Another day, another Britney Spears documentary.
Despite the fact that Britney herself has criticized the continual release of documentaries surrounding her conservatorship, it doesn’t look like Hollywood will be letting go of this story any time soon.
The latest in a string of productions on the subject is Britney vs Spears by filmmaker Erin Lee Carr. Throughout the doc, Carr and partner Jenny Eliscu speak with key figures in the pop star’s life and examine never-before-seen legal documents concerning her 13-year conservatorship.
Scroll on for some of the bombshell revelations from Britney vs Spears:
We knew Britney had a rocky relationship with her father Jamie Spears long before he became her conservator, but Britney vs Spears reveals just how little he was involved in her life before he assumed total control of it.
Her former assistant Felicia Culotta kept tight-lipped on the subject of the Spears patriarch, but mentioned that before the conservatorship:
“Jamie wasn’t with us very often — hardly ever. So it really was me and Lynne.”
Controversial manager Sam Lutfi corroborated the statement, saying that when he arrived on the scene:
“There were numerous issues going on. Jamie was not involved at all. From what I believe, it had been years.”
And then he was involved in every aspect…
‘I Kidnapped You’
Paparazzo Adnan Ghalib was dating the Toxic artist at the time the conservatorship began. He recalled the dramatic moment Jamie called him after the decision had been made:
“He’s like, ‘I need you to come home right now.’ I said, ‘We’ll come home when we come home,’ and he said, ‘No, you need to bring her home now. I’m the conservator of her estate.’”
He described what followed as “f**king devastating,” as the couple returned to her house to find Jamie, four security guards, and two police officers waiting for them. Ghalib shared:
“They’re standing there and she freaks out. ‘What are they doing here? Why are they here? Why is my father at my house? Who are these people? Why are the cops here?’ And she looks at me. I’m supposed to be the one that protects her. I’m trying to calm her down, and I cannot. I’m trying to explain to her, ‘He is your conservator. Without his permission, because he is you, I’ve kidnapped you.’ And it’s that real. She just looks. She doesn’t talk anymore. She’s completely silent. You know, they escort her to the house. That’s when the realization was, ‘OK, I don’t think things are going to be the same anymore.’”
Ghalib acknowledged witnessing the singer abuse prescription drugs while they were together, but still came to her defense regarding the her mental health:
“A lot of people argue that she was crazy, right? You know, I f**king hate that word. Would you say she was upset? Would you say she was angry? Would you say she was hurt? I’d choose those before I’d choose crazy.”
‘Protect Britney From Sam’
When most conservatorships are instated, they give potential conservatees a notice of five days in order to contest the situation. Famously, Britney was given no notice at all. Examining court documents in the film, Eliscu noted:
“The only reason given for depriving Britney of five days’ notice is that Sam Lutfi is dangerous and needs to be kept away.”
Lorilee Craker, Lynne Spears’ memoir co-author, emphasized that the family was in “crisis mode” at the start of the conservatorship as they tried to “protect Britney from Sam.” She claimed that Sam “was crushing drugs and putting them in her food and bragging about it.”
Sam adamantly denied the allegation, stating:
“We have 100 blood tests and drug tests the entire time I was with her and she passed every single one of them which is why the police never came to my door. No one ever called the police. To be accused of allegations that serious, that you’re drugging the world’s biggest star, you call the police, you call the FBI, you don’t call TMZ.”
He has a point…
The Infamous Lou Taylor
Felicia Culotta has been very open about her time with Britney and witnessing the evolution of the conservatorship in other documentaries. However, in Britney vs. Spears, she chose her words with extreme care. In one moment, she reflected:
“Britney loved performing, hands down, still to this second, loves performing. I think that’s probably as much as I can say about that. I don’t want to fight with them. It’s not worth it to me. I’m sorry.”
Of course, Britney has since refused to perform if her dad was still in charge of her conservatorship. But could the involvement of Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group, her management company, have also had something to do with the decision?
Asked about Tri Star CEO Lou Taylor, who some suspect was involved in instating the conservatorship, Felicia said flat-out:
“I will not touch that one. Sorry. She will chew me up and spit me out.”
In fact, the documentarians received their own “pre-emptive legal letter” from the company, admitting that “Tri Star representatives were party to certain conversations relating to the issue of a possible conservatorship,” but that “Tri Star did not advocate for or against the creation of a conservatorship, because it was not their place to do so.”
Jamie Caught In A Lie
Eliscu and Carr obtained a number of legal documents pertaining to the conservatorship from an anonymous source, the contents of which they “worked to independently corroborate.” These docs contained a LOT of illuminating new info, like the fact that her team increased the amount of stimulants she was taking while working on The X Factor, or that even her then-fiancé Jason Trawick found her conservatorship to be “too constrictive.”
They also revealed “significant tensions” escalated between Jamie and Britney during the Femme Fatale Tour in 2011. One doc read:
“Britney began to complain about Jamie’s drinking. She is especially adamant that Jamie be punished. This seems to be a lightning rod for all her complaints about the conservatorship itself. In a simple way she feels that if she is drug tested, so should he be. And if she were to suffer a great penalty like losing her kids if she tested positive, he should suffer an equally great penalty for his drinking.”
But the document Carr viewed as “the most damning” proved that Jamie and his legal team were lying when they claimed Britney had never requested to end her conservatorship. This doc apparently stated:
“Britney wants to come off the conservatorship. At times she seems to understand the benefits of the conservatorship. At other times, she indicates she would go along with the conservatorship of the estate. But mostly she wants to end the conservatorship of the person.”
Hopefully, we are closer than ever to that being true — but in the meantime, we’re glad that people are investigating to get a clearer picture of everything that Britney has been through over the years.
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