Released Tuesday 28, the new Netflix documentary “Britney vs. Spears” sheds new light on pop icon “Toxic”‘s ongoing struggle for freedom.
Britney Spears, 39, has been under guardianship since 2008. The “Circus” headliner has no control over her financial or personal life because she is in the hands of a team led by her father, Jamie Spears.
Everything from her access to her children to her ability to spontaneously go out to lunch is in the well-paid hands of her 69-year-old father.
Britney Vs Spears makes several shocking claims, including that she was unable to buy schoolbooks for her children or even go out for a hamburger without her father Jamie’s prior approval – despite her being worth around £40 million.
The documentary also claims that she constantly begged for help from those around her, only to find herself disconnected from anyone she trusted.
For the first time in more than a decade, Britney’s ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghalib speaks candidly on the show about his time with the singer, recounting his fear of finding her dead at the height of her troubles in 2007 and 2008.
Britney reached out to Adnan, a paparazzo originally from Birmingham after he helped her put gas in her car while she was being surrounded by cameras.
They dated for less than a year before her father took control of her life.
Adnan says Britney had no one to turn to, as people around her often sold her for money or used her for their gain.
The 49-year-old said: “It was a very simple, very easy relationship, but between her fans and everyone else, it was like I was the villain.
“There were nights when she was awake and I had to stay awake with her. And it’s hard to stay awake for three days.
“But you have that very real fear that if anything happens to her, they’ll just blame you. It’s so much easier to blame you.
“She was taking Adderall (a stimulant used to treat ADHD sufferers).
“I’m sure millions of people are taking Adderall, but they become volatile and deadly when you’re going through a child custody case.
“What was clear back then is that she never had a person she could trust—not Mom, Dad, friends or sister, anyone.
“This is a very scary and dark place to be.”
At the time, Britney was fighting for custody of her children, Sean Preston and Jayden James, when her two-year marriage to dancer Kevin Federline broke up.
People close to Britney talk to Netflix about what motivates her.
Her longtime assistant Felicia Culotta, who worked for her from 1998 to 2007 and from 2009 to 2016, says: “Britney had a work ethic like no other, but she was never motivated by money. She was just doing what she loved. “
Others tell how she was almost obsessive about maintaining access to her children.
“Many people argued that she was crazy, and I hate that word”, Adnan says: “There are other people who have tried to help. They paid a high price.
“Would you say she was upset, angry, hurt? I picked those before picking crazy ones. ”
In never-before-seen messages between the singer and Adnan, an emotional Britney moaned that she was “f***ing sick” of her father trying to subdue her and begged her then-manager Sam Lutfi to speak to a lawyer on her behalf.
At the bottom of the well, she wrote: “I hate my life.”
In the documentary, Sam recalls a harrowing story of how he and Britney were sent back to her home in LA by their father after a court granted him guardianship of his then 27-year-old daughter in 2008.
Sam, 47, who was Britney’s manager when she recorded her iconic 2007 album Blackout, says they were greeted by Jamie with four security guards and two police officers at the property’s gates.
Sam, who has been accused by Jamie of being a dangerous and negative influence on Britney, recalls: “I got a call from her dad and he said, ‘You need to bring her home now. I am your property’s conservator.’ It was all so extreme.
“It was devastating to stop at the gate and her father was there with four security guards and two police officers.
“She freaks out. Who are these people? She looked at me and I’m trying to be the one who protects her.
Felicia Culotta her assistance and friend said:
I tried to calm her down, but I couldn’t. I explained to her that Jamie is her conservative. She doesn’t speak, she is completely silent.
They accompanied her to the house and that’s when the understanding was: I don’t think things will be the same anymore.
In a particularly harrowing account of how Britney felt trapped, a Rolling Stone journalist tells how she worked with Sam and Adnan to try to find a way to help the singer.
In January 2009, the trio managed to steal court papers for Britney through a locker room at the five-star Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills for her to sign to help her get her attorney-something prohibited by the guardianship.
