“Members of Spears’s team began texting one another frantically. They were worried about what Spears might say the next day, and they discussed how to prepare in the event that she went rogue,” Farrow and Tolentino reported about the phone call aftermath.
They also noted that though emergency calls in California are usually public record, Ventura County — where the pop star lives — sealed Britney Spears’ call because it is part of an ongoing investigation.
During a court hearing on June 23, Spears spoke publicly about her conservatorship, which was instilled in 2008, for the first time. In her statement, Spears said that she wanted to “sue” her family and expressed that she would like to get married to her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, and have more children, but is unable to do so because the conservatorship does not allow her to remove her IUD.
“Britney Spears’s Conservatorship Nightmare,” like the New York Times’ “Framing Britney Spears” documentary before it, unfurls the power Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, and a team of lawyers has over her life, in addition to the pop star’s villainization by the media. However, Farrow and Tolentino’s deep dive includes even more shocking revelations that further support the ending of her conservatorship. The duo spoke to numerous sources from Britney Spears’ inner circle, including mother Lynne Spears, Sam Lufti, Paris Hilton, hairstylist Kim Vo, anonymous stylists and makeup artists, an anonymous housekeeper and a court investigator who used to be on the conservatorship.
According to the article, Lynne Spears thought the conservatorship would only last a few months. Farrow and Tolentino were able to get her on the phone in June, but she did not offer any details about the case, adding: “I’m good at deflecting.”
“I got mixed feelings about everything,” she told them. “I don’t know what to think… It’s a lot of pain, a lot of worry.”
What’s more, the story reports that the hearing to originally put Britney Spears under conservatorship in 2008 only took 10 minutes — and the court, Farrow and Tolentino alleged, barely did any homework and just listened to her father. A judge even allowed the waiving of the requirement that conservatees be given five days’ notice before a conservatorship takes effect, Farrow and Tolentino claim.
Jacqueline Butcher, a former friend of the Spears family who was present for the hearing, told the New Yorker: “No one testified. No questions were asked… A conservatorship was granted without ever talking to her. And, whatever they claim about any input she had behind the scenes, how could you have assessed her then? Shouldn’t you wait a week, then interview her? She never had a chance.”
During this time, the judge, Reva Goetz, appointed Sam Ingham as Britney Spears’ lawyer. According to Farrow and Tolentino, she continues to pay him $520,000 per year and the article strongly suggests that he is in cahoots with Jamie Spears. Farrow and Tolentino compared Ingham’s annual salary to Britney Spears’ 2019 living expenses, which came to just under $450,000.
“Several sources close to the situation felt that Ingham was loyal to the conservatorship and to Jamie, despite nominally representing Spears,” Farrow and Tolentino report. “Butcher recalled Jamie saying that Ingham reported to him on Spears’s movements and activities.”
Ingham has not returned Variety‘s request for comment.
The New Yorker piece also said that Britney Spears suffered drugs and alcohol abuse, including cocaine and molly. It was her way of blowing off steam, the article says, while committed to “a relentless grind of dance rehearsals, studio sessions, photo shoots, stadium performances, long nights on the tour bus, and hotel check-ins before dawn.”
The article states that a couple of months after Britney Spears’ second emergency psychiatric hold, Jamie Spears began plotting his daughter’s comeback, which translated to wearing her down. The New Yorker story alleges that he called her “a whore and terrible mother” and would only allow her to see her children if she cooperated. Representatives for Jamie Spears did not immediately return Variety‘s request for comment.
Her public image rehabilitation included filming “Britney: For the Record,” which came out just after the release of her 2008 album “Circus.” Farrow and Tolentino described how Britney Spears would tense whenever her dad was around, but would open up when away from the chaos.
“I always wanted to feel free, and get in my car and go and not let people make me feel like I had to stay at my home,” she says in the documentary. “I had let certain people into my life that were just bad people… and I really paid the consequences for that, big time. But I just feel like you do something wrong, and you learn from it, you move on. But it’s, like, I’m having to pay for it for a really long time.”