Britney Spears gives a damning account of how conservatorship is 'controlling' her life

ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports from outside the court where Britney Spears made her surprise impassioned plea to the judge to end her conservatorship

There was something very Britney Spears about her first words to the LA probate court. As the clerk struggled to work out who was trying to join the virtual hearing under the name JohnJo he asked the mystery person to identify themselves. There was a short pause before a young, lively voice said “oh me - Britney Spears”. And there she was, not in video mode as everyone in the court had hoped but there in voice at least. A rustle went through the room as everyone realised she was going to take part and the next few minutes would be dynamite. If this was acting she’s a much better actor than she is a singer. Every word throughout the 20 minutes a damning, frustrated, yet measured condemnation of the way she is now living her life.

Sometimes she spoke so fast the judge and the court reporter had to ask her to slow down. She was respectful, apologetic but determined to have her say. Every now and again she would swear, unable to contain her exasperation at life as a 39-year-old woman under the control of her father. And then there was the issue of the money. She didn’t sound like she could care less for it, but she did care that she was the one who had worked since being a teenager and was effectively paying for all those who were seeking and succeeding in controlling her. Her sadness was palpable, her exhaustion all too clear.

When she started talking about being unable to remove the IUD fitted to stop her getting pregnant, it was so personal that just listening to her felt voyeuristic, but it barely seemed to register to her. The woman who has been hidden behind locked doors for so many years is done with privacy. So very different from the celebrities who plead for privacy to allow them to live their lives. Britney Spears wants a life and if that means telling the world about the most personal parts of hers, she will in the hope of getting her freedom back.

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