Britney Spears speaks out after testimony: ‘Sorry for pretending I’ve been OK’

Britney Spears wrote to her fans on Instagram on Thursday saying she was sorry for “pretending like I’ve been OK the past two years”, her first public statement since her disturbing courtroom testimony on her “abusive” conservatorship.

In her post Thursday afternoon, she said she had not spoken out sooner because “I was embarrassed to share what happened to me”.

The 39-year-old pop star had testified the day prior that she has been forced to work against her will, and that the conservatorship has blocked her from getting married or removing her birth control so she could have another baby. She said her boyfriend is also prohibited from driving her in his car, and that she can’t see certain friends. The conservatorship has been in place for 13 years, and it has given a licensed conservator, a corporate fiduciary, and her father, Jamie Spears, control over her estate, career, medical care and other aspects of her personal life.

Her Thursday Instagram message shared a quote about the importance of fairytales and said her upbeat social media posts had given her millions of fans the wrong impression about her life.

Britney Spears and her battle for freedom: what we know so far – video
Britney Spears and her battle for freedom: what we know so far – video

She wrote: “I just want to tell you guys a little secret … I believe as people we all want the fairytale life and by the way I’ve posted … my life seems to look and be pretty amazing … I think that’s what we all strive for !!!!

“That was one of my mother’s best traits … no matter how shitty a day was when I was younger … for the sake of me and my siblings she always pretended like everything was OK.

“I’m bringing this to peoples attention because I don’t want people to think my life is perfect because IT’S DEFINITELY NOT AT ALL … and if you have read anything about me in the news this week … you obviously really know now it’s not !!!!”

Spears apologised to fans for putting on a brave face for two years, adding: “I did it because of my pride … but honestly who doesn’t want to capture there Instagram in a fun light !!!!”

The chart-topping singer, who has not performed since 2018, said pretending to be fine on social media has “actually helped”.

She wrote: “So I decided to post this quote today because by golly if you’re going through hell … I feel like Instagram has helped me have a cool outlet to share my presence … existence … and to simply feel like I matter despite what I was going through and hey it worked … so I’ve decided to start reading more fairy tales.”

The post echoed her emotional remarks in the LA courtroom, in which she said, “I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I’m happy … I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized, you know, fake it till you make it. But now I’m telling you the truth.”

Fans and supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a Los Angeles courthouse.
Fans and supporters of Britney Spears gather outside a Los Angeles courthouse. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Sam Asghari, Spears’s 27-year-old boyfriend, shared a video on Instagram showing the couple on what appeared to be a private plane.

During her dramatic court appearance, Spears said she was forced to perform on tour when she didn’t want to, comparing it to sex trafficking.

She called on the judge to end it without the need for further medical assessment and criticised her father for controlling intimate details of her life. She also said she wanted to hire her own attorney instead of being forced to rely on the one appointed by the court, who has not filed a petition to terminate the conservatorship. She said it “made no sense” for her to be forced into a conservatorship while she has a booming career and makes millions of dollars performing.

Celebrities and activists across the globe have rallied behind the pop star over the last day, some calling for her to be urgently freed from the conservatorship.

Attorneys for her father have previously defended his role in the conservatorship and in court said he missed her and was sorry to see her in pain.