IT WAS so disturbing hearing Britney Spears as she begged a judge to free her from the court-ordered conservatorship that has given her father control over her life and her $60million fortune for the past 13 years.
Hearing Britney talk about the fact she wasn’t allowed to marry her boyfriend, or have a baby with him, having been refused permission to get her IUD contraceptive device removed, beggars belief.
Britney Spears not being permitted to have control of her own womb beggars beliefCredit: Coleman-Rayner
She had previously talked about being forced to perform (and wishing she could break her leg, so she didn’t have to), which sounds very much like slavery.
On Wednesday she told the Los Angeles court: “I want this conservatorship to end. I truly believe that this conservatorship is abusive.”
She sounded distressed at times, and banged her hand on the desk for emphasis to the judge in her 25-minute appeal.
No kidding is it abusive. The idea of her father Jamie controlling her life — and her womb — to this degree is downright sinister. Forced contraception to ensure she does not get pregnant is obscene.
I find it particularly poignant that in a public statement she apologised to fans for not being honest about the reality of the conservatorship, saying she “was embarrassed to share what happened to me”.
She told her 30.6million Instagram followers on Thursday that her social media persona had given the wrong impression and she regretted “pretending like I’ve been OK the past two years”.
It is wrong that Britney Spears’ dad Jamie has total control of her life?Credit: AFP
I find her apology just as sad as the fact she has been living in such an abusive situation for so long.
I think most people realised she wasn’t OK and all 30.6million of her followers would probably agree she has nothing to apologise for.
There are so many things about her father’s role in her life that do not add up.
He thinks she is stable enough to perform 450 live shows and appear on The X Factor.
But when it comes to living her own life and making her own decisions — including marrying someone who would take her away from her father’s full control, and having a baby that might stop her performing — well, he doesn’t think she is stable enough to live her own life and make her own decisions.
Britney Spears should be able to make her own decisionsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
I can’t help but think her gender is significant, too. I just do not think this kind of controlling situation would happen to a man.
Look at Kanye West, for example, who clearly had a very high-profile breakdown then considered running for President!
When Britney had a breakdown, induced partly no doubt by all the pressure she was under to perform and conform to a very rigid role, she was forced to relinquish all control over her own life for years to come.
Britney also said in her testimony that she was forced to take lithium against her will.
“Lithium is very, very strong, it’s a completely different medication to what I was used to,” she said.
“It’s a strong drug. You can go mentally impaired if you stay on it longer than five months. I felt drunk, I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mom or dad about anything.”
She said she was monitored by six different nurses to ensure she took the medicine, and said that “they wouldn’t let me get in my car to go anywhere for a month”.
When you consider that her father has had full control of her (huge) fortune all of this time, that becomes even more sinister.
Britney would not be subject to these restrictions if she were maleCredit: Reuters
Of course, mental health is a very tricky area. Sometimes people can be so unwell that they really are not able to make their own decisions.
But the more you fight treatment, the more it can be used against you, which seems to have been what happened to Britney, who may indeed need help and support — and possibly even medication.
But, hearing Britney’s testimony, it’s very hard to truly believe that her father has her best interests at heart.
Her summary of how she is now is this: “I am not happy, I can’t sleep. I’m so angry, it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day.”
Of course none of us know for sure what is really going on with Britney. She has been under so much pressure from being in the public eye for almost all of her life and who knows where that ends and mental health issues begin.
But whatever is going on with Britney and her mental health, one thing seems pretty clear.
That the people who were appointed to look after her don’t seem fit to do so.
YOU’VE got to hand it to Matt Hancock.
He has consulted with his advisers, worked out what to say and publicly admitted that he was a fool who has “breached social-distancing rules” by having an affair with an aide.
Irresponsible Matt Hancock has let his wife downCredit: AP
Great. And he’s got Boris Johnson’s backing. Lucky old Matty.
But I bet he’s not that lucky at home.
Because, for me, his biggest misdemeanour was apologising to the nation BEFORE he apologised to his wife.
His priority was to say sorry for breaching social distancing, then, almost as an afterthought, he apologised for letting “people” down.
If I was his wife, any thoughts I had about letting him back home would have evaporated.
Would he be where he is today in one of the country’s most influential positions, as Health Secretary, without the support of Martha, his wife of 15 years. I doubt it.
He has humiliated her in the most atrocious way.
She bravely stepped out, after The Sun’s revelations, wearing her wedding ring to go and walk the dog.
She did it with dignity and a saddened, half-smile for onlookers.
I hope that behind closed doors, she is giving him endless grief.
I hope she is reminding him that she should be his No1 because he vowed to do that when they got married.
To have a husband who has cheated on you is crumbling.
But to have a husband who cheats on you then fails to realise he MUST put you first is a weak idiot who doesn’t deserve the title of husband.
Andrew Neil has lambasted firms who are pandering to woke campaignersCredit: PA
ANDREW NEIL has slammed big businesses who pulled ads from his new TV channel GB News.
So far about 14 companies have pulled out after being put under pressure from Stop Funding Hate activists.
GB News chairman Andrew said: “Woke nonsense has reached the boardroom.”
And he said it was “remarkable that serious executives and well-established companies can be so easily cowed”. I agree.
This has nothing to do with GB News and everything to do with businesses becoming weak and woke.
Businesses used to hold their nerve. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs got to where they are today by having the strength of knowing where they were going.
They wouldn’t panic about a bit of stick.
It’s really important that business leaders hang on to those strengths because the last thing we need in the boardroom is weakness and wokeness.
The big debate
SUSANNAH CONSTANTINE seems to have sparked national debate – which even reached Woman’s Hour – after revealing she wears knickers under her pyjamas.
Apparently the nation is divided on whether you should or not.
In fact, everyone seems to have their knickers in a bit of a twist about it.
Surely the answer is . . . do whatever you damn well please.
Anton Du Beke is a great choice for Strictly’s new judgeCredit: PA
COULD there be a more fitting replacement for Bruno Tonioli on the Strictly panel than Anton Du Beke?
The pro dancer told BBC Breakfast: “Everybody knows how much I love the show, so just being involved is an enormous thrill every year.”
A worthy winner of this prized job.
Bruno Tonioli is a hard act to follow but Anton can do itCredit: PA
It is lovely to see Jane Seymour smiling againCredit: Getty
SO funny seeing Jane Seymour poking fun at herself and the recent accident that left her using crutches.
On Thursday she shared this Instagram snap of herself in character as an old lady, for new drama Harry Wild.
Even in a headscarf, specs and with a walking stick, she looks amazing, and is the best advert for being 70 we could hope for.
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