“I’m not lying. I want to feel heard,” Britney Spears said in her emotional 23 minute call while addressing the court on Wednesday.
Since 2008, when her father James P. Spears was granted control of her conservatorship, Spears has suffered in silence in a situation she has deemed “abusive.” Britney’s June 23 hearing marked the first time the public heard what the performer straight from Britney herself. In her address to Judge Brenda Penny, Britney detailed how powerless her conservatorship left her. Over the past dozen years, she’s felt threatened when she expressed opposition to specific dance moves, was unwillingly taken off her regular medication and put on lithium, and suffered around the clock surveillance. She also claimed she was not allowed to remove her IUD to have more children, or to marry her long-term partner, Sam Asghari. All of these decisions, she said, were approved by her father.
“After I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m okay and I’m happy; it’s a lie. i thought, just maybe [if] I said that enough maybe I might become happy ’cause I’ve been in denial I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized,” Spears said on the record.
Soon after the release of Framing Britney Spears, New York Times and FX documentary’s about her conservatorship, the hashtag #FreeBritney gained considerable new support and attention. After listening to her describe the trauma and abuse she’s experienced, celebrities took to social media to vocally support the star with heartfelt messages and blatant outrage at her treatment.
The award-winning rapper and song writer Missy Elliot penned an ode to Spears on Instagram and Twitter with the caption, “.@britneyspears” followed by a purple heart emoji.
The “Cry Me A River” singer wrote a series of tweets yesterday evening extending love on behalf of himself and his wife Jessica Biel adding that, “No one should EVER be held against their will… or ever have to ask permission to access everything they’ve worked so hard for.”
“Bless Britney and I hope with my whole heart she is awarded freedom from this abusive system,” Halsey wrote on Twitter. “She deserves it more than anything. I admire her courage speaking up for herself today.”
Fellow teen star Brandy added, “Sending all my love and support to Britney Spears and her fans” followed by “#FreeBritney.”
Mariah Carey shared her love for Spears and encouraged her to “stay strong” through this situation.
British actress and F9 cast member, Nathalie Emmanuel tweeted, “Honestly if Britney’s situation isn’t f***ed up enough… the fact they force an IUD inside her when she wants more children… What’s next? Permanently sterilise her? It’s as shocking as that. #FreeBritney”
Singer Rina Sawayama shared her heartbreak and shock at the testimony.
Palmer posted on IG and Twitter after listening to Spears’ statement. ” Stay strong Britney, you are a fierce representation of what it means to fight for your life.” She previously posted a video playing Spears’ song, “Stronger.”
The Kentucky born singer, dancer, and record producer expressed her love for Spears’.
Bella Thorne posted a throwback photo of Spears along with rhetorical questions, “Could u be brave enough to tell your story in a room full of judgemental [sic] people who don’t want to believe you for their own personal benefit,” and went on to urge Judge Penny to “do the right thing for our girl and let her be free.”
Jonathan Van Ness
Queer Eye mate Jonathan Van Ness said his heart was broken with a corresponding emoji in his tweet this morning.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s one line tweet said all that needed to be said in solidarity: #FreeBritney.
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