It was only 23 minutes. That’s what prompted Britney Spears to describe the horror she’s lived through for 13 years. The pop star burst into 1999 with an album of picaresque naivety in pastel shades that took her to the top of the genre. And last Wednesday was the end of innocence. His story before a judge revealed the most intimate secrets of a celebrity who has lived under siege by the cameras of the paparazzi. No photographic lens could capture the dimension of the drama that the 39-year-old singer has suffered since 2008 under a forced guardianship that falls into the hands of her father, Jamie Spears, a trust and a manager staff, Jodi Montgomery. When Britney finished her statement, there were no tearless eyes outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in the heart of Los Angeles.

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“Honestly, everything he said had me in shock”Confesses Junior Olivas, one of the 120 people who came to the courtroom on Wednesday to hear the testimony coming from loudspeakers. “I found out that she had an IUD to prevent her from getting pregnant and that her guardians won’t let her see a doctor to have it removed,” says Olivas, who considers herself an activist for the cause of Spears’ release from the custody imposed by a court 13 years ago. It was the singer herself who requested to appear before the judge to tell about her situation. “I’d like to stay with you on the phone forever because as soon as I cut, all of a sudden all I’ll hear is ‘no, no, no.’ They will organize against me and I will feel harassed and abandoned. And I’m sick of feeling lonely, ”Spears said by phone.

“This case is unheard of,” says attorney Luis Carrillo. “The vast majority of people who are in a conservatorship have dementia or advanced age,” considers the expert. In February 2008, a California judge awarded Spears’ father and at his request control of the singer’s finances and personal life after the pop star was admitted to the hospital twice for psychiatric tests. and for substance abuse. The relationship between the artist and her 68-year-old father has been very problematic. Since 2014, the singer has fought to remove from custody her father, who has two divorces and has had problems with alcohol and allegations of abuse. In August 2019, it was Jamie himself who alleged health problems to withdraw from the personal affairs of his daughter’s guardianship, but continues to control the money and properties, a fortune that exceeds 60 million dollars, about 50 million euros . The agreement allows her father to receive $ 16,000 a month (13,432 euros) in salary while limiting his daughter’s spending to $ 2,000 (1,680 euros).

Britney Spears clearly communicated a single message Wednesday. He wants the guardianship to end once and for all. His dramatic words were heard by everyone. Telephones, cameras and computers were prohibited in the room. The recordings were also closed. Spears’ call, however, was broadcast almost live on various media around the world. Hours later, the audio had reached social networks and the transcription of his story to the newsrooms. “For mental health, I need your honor to allow me to give an interview, to listen to what they have done to me. I have the right to use my voice … Honestly, I need to get this out of my heart, the anger and everything that has happened, “the singer pleaded.

Activists of the Free Britney movement, outside the Los Angeles courts.Zuma / / GTRES

Spears distanced herself from her own testimony given in 2019 in court behind closed doors, where she had filed some complaints and asked for some adjustments to the arrangement. “That’s why I’m saying all this two years after I lied to everyone and said ‘I’m fine and I’m happy.’ It’s a lie … I’ve been in denial. On shock. I am traumatized, but now I am telling the truth. I’m not happy, I can’t sleep. I am very angry and depressed. I cry every day, ”Spears told Judge Brenda Penny, after detailing how she was forced to give concerts and was forced to go to therapy and go to rehab centers against her will. The singer assured that she had not told this before to the court because she was ashamed. The togada thanked him for the courage of his story.

Attorney Carrillo explains that Spears must now file a motion to fully finalize the settlement. “The judge has the last word,” says the lawyer, an expert in civil law. “For custody to end, professional or medical tests are required,” he adds. This point can be problematic for the future of the case. Britney asked the judge that the guardianship “ends without having to be evaluated.” “I have investigated, Your Honor, and there are many judges who end guardianships without people being checked all the time,” said the singer. Carrillo explains that the artist can present doctors and specialists who testify on her behalf. California law, however, allows the court to send an investigator to speak to both parties to present an objective view to the judge.

Britney Spears doesn’t have the best defense possible. This is just one more example of the many things that are out of your control thanks to the conservatorship. Samuel Ingham, his lawyer, was appointed by the court. Counsel has not filed to end custody even though Spears has been uncomfortable with the arrangement since 2014. “I have developed a special relationship with Sam. I speak to him three times a week now, but have not had the opportunity to choose my own attorney. And I’d like to do it, ”Spears said Wednesday. Experts think that this is one of the first concessions that the judge could make in favor of the singer. A sign that the case is moving towards his freedom.

Junior Olivas believes what has happened this week has been partly thanks to Framing Britney Spears. Last february The New York Times In a documentary, she offered keys to the case through testimonies from people close to the artist who questioned the efficiency of the guardianship for a 39-year-old woman who has already shown stability in her personal and work life. The medium-length film generated a lively social movement, #FreeBritney, which is based on the fans of the star, who has not published an album in five years. “The movement and the documentary gave Britney hope, strength and courage! Now she knows that she is not alone in this battle. The documentary humanized her and now she has the whole world asking her for forgiveness. I think she feels the love there is for her out here, ”says Olivas.

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