LOS ANGELES — As fans gathered outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, the conservatorship has got to go,” for the first time in the history of her 13-year-old conservatorship, Britney Spears has finally been allowed to testify on her own behalf, reading from a letter for nearly 20 minutes before Judge Brenda Penny.
Her testimony seemed to confirm what fans have been guessing for years: that Britney would like the right to bodily autonomy, which she was not had since her father became both her legal guardian for both her financial and personal life, which Spears say became one and the same, implying that the conservatorship made her into a product rather than a person:
“‘I have an IUD in my body right now that won’t let me have a baby and my conservators won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out,’ Spears said during the hearing, according to InStyle. “I wanna be able to get married and have a baby.” She went on to explain that under the current arrangement, she is not allowed to see her friends, have her boyfriend drive her, and to grow her family and get married.”
She also says she was strongarmed into her most recent stay at a mental health facility and was administered lithium, which she objected to taking, according to CNN:
“It’s a strong drug. You can go mentally impaired if you stay on it longer than five months. I felt drunk, I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mom or dad about anything. They had me with six different nurses.”
She also echoed the sentiments of many within the Free Britney movement, likening her conservatorship to criminal forms of imprisonment and forced labor:
“The control he had to hurt his own daughter, he loved it. I worked seven days a week ... it was like sex trafficking. I didn’t have a credit card, cash or my passport.”
As the New York Times reported on Tuesday, judges in charge of hearing arguments against Spears’s conservatorship have a long history of ignoring Jamie Spears’s alleged history of substance and violence, even having a restraining order placed against him by Britney Spears’s ex-husband Kevin Federline which barred him from contact with their sons. But while Jamie’s history is ignored, two highly publicized psychiatric holds placed on Britney over a decade ago get dragged out over and over as evidence she shouldn’t be allowed to have a say in whether or not she is allowed autonomy or even a say in who is allowed to make choices about her body. According to the Times, one judge demanded that Spears establish “a healthy relationship with a therapist and returned one year’s worth of clean drug tests” if she wanted courts to even consider an end to her conservatorship. Finally allowed to speak on her own behalf, Spears pointed out this brutal double standard:
“The last time I spoke to you, it made me feel like I was dead, like I didn’t matter. like you thought I was lying. I’m not lying, so that maybe you understand the depth and degree, I deserve changes,” Spears said.
The Times reports that while his daughter is legally obligated to pay for both her lawyers and his during these proceedings, Jamie Spears has sold the family home and is currently living in an RV parked in a warehouse full of Britney Spears memorabilia in her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana.
In response to Britney’s testimony, Jamie Spears’s attorney, Vivian Thoreen, told CNN, “Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much.”
Jezebel is currently reporting from the scene and will publish updates from the Free Britney protests Thursday.