Another controversial Britney Spears doco surfaces amid US pop icon’s ‘alarming’ year

Over the past two years, former American princess of pop Britney Spears has been the subject of several award-winning documentaries about her life.

In 2022 alone, there were three unauthorised feature-length docos about her meteoric rise to fame and the legal battle around the 13-year conservatorship under her father, Jamie Spears, which officially came to an end in 2021.

Now, Fox’s tabloid news and celebrity website TMZ has produced  Britney Spears: The Price of Freedom, which chronicles her life over the past 18 months since the conservatorship ended.

In a press release seen by Billboard, TMZ promises to release “details about her deeply troubled marriage [she married personal trainer Sam Asghari in June last year], family estrangement, alarming behaviour, failed intervention”.

“Britney Spears has had a year and a half of freedom since the conservatorship ended, but there are big problems,” TMZ executive producer Harvey Levin says in a video clip on their website.

“We’re told she’s in mortal fear someone will come in the middle of the night, strap her to a gurney, and take her to a psych ward. She lives in constant fear of being re-institutionalised,” Levin quotes an alleged source telling TMZ.

A second EP on the expose, Charles Latibeadiere, reacts to another alleged source’s “alarming recommendation”: “Keep knives away from her”.

During the highly publicised #FreeBritney movement, which swept across the US amid the singer’s conservatorship battle, three hugely popular documentaries were released.

FX and Hulu’s Controlling Britney Spears, New York Times’ Framing Britney Spears and Netflix’s Britney vs Spears as well as the CNN special Toxic: Britney Spears’ Battle for Freedom.

On Instagram, Spears has 42 million followers, while over on Twitter she has 52 million.

She uses both platforms to share heart-felt opinions about her family and sister, reactionary messages about trolls, police visits and media outlets, and continues posting a confusing array of video clips of her dancing in bikinis, doing cartwheels, to chopping watermelon with sharp knives.

After the broadcast of the documentaries, she took to Twitter to share a lengthy, since-deleted post about how she’s been portrayed, calling the documentaries “humiliating”.

“I am a person … I’m not a robot or a science experiment like they analysed me in that place !!! I’m a valued soul … so for the documentaries that were done on me, they were trash and nothing more than trash … period !!!”

She also called out those who made “the trashiest docs I’ve ever seen in my life,” and noting that she felt as though there was “deception in claiming it was to help me !!!”

“Every person that sat there in those docs knew”, the singer wrote, “So my so-called “friends” wait to speak in trash documentaries… Where was the passion to help me when I called them in that place.

“When they realised I finally got to speak at court for the first time and revealed what was done?” she wrote.

Spears regained charge of her affairs for the first time in November that year since a court deemed her unfit in 2008 after she suffered a series of mental breakdowns.

Her father had control of her estate for years. Spears was prohibited from using social media, driving a car and even from remarrying.

The conservatorship – a complex legal arrangement usually reserved for the very old or sick – was brought to an end on November 15.

November – Pop star Britney Spears’ 13-year conservatorship comes to an end after months of protesting and campaigning by her dedicated fans. Photo: Getty

Before she was freed, Britney appeared in court via video to passionately plead her case to a judge in Los Angeles.

Spears said in June that living under the conservatorship had traumatised her.

From her dance choreography to work schedule, Spears said she had little to no control over them. She claimed her dad “loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000 per cent. He loved it”.

She said she wasn’t allowed to get married or have children, either.

“I have a [IUD] inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the [IUD] out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have children – any more children.”

Her father, Jamie, who ran her life all those years, was ousted in September and her estate was put in the hands of an accountant chosen by Britney and her lawyer.

The BBC reported that during the 13-year conservatorship, Spears released three albums, held a successful Las Vegas residency and made numerous television appearances, including a stint as a judge on the US X Factor.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears was in residence in 2018 at Park MGM in Las Vegas, where she performed 32 shows. Photo: Getty

A silver lining in the doco – her career

Spears, who has not performed since 2018, remains one of the biggest draws in pop music.

In February last year, it was reported she had signed a $US15 million ($21 million) tell-all book deal with Simon & Schuster.

TMZ say there’s a potential silver lining for Spears and that lies in her career.

“There’s hope,” another contributor says, reminding viewers how she continues to be an enduring force in the music industry.

Britney Spears: The Price of Freedom will air on FOX network on Monday, May 15 at 9pm

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