'You could never be alone with her': Britney Spears' friend on her conservatorship

24 June 2021, 10:28 | Updated: 24 June 2021, 10:30

By Fiona Jones

Britney Spears' ex-dancer and friend Brian Friedman opened up about her conservatorship, after experiencing it first-hand.

It comes as Britney Spears has asked a judge to end the conservatorship which is doing her "way more harm than good" and because she "deserves to have a life".

The court-ordered legal arrangement was set up in 2008 after the pop star suffered a series of mental breakdowns and since then her father Jamie has been in control of her life and career.

Last year, she said she was "afraid" of her father and pledged not to return to the stage until his management of her estimated £43 million estate is brought to a conclusion.

"My heart breaks for Britney," Mr Friedman told LBC, "this is the first time I feel like I have truly heard her voice and what it is that's going on in her life. Everything has felt completely smothering for her."

He described what it was like working with her during the conservatorship: "She was kept away, always at arm's length, never able to be alone with her in the room, never able to have a phone conversation with her so I have experienced that first-hand.

Britney Spears made an eagerly anticipated virtual appearance at a court in Los Angeles
Britney Spears made an eagerly anticipated virtual appearance at court on Wednesday. Picture: PA

"From the outside looking in, years ago when this was first going on, we only hoped that she'd been kept away for her own good. Watching it now it's clearly not for her own good."

He told LBC it is great to hear her voice "even though it's heartbreaking and it's terrible what she's going through", sharing that he hopes this is the first step for change.

During her conservatorship, "it was sort of like the light wasn't shining as bright."

He said, "What I experienced being around her was not a fighter, she was quiet, she didn't really have that same zest for life that I knew her to have when she was younger.

"I can only imagine what she has been told from everyone around her that she is saying has been controlling the situation, I can only imagine that they are filling her head about all the other people who have been around her, who've wanted to help, who've wanted to be friends with her.

"I just hate that they have kept her friends away...there are plenty of us who existed who were close with her back before this was in place, and I couldn't imagine being kept away from everyone that I loved."

Now, for the first time, he told LBC, Britney Spears seems to be in "survival mode."