Li Cohen – CBS News
Britney Spears took to Instagram this week to speak out against the “demoralizing and degrading” conservatorship that had control of her personal life, work, and finances for more than 13 years. A Los Angeles judge terminated the conservatorship on Friday.
Spears said in the video she wanted to address her fans’ questions, the biggest of which is: what happens now?
“I’ve been in the conservatorship for 13 years. That’s a really long time to be in a situation you don’t want to be in,” she said. “I’m just grateful honestly for each day and being able to have the keys to my car and being able to be independent and feel like a woman and owning an ATM card, seeing cash for the first time, being able to buy candles. It’s the little things for us women, but it makes a huge difference.”
Spears said that she’s “not here to be a victim,” but rather to use her situation to raise awareness about conservatorship laws.
“I’m here to be an advocate for people with real disabilities and real illnesses,” she said. “I’m a really strong woman, so I can only imagine what the system has done to those people. … Hopefully, my story will make an impact and make some changes in the corrupt system.”
Spears’ address to fans also came with a surprise tease — that she’s planning on speaking with Oprah Winfrey about the conservatorship. Such an interview has not been confirmed.
“I might as well do a hint of my thoughts on the gram before I go and set things square,” she said, tagging Winfrey. “I mean who knows … I do know how embarrassing [it] is to share the fact I’ve never seen cash or wasn’t able to drive my car …. but honestly it still blows my mind every day I wake up and how my family and the conservatorship were able to do what they did to me … it was demoralizing and degrading.”
Spears’ conservatorship, which began in 2008, came to an end on Friday. Her father, Jamie Spears, was originally put in charge of her conservatorship after she struggled with mental health issues and was hospitalized. He and a co-conservator had power over Britney Spears’ finances, estate and medical decisions ever since.
Britney Spears said in her video that if it wasn’t for those who took part in the “Free Britney” movement, her freedom may not have been as possible. The movement has been advocating on the pop star’s behalf and raising flags about her situation for years.
“You guys rock, honestly. My voice was muted and threatened for so long, and I wasn’t able to speak up or say anything and because of you guys and awareness of kind of knowing what was going on and delivering that news to the public for so long, you gave it awareness to all of it,” she said. “And because of you, I honestly think you guys saved my life in some way. 100%.”