“I thought they were trying to kill me. I would like my father to be indicted for abuse of guardianship. I want to report him today, I want him to be investigated.” These are the words of the American singer Britney Spears who, surprisingly, returned to speak before the court of the Los Angeles court, at the resumption of the trial in which the artist asked to be released from the legal protection of her father, Jamie Spears, to which has been subjected since 2008. The singer has released these statements over the telephone. It was a passionate intervention, interrupted by tears, but also marked by harsh words. He called the “conservatorship”, the protection that is taken for people with mental problems, a thing “fucking cruel”. “If this is not an abuse – he added, between sobs – I don’t know what it could be”. Meanwhile, the pop artist has achieved a first, symbolic, victory.
The first in thirteen years: the right to hire their own lawyer was recognized by the court, and not to rely on the one appointed by the court. Britney will rely on Matthew Rosengart, former federal prosecutor and Hollywood veteran, former defender of Steven Spielberg and Sean Penn. The court’s decision is very important because for the first time Spears was considered an independent person, free to choose who to defend himself. A woman, no longer an automaton, albeit famous all over the world. The announcement was greeted by applause outside the court where dozens of fans and activists had gathered to shout ‘Free Britney’, which has also become a hashtag on social media. Another gathering of fans had been organized in Washington.
Today’s audience was highly anticipated, he recalled that of June 23, the day in which the singer had made known to millions of fans her true condition as a “prisoner”. The protagonist of songs such as “Toxic”, “Gimme More” “Oops! … I Did It Again”, “Criminal” and “Baby One More Time”, lived in a “golden prison”, with no possibility of getting out of alone, using her rich earnings, talking on the phone and going to the gynecologist to get the spiral out. Twenty years of life as a pop star, of Grammy Awards, Billboard, which hid a life of hell, of humiliation. “I’m not happy – he said – I can’t sleep, I cry every day, I want my life back”.
That powerful speech, which lasted twenty-three minutes, made in video link, interrupted by tears, had produced ripple effects: the lawyer appointed by the court had resigned, the management chosen to monitor the singer’s assets. A few days later the historical manager, Larry Rudolph, who had dropped the bomb, was also gone: Britney closes with the music. The confirmation never arrived, but the tension around the figure of the singer never evaporated. Spears, who received the support of many famous people on the eve of today’s hearing, from singer Miley Cirus to Tesla founder Elon Musk, also found an ally in her mother, Lynne, who asked the court to “grant the wishes of the daughter “and free her from guardianship. The controversial Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz also appeared in his defense, intervening during the sit-in in front of the court, to attack the “American judicial system”. Gaetz’s name ended up in an investigation into a child prostitution ring. Another ambiguous character protagonist of the day was Sam Lutfi, former manager of the singer, who admitted on Twitter that he was wrong. “I disappointed her – she wrote – I had to protect her from all this, I abandoned her and we both paid dearly for this. I put my head in my hands, I’m so sorry”.
In recent years, the singer has often been portrayed as a mentally exhausted, unable to manage her private life. The relationship ended in a turbulent way with Justin Timberlake, the marriage lasted 55 hours with a childhood friend, then the one with rapper Kevin Federline, the birth of two children, in 2005 and 2006, the sudden end, the loss of custody of the two children, followed by the artist’s hospitalization in a rehabilitation clinic in Antigua, in the Caribbean. A few months later, the father had been granted legal guardianship, controlling everything from his daughter’s private life to her worth more than sixty million dollars. Now the singer wants it all back. Meanwhile, she obtained from the court to have a lawyer chosen by her, to resume the legal battle, like a normal person.