Status: 06/24/2021 8:18 a.m.
In 2008 a court ruled that Britney Spears needed a guardian because of mental health problems. The pop singer has been fighting against it for years. At a hearing, she said she felt taken advantage of by family and managers.
Dozens of Britney fans have gathered outside the Los Angeles courthouse. They are anxiously waiting for what pop star Britney Spears says over the phone inside the court.
ARD studio Los Angeles
Audio recordings are actually strictly forbidden, but fans in front of the building can still hear over a small loudspeaker and cheer when Britney speaks up. Comedienne Tess Barker started the podcast “Britney’s Gram” together with Barbara Gray. In this she has been reporting critically on guardianship for four years. Barker was in the courtroom and was shocked by the pop star’s first statement:
She has said that she was being exploited and forced to go to a mental hospital and take lithium. She told of an incident during her performance in Las Vegas. She came down the stage, got a contract from her manager, and was threatened that if she didn’t tour, she would be sued.
Supporters of the #FreeBritney movement gathered outside the court to support their idol.
Control over finances and personal life
The singer’s statements support the image of a woman who has been patronized for years against her will, as fans of the #FreeBritney movement have suspected for a long time. Father James Spears and lawyers are allowed to control their finances – but apparently also aspects of their private life, as Spears testified in court. This is what Barker says, who witnessed the statement live:
The most shocking thing to me was that she wasn’t allowed to marry and have children. She has an IUD and must not allow a doctor to remove it.
Spears’ father is paid for the role of guardian, he is said to receive $ 16,000 a month for it. He is also financially involved in their profits through advertising deals or concerts.
“She should be free”
However, Britney has not appeared since 2020, also in protest against guardianship. Apparently she feels financially exploited by her father. Her net worth is estimated at about $ 50 million.
Many fans have positioned themselves in front of the courtroom, holding up signs that read “Free Britney”. Martin Gomez has a life-size Britney figure with him. Like many on site, he demands that the singer no longer has a guardian:
She should be free to make her own decisions. What all of us deserve that we haven’t had for 13 years. That’s crazy!
Protest with a cardboard cutout in front of the court
There are many theories circulating on the net about how Britney might be in her home, that she is being held there. In any case, Barker now feels vindicated – in her podcast she had denounced that many things in Britney Spears’ life happen against her will.
It’s surreal that we were right. We were declared crazy, as was Britney, but we weren’t the crazy ones!
The court should now decide on the guardianship, the next appointment is planned for July 14th.
“Traumatized, Angry, Sad” – Britney Spears testifies for the first time in court
Katharina Wilhelm, ARD Los Angeles, 6/24/2021 8:33 am