalizations in January 2008, following a difficult custody battle
with ex-husband Kevin Federline, who was granted sole custody by a judge.
Spears has since completed four global tours and a residency in Las Vegas
, where fans purchased 900,000 tickets for nearly 250 performances.
In her remarks on Wednesday, the singer admitted to feeling compelled to perform at times.
Jamie Spears' attorney, Vivienne Thoreen, stated in a statement that her client "is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in such great pain."
“Mr. Spears adores and misses his daughter,” Thoreen stated.
“I wish I could stay on the phone with you forever, because when I get off the phone with you, all of a sudden I hear all of these no’s — no, no, no,” Spears said in court.
“I feel ganged up on, bullied, left out, and alone,” she said, “and I'm tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anyone else, by having a child
, a family — any of those things.”