Britney Spears Opens up About Learning to become a Normal Person

Britney Spears has broken her silence about the controversial documentary, Framing Britney Spears, and warned there is an ‘actual person living behind the lens’.

The singer, 39, appeared to address fan concerns after the new television show put her conservatorship struggle with her father Jamie Spears in the spotlight once again.

The mother-of-two took to Twitter on Tuesday to remind that people are often more complex than they seem, while also admitting she’s trying to ‘learn’ and be a ‘normal person’ right now.

‘Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens,’ Britney wrote.

Britney also reflected on life while sharing a video of her performing her hit Toxic at the 2018 New Years Rockin’ Eve ball drop.

‘Can’t believe this performance of Toxic is from 3 years ago !!!’ the star – whose last live performance was in October of 2018 – wrote.

‘I’ll always love being on stage …. but I am taking the time to learn and be a normal person ….. I love simply enjoying the basics of every day life !!’

Though she made it seem like her hiatus was strictly personal, Britney’s lawyers have previously said she refuses to perform while dad Jamie is ‘in charge’ of her career through her conservatorship.

She continued the upbeat tone in a reply which read: ‘Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!! We all have so many different bright beautiful lives !!!

‘Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens !!!!’

It seems like the whole world has been talking about the popstar since the release of the New York Times-produced documentary Framing Britney Spears came out on Friday.

The film explores her meteoric rise to fame, cruel treatment by the media, very public struggles with mental health and ongoing conservatorship battle with father Jamie Spears.

It was directed by Samantha Stark and produced by the New York Times, and appeared on Hulu on Friday before being televised on FX that same evening.


It begins with a montage of the #FreeBritney movement, including courthouse protests and social media videos.

An in-person protest is accompanied by the slogan: ‘What do we want? Free Britney! When do we want it? Now!’

The movement was sparked after Britney began a legal fight to have Jamie removed from her conservatorship, with her lawyer arguing that ‘she is afraid of her father’ and ‘will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.’

Although Jamie no longer holds the conservatorship over her ‘person’ he does over estate thereby restricting, for example, her ability to make financial decisions.

Even Britney’s boyfriend Sam Asghari had something to say, taking to his Instagram Story to share his opinion on Tuesday.

He wrote: ‘Now it’s important for people to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way,’ referring to Spears’ dad.

‘In my opinion Jamie is a total d**k. I won’t be going into details because I’ve always respected our privacy but at the same time I didn’t come to this country to not be able to express my opinion and freedom.’

The Iranian fitness model added an animated ‘mic drop’ emoji.

Jamie, 68, has been Britney’s conservator since 2008, when he took control of her business affairs amid fears for her mental health.

In September 2019, he temporarily relinquished his powers to Britney’s care manager Jodi Montgomery due to ‘personal health reasons’ but is still in control of her finances.

A source told Page Six on Monday that Spears has yet to take in the doc, which also focuses how the media covered her over the years.

‘As of Sunday, Britney hadn’t watched the documentary, but she’s aware of it,’ said the insider. ‘She had not seen any of it.’

Spears hasn’t watched the doc, as it would irritate her amid her ongoing legal battles with her father, the source said. (She may have watched it since).

‘She’s chosen not to watch it because she’s fed up with the conservatorship,’ the source told the outlet. ‘She feels there is a hole missing in her life because of the conservatorship and that she won’t be able to live a normal life until that’s over. She knows it’s a battle for her whole life.’

Speaking with CNN in December, Jamie said he and Britney hadn’t talked in four months, and that he remained focused to remain at the head of the conservatorship.

‘When a family member needs special care and protection, families need to step up, as I have done for the last 12-plus years, to safeguard, protect and continue to love Britney unconditionally,’ he said.

‘I have and will continue to provide unwavering love and fierce protection against those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her or my family.’

After Britney suffered a famous breakdown and lost custody of her two sons, – Preston, 15, and Jayden, 14, she was placed in the conservatorship of Jamie and a lawyer called Andrew Wallet.

But in the documentary the pop star’s friend and ex-assistant Felicia Culotta said she knows ‘firsthand’ what Britney is ‘capable of.’

The show also features interview footage with Adam Streisand – a lawyer she spoke to previously about the conservatorship around the time it first began.

His conclusion was drawn from his discussions with her where she was aware that her conservatorship was inescapable but just wanted Jamie out of his position.

Another one of the interviewees in the documentary is Jive Records marketing executive Kim Kaiman who worked with Britney early on in her career.

‘The only thing Jamie ever said to me was: “My daughter is going to be so rich she’s going to buy me a boat,” That’s all I’m gonna say about Jamie,’ said Kim who said that it was Britney’s mother Lynn who ‘supported’ her at this time.

Britney’s former assistant Felicia shows the cameras around her house and opens a box of fan mail near the beginning of the show.

‘These are letters to me from the fans so if I got this many you can imagine, oh, the ones that Britney got would fill up the entire room,’ said Felicia before revealing her role in Britney’s life.

