Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Britney Spears’s team would tamper with her phone to make singer believe people were ignoring her, friend claims

‘All of her friends were told the same lies,’ said actor Michael Turchin

Annabel Nugent
Friday 16 July 2021 14:02 BST
Watch live as Britney Spears’ conservatorship case returns to court

Britney Spears’s team allegedly changed numbers in her phone so that she would believe people were ignoring her, a friend of the singer has claimed.

Michael Turchin, the husband of *NSYNC star Lance Bass, defended Bass after the former boyband member received backlash for his comments on Spears’s conservatorship.

Last year, Bass – who was in *NSYNC with Spears’s former partner Justin Timberlake – opened up about his feeling towards #FreeBritney, the fan-started movement campaigning for the pop star to regain autonomy over her affairs.

Bass told The Daily Podcast that people should “trust the system”, suggesting that Spears’s controversial conservatorship was necessary. His comments sparked widespread criticism.

In the time since, Spears herself has spoken out against the conservatorship, which has controlled her money and affairs since 2008.

On 23 June, Spears appeared in open court for the first time in 13 years. The 39-year-old stated: “My dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship, including my management … they should be in jail.”

Turchin recently used Twitter to defend Bass against the continuing criticism he receives for his earlier remarks, claiming that those once close to Spears in the Nineties, including Bass, were “being told lies” about her situation.

“[Bass] was blatantly being told lies by everyone around her in her camp for years,” he wrote. “Ppl he trusted and knew for years. All of her friends were told the same lies which is why most never spoke up over the years until recently.”

Turchin also alleged that Spears’s team “would continually change her phone number, and even change the numbers of her friends/family in her phone so she’d think she’d be texting them with ultimately no responses (when in reality they were the wrong numbers altogether)”.

Amazon Music logo

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music

Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up
Amazon Music logo

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music

Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

The actor went on to describe an alleged incident in which he and Bass saw Spears “briefly” in 2016, during which she was accompanied by her “handler” who “refused to leave the room”.

“She was so excited to see Lance and wanted to make plans but the woman wouldn’t allow Lance to get Britney’s number and ‘took his’ instead,” recalled Turchin. “He never heard back after that.”

In the singer’s testimony given last month, Spears made a number of claims, including that she was forced to take lithium after she announced that she was taking a break from live performances.

The 39-year-old also revealed that she would like to have another baby but that her conservators allegedly won’t allow her to go to the doctor to have her IUD removed.

On Wednesday (14 July), judge Brenda Penny gave Spears permission to choose a new attorney to represent her after her court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham stepped down last week.

Responding to the news, the “Toxic” singer said that she feels “blessed” and shared a video of herself doing cartwheels to Instagram. She thanked fans for their support in the post’s caption.

In the wake of the decision, Jamie Lynn Spears posted on social media praying to “end this bulls***” in a cryptic message likely referring to her sister’s long-running legal battle.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in