Britney Spears is begging a judge in Los Angeles to free her from a longstanding conservatorship that has granted her father full control of her life, and LGBTQ+ Twitter users and fellow celebrities have her back.
On Wednesday (June 23), the beloved pop singer gave a rare and gut-wrenching testimony detailing how the 13-year conservatorship has “traumatized” her. As The New York Times reports, Spears’s father, James P. Spears, was granted legal authority over Britney’s life in 2008 after she was involuntarily hospitalized for mental health issues. More than a decade later, the conservatorship is still in place, meaning Britney has virtually no autonomy in her day-to-day life.
During her emotional, uninterrupted 20-minute statement, Britney spoke at length about how her father has used his legal authority to keep her heavily medicated, compel her to work against her will, and force her to keep her IUD inserted, preventing her from having any more children. “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive,” she told the court. “I don’t feel like I can live a full life.”
The fan-led movement to #FreeBritney from her conservatorship has been ongoing for years and reentered the cultural zeitgeist after the premiere of the documentary Framing Britney Spears earlier this year. But Britney’s testimony on Wednesday marked a turning point in how the 39-year-old singer has publicly discussed the matter.
“It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through, and that’s the main reason I didn’t say it openly,” she added. “I didn’t think anybody would believe me.”
Needless to say, Britney’s LGBTQ+ fans across social media believe her and are standing with her as she battles to end the conservatorship.
The Britney Spears statement is so…heartbreaking.
— Brandon (@blgtylr) June 24, 2021
JUST FUCKING FREE BRITNEY!!!!!!!!
— Quizás: Phillip (@MajorPhilebrity) June 23, 2021
I’m sad. “I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I’m happy. If I said that enough, maybe I’d become happy. I’m in shock. I’m traumatized. I’m so angry … I just want my life back … I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive.” #FreeBritneyhttps://t.co/710tp3yZYc
— Brian A. Hernandez (@BAHjournalist) June 23, 2021
Thank y’all for finally listening to Britney. #FreeBritney
— JOHNNY SIBILLY (@JohnnySibilly) June 24, 2021
“Bless Britney and I hope with my whole heart she is awarded freedom from this abusive system,” Halsey tweeted on Wednesday. “She deserves it more than anything. I admire her courage speaking up for herself today.”
We love you Britney!!! Stay strong ❤️❤️❤️
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) June 23, 2021
Bless Britney and I hope with my whole heart she is awarded freedom from this abusive system. She deserves it more than anything. I admire her courage speaking up for herself today.
— h (@halsey) June 23, 2021
We love you SO MUCH @britneyspears ❤️
— TINASHE ³³³ (@Tinashe) June 23, 2021
Been saying it for years. FREE BRITNEY. I can’t believe this legal hostage situation. Poor kid was just talented. Two decades of punishment from tabloids and her own team, are not survivable. She’s so strong for withstanding this. We love you Britney! https://t.co/s2i9Q666kC
— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) June 24, 2021
— Sarah Jessica Parker (@SJP) February 7, 2021
Justin Timberlake voices his support for Britney Spears in a series of new tweets:
“Regardless of our past, good and bad, and no matter how long ago it was… what’s happening to her is just not right. No woman should ever be restricted from making decisions about her own body.” pic.twitter.com/2S1kJeQI13
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) June 24, 2021
Find a transcript of Britney’s full testimony here.