Although she did not receive a specific ‘definition on what I was supposed to do’ in her care of Britney, titles like ‘chaperone’ were initially thrown around.

Felicia shared that ‘at one point they wanted to call me her partner and we didn’t think that sounded right’ and ultimately ‘we settled on assistant.’

‘To be honest I didn’t then nor do I now understand what a conservatorship is especially for somebody Britney’s age and somebody capable of so much that I know firsthand she’s capable of,’ said Felicia who has ‘known her since she was five.’

In a court filing last August Britney’s attorney Samuel D. Ingham III said that Britney ‘is strongly opposed to having [Jamie] return’ and prefers that co-conservator Montgomery permanently replace him.

Per the Associated Press, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny failed to suspend Jamie’s conservatorship in November. She said she would consider future petitions for his suspension or removal.

‘My client [Britney] has informed me that she is afraid of her father,’ Ingham told her. ‘She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.’

Britney was subject to questionable scrutiny early on, appearing on Star Search in 1992 aged 11 and being asked by an adult male presenter: ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’

‘Of all the things that she could be asked about, because what else could we possibly talk to a woman or a girl about? There’s so much more to her that everybody’s missing,’ noted Britney’s ex-stylist Hayley Hill in the new film.

Agent Nancy Carson who represented child talent took up Britney’s case and ‘Her mom was just so sweet, so proud of her daughter and her dad too was very proud of Britney and he was more concerned with the financial aspect of it.’

Nancy said Jamie wondered: ‘How was he gonna be able to make this happen? Could he make it happen? But I know he wanted to make it happen for her.’

Calling Britney ‘a funny, sweet, wonderful little girl,’ Nancy explained that her talent and Lynn moved up to New York for training and auditions.

‘All this led to the Mickey Mouse Club audition and she nailed it,’ said Nancy, revealing Britney ‘loved’ the job ‘and when it ended it was devastating.’

Britney, who was born in McComb and brought up in Kentwood, Louisiana, went back down south for a brief interregnum as a regular high school girl.

But when Britney got a record deal Felicia was enlisted to travel with her – at the request of Lynn who was raising her younger daughter Jamie-Lynn.

Kim told the documentarians that Felicia ‘was really sitting in for the parents,’ adding that Britney was ‘serious’ and ‘focused’ with regard to her work.

Jamie was battling various personal problems – drinking, a failed gym business, bankruptcy – and according to Kim:  ‘Lynn supported Britney.’

She was only 16 years old when in 1998 her …Baby One More Time single and video catapulted her to global pop superstardom.

During Britney’s teen stardom she was heavily sexualized both in her songs and videos and in the media coverage of her.

As she grew into adulthood she was needled by journalists about her breasts and the question of whether she was a virgin.

In her early 20s in 2003 Britney sat for an interview with Diane Sawyer – who played a clip of Maryland’s First Lady Kendall Erlich saying figuratively that ‘if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears I think I would,’ a remark for which she later apologized.

When Britney got over her shock at the remark she managed to counterargue that ‘I’m not here to, you know, babysit her kids.’

‘I’ll say this, you know,’ said Hayley in her interview. ‘I worked with all the boy bands, all of ‘em – not one of the boys was ever under any scrutiny.’

Britney found herself in crisis when she got involved with boy band star Justin Timberlake – who then blamed her for the breakup in his single Cry Me A River.

In a flash Britney was widely portrayed as the villainess and even Diane Sawyer took an accusatory tone, asking her: ‘What did you do?’

All the same all of the criticism ultimately made her ‘more free’ as she was ‘less concerned with pleasing everybody,’ Hayley contended.

Rehearsal footage showed Britney responding to the accusation of being a ‘diva’ by saying: ‘I’m not a diva! I know what I like and I know what I want.’

Kevin Tancharoen, who was a backup dancer and her tour director for five years early in her career, dished: ‘She was definitely in control of a lot of decisions.’

He went on: ‘That idea that Britney is a puppet who just gets moved around and told what to do is incredibly inaccurate.

‘When I was involved in all of those years, we would present a lot of ideas. She would have to like them and she would have to approve them. She was very creative.’

Kevin added: ‘She was the one who knew what she wanted to do, and she would make that happen or her people would make that happen for her.’

In an interview during the early days of her stardom Britney herself said ‘that’s why I am where I am today because I do have control, you know?’

She explained: ‘And you just control what you do, you know? You have to otherwise you get sucked in by people that are not necessary.’

Ultimately Britney married sizzling rap hunk Kevin Federline in 2004 and then they welcome two sons.

When she had a scandal after being photographed driving with her baby in her lap, her defense was that Jamie did the same with her when she was little.

She filed for divorce from Kevin just weeks after Jayden was born and according to her mother’s memoir was also undergoing postpartum depression.

Initially Britney seemed at ease with the paparazzi attention but began to feel increasingly beleaguered by it.

In late 2007 she lost custody of Preston and Jayden but was still able to visit them amid her progressive public deterioration.

