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Conservatorship restrictions, rehab, perinatal depression: The main revelations in Britney Spears's memoir

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 25, 2023 4:15 pm

In her memoir that hit the shelves on Oct. 24 (Oct. 25 Manila time), pop star Britney Spears disclosed further details about her 14-year conservatorship that controlled her life decisions and why she “went along” with it anyway.

In The Woman in Me, Spears said she had to do it for her two children with her ex-husband, dancer Kevin Federline. They got married in 2004 and divorced in 2007, during which she lost custody of the kids.

But after Spears was placed under conservatorship, with her father Jamie Spears as conservator, she was able to join her kids again.

"Because I played by the rules, I was reunited with my boys," writes Spears.

Conservatorship is an arrangement in which a court orders an individual to manage another individual’s financial and personal affairs amid physical or mental limitations.

Spears was placed under conservatorship in 2008 following her highly public breakdown in which she shaved her head and was filmed attacking a paparazzi's car.

Diet, date restrictions

According to the Princess of Pop, the conservatorship governed every aspect of her life, including her diet. She claimed she wasn't allowed to drink coffee and had a diet of chicken and canned vegetables for two years.

She begged for hamburgers or ice cream but wasn’t allowed.

Anybody who wanted to date her had to undergo a background check, sign a nondisclosure agreement, and consent to a blood test. They would also be informed of Spears’s medical and sexual history ahead of the first date, according to Vulture.

Her phone also had parental controls, and her texts and messages were being monitored.

“I felt scared. I’ll be honest, I was f**king miserable,” writes Spears.

Spears wondered why the court allowed Jamie to be her conservator despite him being “an alcoholic, someone who’d declared bankruptcy, who’d failed in business, who terrified me as a little girl.”

She said she begged the court to appoint “literally anyone else,” even “anyone off the street,” as long as it wasn’t her father.


Spears said her father also allegedly sent her to a rehabilitation facility after using over-the-counter energy supplements during her four-year residency in Las Vegas.

Her then-boyfriend entrepreneur Charlie Ebersol, she said, introduced her to the supplements, which he used before working out.

“It seemed obvious that Charlie’s regimens were a good thing for me,” Spears writes. “But I believe my father started to think that I had a problem with those energy supplements, even though they were over-the-counter, not prescription.”

Against her will, the Gimme More singer went to rehab with actual drug addicts for fear of no longer seeing her children again.

At one point, she objected to a dance move suggested to her, leading to her being sent to a solitary rehab facility for two months.

There, she was subjected to relentless testing and mandatory therapy and had a specified bed and waking hours. She recalled her medical technologist being “flanked by the nurse, a security guard, and my assistant” during tests.

“Was I a cannibal? Was I a bank robber? Was I a wild animal? Why was I treated as though I were about to burn the place down and murder them all?” Spears writes.

Perinatal depression, paparazzi

Spears, in her book, also talked about her perinatal depression, which she said got worse due to the “constant drumbeat of pressure from paparazzi.”

Even when she was still pregnant—and after giving birth—she said there had been increased media attention, adding to her “confusion and obsession” about her kids’ safety.

Spears felt depressed and lonely, she said, and had to isolate herself from friends. She also grew doubtful of those around her because of “being watched from every corner.”

Noting there wasn’t much conversation about mental health at the time, a retrospective Spears said she had “just about every symptom of perinatal depression,” including sadness, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.

“I felt so confused,” writes Spears. “All I had known my whole life was being exposed on every level. I didn’t know where to go or what to do.”

She also hoped for new mothers to “get help early.”

‘Newfound freedom’

Spears said she’s looking forward to newfound freedom, especially since her conservatorship ended in 2021.

"Freedom means being goofy, silly, and having fun on social media,” writes Spears. “Freedom means being able to make mistakes, and learning from them.”

“Freedom means I don't have to perform for anyone — onstage or offstage,” she continues. “Freedom means that I get to be as beautifully imperfect as everyone else.”

And freedom means the ability, and the right, to search for joy, in my own way, on my own terms,” Britney adds.

The Woman in Me chronicles the pop icon's journey through "fame, motherhood, survival, faith, and hope," according to its website.

Spears found early fame as part of the children’s show The Mickey Mouse Club alongside future stars Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera.

At 16, she became one of the most famous women on the planet with 1998's iconic song ...Baby One More Time, which sold 10 million copies to become one of the biggest hits of all time.

Eight more albums followed, often selling in the millions, including Oops!... I Did It Again and In the Zone, combined with spectacular world tours. 

Growing up in the media glare, relentlessly sexualized by her marketing from a young age, Spears lost her footing in 2007.

After her conservatorship ended, Spears apparently no longer speaks to her family.

Her life has also been hardly smooth sailing since then, with her marriage to model Sam Asghari ending last August, or after just 14 months.