PIERS MORGAN: Britney Spears is a legal slave who can’t control her own money, career or even her womb and MUST be freed from this torment to finally live the life she wants
‘I’m a slave for U,’ sang Britney Spears in 2001.
Ironically, it was an anthem to freedom.
After reading the lyrics for the first time, Britney said it was ‘about me just wanting to go out and forget who I am and dance and have a good time. That’s kinda where I am right now. I love working, but at the same time I love having a good time.’
Billboard said the song ‘blazed a new path for pop stars of the future, letting the world know that how an artist chooses to express themselves is entirely up to them, whether or not you like that.’
Today, the song title carries a very different meaning for the deeply troubled star because she’s become a modern-day slave of the very worst freedom-denying kind.
Jamie Spears, 68, has always insisted he’s taken the tough actions he felt Britney (pictured together) needed to help her get through the devastating mental breakdown in 2007
‘I deserve to have a life,’ anguished Britney told a Los Angeles courtroom yesterday in harrowing testimony. ‘I want to be able to get married and have a baby.’
Incredibly, despite being 39 years old, and having a long-term boyfriend, she’s not allowed to do either of those things due to a draconian 13-year ‘conservatorship’ ordered in 2008 which handed legal power over her life, personal decision-making and $60 million fortune to her father Jamie.
In fact, in the most explosive part of her anguished audio-link evidence, she claimed she is forced to wear an IUD contraceptive device in her uterus to stop her becoming pregnant and has been refused permission to remove it.
It almost defies belief that any woman in America, the world’s great superpower and supposedly ‘land of the free’, should be subjected to such appalling treatment.
The bombshells kept coming.
Britney said she’s not allowed to see her friends, or have her boyfriend (Sam Asghari, a 27-year-old Iranian personal trainer and actor, who she met when he starred in her 2016 video for the song Slumber Party) drive her in a car – or spend her own money how she wants.
She alleged she’s been made to work against her will and forced to take strong drugs like lithium which made her feel ‘drunk.’
Protesters gather outside a court in Los Angeles yesterday ahead of the Britney hearing
In a stinging attack on her father, she accused him of not caring about her when she was put in a $60,000-a-month treatment facility against her will.
‘I cried on the phone to my dad for an hour and he loved every minute of it,’ she said. ‘My dad and everyone else who has played a key role in my conservatorship should be in jail. They have way too much control. He made me feel like death, with the depth of what he did to me.’
Of course, there are two sides to this awful saga, and I find it hard to believe that any father would love every minute of his daughter being so distraught.
Jamie Spears, 68, has always insisted he’s taken the tough actions he felt Britney needed to help her get through the devastating mental breakdown in 2007 that saw her shave her hair off in front of the paparazzi.
And following yesterday’s court drama, his legal team released a statement saying:
‘He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain. Mr Spears loves his daughter very much.’
But Britney seems a very different woman now, a much older, more mature one with a higher degree of self-awareness.
She begged Judge Brenda Penny: I want this conservatorship to end, I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.’
And I defy anyone to listen to her full 25-minute speech and not come to the same conclusion.
Her former boyfriend Justin Timberlake said ‘we should all be supporting Britney at this time’
We’ve been told for years via endless cruel briefings to the media that Britney’s so mentally unhinged that’s she totally incapable of thinking, speaking or acting for herself.
That wasn’t the woman I heard yesterday.
It was stunning to hear the brutal reality from Britney’s own mouth, in her own powerful, eloquent, often rapid-fire words.
It was like she couldn’t wait to finally have her say, and who could blame her for the obvious frustration and anger?
The last time she appeared in front of Judge Penny, in 2019, Britney’s testimony was sealed.
This time, it was made public so there could be no doubt or self-interested ‘spin’ about what she was asserting.
‘I have a lot to say,’ she began, ‘so bear with me. I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court last time.’
That’s the understatement of the year.
There’s no doubt that Britney’s still a troubled woman, but it seems apparent that many of her current demons are now being driven by the way she’s been treated as a direct result of her conservatorship that she says has ‘enslaved’ her.
A sketch in the Los Angeles County Courthouse yesterday, with Judge Brenda Penny presiding
‘I’m not here to be anyone’s slave,’ she declared.
Nor should she be.
Yet, she is.
There’s no other way to describe her living conditions.
The dictionary definition of slavery is this: ‘A relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his or her life, liberty and fortune.’
That’s inarguably where Britney Spears now finds herself.
And it’s shameful.
‘You may choose to look the other way,’ said the great British slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce, ‘but you can never again say that you did not know.’
Britney has now laid bare, clearly and shockingly, the horrifyingly draconian prison-like conditions under which she has to endure her life in this conservatorship.
We, the tens of millions of us who bought her records and revelled in her celebrity – and yes, as a former newspaper editor, I now look back and shudder at the way the media frenziedly fuelled the circus around this obviously unstable woman as she spiralled out of control – can look the other way, but we can never again say we didn’t know what’s happening to her.
‘I want changes going forward,’ she said at the end of her extraordinarily moving speech, ‘and I deserve changes. It’s my wish and dream for all of this to end. In California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking, making anyone work against their will, taking all their possessions away credit card, cash, phone, passport. I just want my life back. It’s been 13 years and it’s enough. I’m done.’
‘Hit me baby one more time,’ Britney sang in her first and most famous chart-topping song
Then, in a truly heart-breaking moment, Britney told Judge Penny: ‘I wish I could stay on the phone to you forever. Because when I go off this phone the ‘nos’ will start again. No no no.’
This torture must stop.
‘Hit me baby one more time,’ Britney sang in her first and most famous chart-topping song.
Little did she know as a fresh-faced exuberant teenager living many kids’ pop star dream that life would keep hitting her again and again and again.
Her dream very quickly became a nightmare, and the full scale of that ongoing nightmare became apparent yesterday.
As her former boyfriend Justin Timberlake tweeted: ‘After what we saw today, we should all be supporting Britney at this time. Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was…what’s happening to her is just not right. No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body. No one should ever be held against their will…or ever have to ask permission to access everything they’ve worked so hard for. We hope the courts, and her family make this right and let her live however she wants to live.’
I urge Judge Penny to say yes to this poor tormented woman’s cries for freedom, end her conservatorship and release her from her living hell. #FreeBritneySpears
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