The singer signed the papers on the floor of a bathroom cubicle, hoping that would force the court to grant her the power to choose her legal representative.
But it was decided that she was unable to choose a lawyer and her wishes were silenced once again.
The Netflix document follows two New York Times documentaries – Framing Britney Spears and Controlling Britney Spears, as well as a BBC special, The Battle For Britney, earlier this year.
Speaking publicly in court for the first time on June 23, Britney recounted how she had lived in fear and hurt for the past 13 years and asked that her father be arrested for her actions.
Speaking quickly, as if she was in a hurry to speak, she claimed that against her will she had been medicated with lithium, used as psychiatric medication, after cancelling her planned 2019 residency at the Domination in Las Vegas.
I lied and told the whole world that I’m fine and I’m happy… I’m traumatized… I have an [IUD] in my body now that won’t let me have a baby, and my conservatives won’t let me go to the doctor to get it out. it. I feel trapped. I feel intimidated and I feel left out and alone.
The people who did this to me shouldn’t be able to walk away so easily.
Not only didn’t my family do anything, but my dad was also all for it. He loved every minute of it.
The control he had over someone as powerful as me, a hundred thousand per cent, he loved.
After lying and telling the world I’m fine and happy, it’s a lie.
What was clear is that she never had a person she could trust-not mom, dad, friends or sister, no one, said
I thought if I just said that, maybe I could be happy because I’ve been denying it.
I’m in shock. I’m traumatized. But now I’m telling the truth, right? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep I’m so angry it’s crazy.
I cry every day. My father and anyone involved in this guardianship should be in prison.
She added: It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I went through.
That’s the main reason I never said it openly – I honestly didn’t think anyone would believe me. I just want my life back.
It’s been 13 years and that’s enough. I feel surrounded and I feel intimidated and left out and alone. And I’m tired of feeling alone.
A former friend of the Jacqueline Butcher family, who attended the hearing at which guardianship was first granted, said: “At the time, I thought we were helping. And I wasn’t, and I helped a corrupt family take all that control. ”
Now, in “Britney vs Spears,” investigative journalist Jenny Eliscu and documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr delve even deeper into the artist’s 13-year battle for control of her own life—and her hard-won fortune.
Here are the most shocking key revelations from “Britney vs Spears.”
As the filmmakers explain, when you ask for guardianship, part of the paperwork involves verifying a reason why the person is unable to manage their own life. Britney’s guardianship paperwork checks “requests related to the placement of dementia”. This is highly unusual for cases involving young people, Carr and Eliscu observe from the screen.
Evaluation of a geriatric psychiatrist
While investigating the case documents, the filmmakers reveal that the doctor who approved Britney’s alleged condition, Dr J. Edward Spar, is a geriatric psychiatrist.
Britney was barely old – she was 27 in 2008.
Also, two months after this report proclaimed that Britney was suffering from dementia, she went back to work, filming a cameo appearance on an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” “How is someone who was so sick well enough to go to work?” Carr asks on the screen.
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Today, the Los Angeles Superior Court will rule on whether Jamie will be removed as Britney’s conservative, as well as on the broader issue that the guardianship should be fully dissolved.
The courtroom clash comes after a flurry of high-profile executives abandon their roles in Britney’s inner circle.
“I cry every day. My father and anyone involved in this guardianship should be in prison”, said Britney Spears.
In July, his manager Larry Rudolph resigned after 25 years of guiding his career, as did longtime lawyer Sam Ingham, with Matthew Rosengart replacing him several weeks later.
On Sept. 7, amid growing global pressure from the fan-focused Free Britney movement, Jamie himself formally asked the court to remove him from his conservative post and recommended the end of guardianship.
Before her trial day, Britney’s newly appointed attorney, Matthew Rosengart, sent a direct notice to her father: “Mr Spears and his counsel are now on alert.
“The status quo is no longer tolerable and Britney Spears will not be extorted.
“Jamie Spears is toxic to Britney’s well-being and she deserves to be free.”