britney spears britney vs spears netflix

8 Disturbing Revelations In Netflix’s ‘Britney Vs Spears’

Tell us you love Punkee without telling us you love Punkee. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter. It'll mean the world.

Netflix has jumped on the Britney Spears bandwagon, dropping a revealing documentary about the pop singer’s conservatorship.

Britney Vs Spears explores Britney’s controversial conservatorship that has been enforced for the last 13 years. The movie follows New York Times’ feature Framing Britney Spears, which sparked worldwide fury when it debuted in February. For those who haven’t been across the #FreeBritney movement for the past few years, it came as a shock for people to learn that one of the world’s biggest recording artists hasn’t held full control over her life since 2008. Instead, Britney’s father Jamie has called the shots in terms of Britney’s finances, career path, and even her healthcare.

The renewed focus on Britney’s enduring legal woes comes as the singer has recently filed to have Jamie removed from her conservatorship. The Netflix documentary tracks how Jamie became Britney’s conservator — despite being seemingly estranged from his daughter at the time — and features interviews with people from Britney’s inner circle, including former manager Sam Lutfi, past assistant Felicia Culotta, and paparazzi-turned-partner Adnan Ghalib.

The documentary was directed by Erin Lee Carr and executive-produced by music journalist Jenny Eliscu, who both feature throughout the film. While a lot of the movie doesn’t cover much new ground — simply retracing how Britney’s conservatorship began — there were several revelations from recently surfaced documents and new interviews that are straight-up disturbing.

Here are 8 of the most disturbing revelations from Britney Vs Spears:

1. From the start, Britney requested her father not be involved in her conservatorship.

The documentary stressed that prior to 2008 — when the conservatorship began — Jamie was not involved in Britney’s life, despite being the one elected as her conservator. In 2009, Britney reached out to lawyer Adam Streisand, who said in the documentary that Spears was actually willing to cooperate with the conservatorship but she did not want her father Jamie involved. “So we walk into court and I said, ‘Your honor, she doesn’t want her father to be conservator. She wants an independent to be the conservator’,” Streisand said. “She clearly understood the concept of a conservatorship. She understood what was going to happen. She could make some decisions about it.”

Sadly, as the judge had already decided that Britney was incapable of choosing her own council, this meant she couldn’t elect a lawyer to act on her behalf. “When I told the judge what Britney wanted, the judge looked and me and said, ‘Mr. Streisand, I have a report that she does not have the capacity to retain counsel and have an attorney-client relationship. So I’m sorry, Mr. Streisand, but you’re not going to be able to represent her.”

2. Court documents list dementia among the reasons for Britney’s conservatorship.

In another baffling turn of events, listed under Britney’s health conditions in a confidential conservatorship medical report was “orders related to dementia”. Along with this diagnosis, the court document also mentioned that Britney lacked “the capacity to understand or manage her financial affairs without being subject to undue influence.”

At the time of this medical assessment, the filmmakers noted that Britney was still working. “At the same time this report was being written, Britney was already back to work,” Eliscu said. “She was on the set of How I Met Your Mother. The episode was out within two months of the conservatorship starting. How is someone who was that ill well enough to go to work?”

britney vs. spears britney spears documentary

3. Britney was paid an allowance of only $8k per month.

The documentary claims that from 2013 to 2018, while Jamie earned $2.1 million from tour revenue, along with a $16k per month salary, Britney’s salary (you know, the person actually touring and earning the money) was only $8k a month.

This was despite Britney’s Las Vegas residency making $137.7 million in box office sales from 2013 to 2017, her 2018 ‘Piece of Me’ tour racking in $54.3 million in box office sales, and her net worth in 2018 being estimated as $59 million, the documentary claimed.

4. Britney tried to get her own lawyer but was overruled.

In one of the most heart-pumping parts of the film, it was revealed that there was a secret plan in 2009 for Britney to sign a petition to change her lawyer. Eliscu had formed a close bond with Spears after interviewing her for Rolling Stone and ended up spearheading a covert operation where she delivered Spears a document for her to sign in a hotel bathroom. “She looked at me and said, ‘Thank you,’ and I said, ‘I’ll see you again’,” Eliscu recalled looking visibly emotional. “She definitely seemed scared. It was hard to tell because I was so scared but she was so appreciative.”

The document was asking for Britney’s court-appointed attorney Samuel Ingham to be removed from his position. “Ms. Spears is of the opinion that he is not advocating adequately on her behalf particularly in light of the severe restrictions placed upon her,” the document stated. Despite securing Britney’s signature on the petition, her request was rejected as the court stated that she “lacked the capacity” to choose her own lawyer, and the legitimacy of her signature was also questioned.

5. Britney allegedly wrote a letter to be read to the media to give herself a voice.

Britney’s former friend, Andrew Gallery, who she worked with on the 2008 MTV documentary For the Record claimed that Britney gave him a letter  — written in the third person — which she wanted him to read out “on TV”. She apparently wrote the letter in response to her ex-husband Kevin Federline trashing her in the press.

“What happened to Britney was a year ago and people need to get with the times,” the letter began. “She was lied to and set up. Her children were taken away and she did spin out of control which any mother would in those circumstances.” The letter went on to allege that she “has no rights” and is worried her conservatorship would go on “as long as the people are getting paid…but it doesn’t make it right at all”.

britney vs. spears britney spears documentary

6. Britney was advised not to do The X-Factor in a medical evaluation.

While still being under her conservatorship, Britney was a judge on The X-Factor in 2012. In documents that surfaced in the film, it was revealed that medical evaluations concluded that the $15 million deal was putting “undue pressure” on the singer. Despite their recommendations for Britney not to commit to the reality show, her manager Larry Rudolph said that withdrawing Britney from the judging gig would have even worse effects on the singer’s mental health.

The medical team eventually approved The X-Factor contract but with the condition that her former fiancé and then-co-conservator Jason Trawick’s presence would be mandatory at all times during filming. The documentary also revealed that according to another confidential medical document, Britney’s medication was increased on days she had to work on the show. “Jamie and others on the team valued the benefits of stimulants for Britney’s performance,” the document read. “This had been the case for both of her tours and for her participation on X-Factor. By the same token Jamie wanted Britney not to take stimulants. This contradiction has not been resolved.”

7. In a voicemail message, Britney claimed her father would threaten to take away her two kids.

In a disturbing late-night voicemail from 2009, Britney left a message on a lawyer’s answering machine and sounded distressed. “Hi my name is Britney Spears, I called you earlier,” the singer began.

“I’m calling again because I just wanted to make sure that [you know that] during the process of eliminating the conservatorship, my father has threatened me several times.” She went on to claim that Jamie’s threats included him saying “he’ll take my children away”, referring to Spears’ sons Sean and Jayden.

8. Britney’s ex-fiancé Jason Trawick revealed disturbing details about the conservatorship.

In a document from one of Spears’ doctors who took notes from a medical evaluation of Trawick, they made some rather disturbing revelations about the “constrictive” nature of Britney’s conservatorship. “I found him to be forthcoming and open, though fearful that whatever he said might be held against him or place him at odds with others with whom he might need to get along in the future,” the report began.

Trawick went on to detail a number of daily inconveniences Britney encountered due to the conservatorship. “For example, they wanted to drive within a gated community on a golf cart, but have to ask permission each time they want to go out to a local hamburger joint,” the report read. “They have to call for permission and wait 20 minutes or more for an answer. If Britney needs a few hundred dollars to buy books for her kids, she has to ask and wait a few days for an answer.”

Huge yikes.

You can stream Britney Vs Spears on Netflix.