Infamously she shaved her head because ‘I’m tired of everybody touching me,’ and then was then snapped whaling on a photographer’s truck with an umbrella.

‘It’s so easy, it’s so much fun to take a celebrity who’s a young beautiful talented girl and rip her to shreds,’ remarked Kim bleakly.

The Toxic singer in short order took up with Sam Lutfi who became her manager and was, according to the documentary, loathed by her parents.

Then one notorious evening she was hospitalized after allegedly barring herself in a room with the children instead of giving them over to Kevin as directed.

Britney for a time lost even visitation rights to the children – and Jamie soon obtained the temporary conservatorship that became permanent.

Vivian Lee Thoreen, who was part of Jamie’s legal team around this time, explained that ‘having a conservator of the estate appointed for someone is that they are substantially unable to manage their financial affairs or they are susceptible to undue influence or fraud.’

The attorney, who not long after speaking to the documentary got back into Jamie’s legal team, said: ‘It’s more than just: “I can’t balance my checkbook.” It’s: “I could be duped into giving away my money.”‘

The Spears parents alleged in legal documents that Sam ‘crushed pills into Britney’s food’ and was ‘exerting total control over’ the pop star, obtaining a restraining order despite his denials of their accusations.

At the beginning Jamie held the personal conservatorship, whilst he and Andrew Wallet shared the estate conservatorship.

Adam Streisand, a lawyer who is famous for cases about celebrity estates and who happens to be Barbra Streisand’s cousin, gave his two cents as well.

Near the start of the conservatorship he took a meeting with Britney at the Beverly Hills Hotel ‘and the first question I had was: “Does Britney have the capacity to be able to hire me? Does she have the ability to take my advice?”

‘So the first thing is Britney was able to make the judgment: “Hey, I get what’s going on. I get that I’m not gonna be able to resist this conservatorship or avoid this conservatorship, right?” So that’s a pretty sound judgement,’ Adam argued.

‘The second thing was, she said: “I don’t want my father to be the conservator.” That was her one request. She wanted a professional, somebody independent.’

Acknowledging the judge had seen the medical records and he had not Adam said: ‘I felt that based on my interactions with Britney that she was capable of retaining me and directing me and that the judge should have allowed that to happen.’

Shortly before reentering Jamie’s legal team Vivian commented: ‘Of the cases that I have been involved with I have not seen a conservatee who has successfully terminated a conservatorship.’

At the dawn of the conservatorship the pop star shot an MTV documentary called Britney: For The Record and emotionally discussed the matter.

’If I wasn’t under the restraints that I’m under right now, you know, with all the lawyers and doctors and people analyzing me everyday and all that kind of stuff, like if that wasn’t there I’d feel so liberated and feel like myself,’ she said.

‘When I tell them the way I feel it’s like they hear me but they’re really not listening. They’re hearing what they wanna hear. They’re not really listening to what I’m telling them. It’s like…it’s bad. I’m sad,’ Britney continued, fighting back tears.

Britney rapidly began performing again and eventually managed a major comeback including hit singles like Work B**** and a Las Vegas residency that began in 2013.

Felicia was hired by the touring company in a much reduced role from the one she once had when Britney was rising to superstardom as a teen.

‘I took a backseat and simply did what I was hired to do,’ said Felicia, noting: ‘I don’t really know what went on. I just don’t know that they knew her well enough to realize her capabilities in making the decisions. Just me looking in, that’s what I saw.’

Jamie got 1.5% of gross revenues from the residency – and then in 2018 Andrew Wallet petitioned the courts for more money, arguing that ‘this conservatorship should be viewed more as a hybrid business model.’

Britney canceled her second residency prematurely on grounds of her father’s recent hospitalization and stopped posting on Instagram.

In early 2019 Andrew mysteriously removed himself from his role in the conservatorship of Britney’s estate – leaving Jamie there alone.

By the end of that year the conservatorship battle was raging between Britney and Jamie and the #FreeBritney movement was gaining steam.

During the whole media frenzy around the matter her brother Bryan gave an interview confessing ‘she’s always wanted to get out of’ the conservatorship.

In legal documents Britney said she wanted ‘a qualified corporate fiduciary’ in charge of her estate rather than her father.

The  documents also alluded to the singer being ‘vehemently opposed to this effort by her father to keep her legal struggle hidden away in the closet as a family secret,’ acknowledging ‘the whole world is watching.’

Last a year a judge declined to remove Jamie from his role ‘today’ but added Bessemer Trust Company – which Britney picked out – as co-conservator.

‘I’d know at some point she will tell her story, I know she will, said Felicia in an interview at the end of the documentary.

‘And I am so grateful for when that point comes that she’s able to sit down and, you know, everything will fall into place.’

The New York Times noted that Britney’s parents and siblings, as well as Sam Lufti and her current lawyer Samuel Ingham, would not film interviews for the movie.

‘The New York Times attempted to reach Britney Spears directly to request her participation in this project,’ they added. ‘It is unclear if she received the requests.’

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