Britney Spears says she learnt about #FreeBritney movement while ‘locked up’ in rehab

Supporters of movement called for pop star to be released from her court-mandated conservatorship

Inga Parkel
Friday 20 October 2023 19:49 BST
Britney Spears wears ‘#FreeBritney’ t-shirt ahead of court hearing

Britney Spears recalled first learning about the #FreeBritney movement from a nurse while she was “locked up” at a Beverly Hills rehab centre.

Following a series of mental health breakdowns, the pop star was placed under a court-mandated conservatorship controlled by her father, Jaimie Spears, who was given legal power over her personal affairs and finances.

During that period, which lasted from 2008 to 2021, superfans of the “Toxic” singer banded together to bring awareness to the conservatorship after they became concerned for her safety and well-being.

In 2018, Spears tried to fight against the conservatorship; however, she was forced to undergo further mental health evaluations and another rehab stay, she wrote in her forthcoming memoir, The Woman in Me.

“My father said that if I didn’t go, then I’d have to go to court, and I’d be embarrassed,” she said in an excerpt published by People.

“They kept me locked up against my will for months,” the “Oops!...I Did It Again” singer claimed. “I couldn’t go outside. I couldn’t drive a car. I had to give blood weekly. I couldn’t take a bath in private. I couldn’t shut the door to my room.”

She also added that she was only allowed one hour of television before her 9pm bedtime.

Britney Spears and #FreeBritney
Britney Spears and #FreeBritney (Getty Images)

Spears later recounted a nurse from the facility showing her videos of #FreeBritney supporters rallying together to fight for her freedom from the conservatorship.

“That was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen in my life,” she wrote. “I don’t think people knew how much the #FreeBritney movement meant to me, especially in the beginning.”

In another snippet of the memoir, Spears broke her silence on the 13-year conservatorship, saying that “they robbed me of my freedom”.

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“I became a robot. But not just a robot – a sort of child-robot. I had been so infantilised that I was losing pieces of what made me feel like myself,” the “...Baby One More Time” singer said.

“The conservatorship stripped me of my womanhood, made me into a child. I became more of an entity than a person onstage. I had always felt music in my bones and my blood; they stole that from me.”

During her 2021 testimony, the “Circus” singer told the court: “I just want my life back.”

On 12 November 2021, a California judge gave back Spears all of her legal rights. The ruling was celebrated by scores of the singer’s fans who had gathered outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.

The Woman in Me will be released on 24 October.

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