Britney Spears reportedly broke down in court as a judge ruled she could hire her own lawyer to contest the “abusive” conservatorship she lives under.
The singer appeared before Judge Brenda Penny on Wednesday asking for a new attorney who she wants to file a petition to free her from her father’s control.
The move came after her court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham agreed to step down.
Last month Britney, 39, appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court by video link to contest the legal conservatorship she has been under since 2008.
When it was imposed, a judge declared the singer unfit to hire her own counsel, leading to court-appointed Mr Ingham representing her ever since.
In addressing the court, Britney raised questions about whether the lawyer had done enough to educate and support her.
In a particularly shocking claim, she said she did not know that it was possible for her to petition to terminate the conservatorship.
The court-ordered arrangement, typically reserved for the very ill, old or infirm, came after a lengthy public breakdown that led to multiple hospitalisations.
Mum-of-two Britney revealed how it controlled every aspect of her life, including her birth control, medication, who she could marry and even what colour her kitchen cabinet could be.
Her father, Jamie, currently has control of the conservatorship which the Toxic singer wants to end.
Britney, who has two children with former ex-husband Kevin Federline, said her legal arrangement saw her have IUD birth control fitted which she wants to be taken out.
“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” she told the judge earlier this month.
“I was told right now in the conservatorship I am not able to get married or have a baby.”
Britney is in a relationship with Iranian actor and model Sam Asghari, 27.
She said she is also banned from seeing her friends who live minutes away from her in LA and that her boyfriend cannot drive her in his car.
“All I want is to own my money and for this to end and for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his (expletive) car,” Spears said.
She claimed her conservatorship is “abusive”, comparing her treatment to those who have been sex-trafficked.
“The only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking … The people who did this to me should not be able to walk away so easily … I’m not here to be anyone’s slave,” she said. Spears told the judge she is constantly told “no” by those who enforce it and that she feels “ganged up on” and “bullied”.
“I feel left out and alone. And I’m tired of feeling alone,” she added.
“This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good,” she said. “I deserve to have a life, I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two to three-year break.”
She questioned why it was that she can perform at the highest level in pop yet not make fundamental decisions about her life.
“I’m great at what I do,” she said. “I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work. The laws need to change. I don’t feel like I can live a full life.”
The people who control her life, she said, “need to be reminded they actually work for me”.
The singer told the court how her management once threatened to sue her three years ago if she didn’t perform.
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Afterwards, her father, 69, filed a petition to investigate the claims his daughter raised.
In his filing, he and his team requested the court to “investigate the veracity of the allegations and claims made by Ms Spears,” which he has vehemently denied.
He states he only has his daughter’s best interests at heart.
However, Britney told the court she wants her father charged with conservatorship abuse.
“Ma’am, that’s not abuse, that’s just f***ing cruelty,” she told Judge Brenda Penny through tears.
“Excuse my language but it’s the truth.”
After taking a short moment to compose herself, Britney demanded her father be removed from the conservatorship and be charged with “conservatorship abuse”.
Her father also filed a response on the same day as the petition, expressing concerns over Jodi Montgomery, who was appointed as Britney Spears’ temporary conservator of the person in September 2019.