Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, reportedly used to yell “I am Britney Spears!” in the early years of the pop star’s conservatorship in an effort to convey how much control he had over his daughter’s life, The New Yorker reported.
On Saturday, the magazine published an investigation into Britney Spears’ conservatorship, revealing how she lost control over her own life and rights, and how her father and a team of lawyer seized that power.
One witness to the initial conservatorship hearing told The New Yorker she first heard Jamie Spears bellow “I am Britney Spears!” during a 2008 meeting with Jamie; Jamie’s attorney, Geraldine Wyle; and Jamie’s ex-wife, Lynne Spears.
The witness, Jacqueline Butcher, a former friend of the Spears family, recalled that the meeting took a sour turn when Lynne began describing her hopes for the conservatorship. Butcher said Lynne’s remarks prompted Jamie to “shout about his control over his daughter’s life, including Lynne’s access tor her,” The New Yorker reported.
Butcher also recalled asking Lynne just before the meeting, “Don’t you think you and Jamie should be co-conservators together?”
But Butcher said Lynne responded that the conservatorship would only last “a few months” and that it would be better for Britney to be upset with Jamie, rather than her.
An attorney for Jamie did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Butcher says she ‘helped a corrupt family seize all this control’
Butcher also described her own role in Britney’s conservatorship to The New Yorker, which involved providing testimony to help secure the conservatorship. Butcher said she regretted her actions.
“At the time, I thought we were helping,” Butcher told The New Yorker. “And I wasn’t, and I helped a corrupt family seize all this control.”
Butcher attended the court hearing where the conservatorship was granted, and told The New Yorker the entire process took “maybe 10 minutes.”
At the time, Spears was reportedly checked into the UCLA medical center as part of a “5150,” or a 72-hour involuntary hospitalization at a psychiatric facility.
The New Yorker reported that in the weeks after Britney was released from hospital, Jamie “wore [her] down.” At one point he told her she was “fat,” and said he intended to get her on a diet and working with a trainer to get back in shape.
“He would get all in her face — spittle was flying — telling her she was a whore and a terrible mother,” Butcher said, adding that Lynne told Britney could see her two sons again if she cooperated.
“Lynne was just, like, ‘Obey Daddy and they’ll let you out,” Butcher said.
Britney requested that her father be removed as a conservator, but a judge denied it
The New Yorker also reported that Britney called 911 the night before her explosive conservatorship hearing on June 23 to report herself as a victim of “conservatorship abuse.”
During that hearing, Britney made a number of statements denouncing her family, and alleged that her conservators would not let her remove her IUD.