In her first Instagram video statement since the court-ordered arrangement was terminated on November 12, the singer said the movement communicated news of her situation to the public and “gave an awareness to all of them.”
“The #FreeBritney movement — you guys rock,” Spears said. “Honestly, my voice was muted and threatened for so long, and I wasn’t able to speak up or say anything… I honestly think you guys saved my life, in a way. 100 percent.”
Spearheaded by Spears superfan Megan Radford, the movement began in 2009 and aimed to draw attention to the singer’s conservatorship, which saw her father, Jamie Spears, take control of her estimated $60 million estate.
The arrangement was put in place in 2008 following a series of personal issues that played out in the public eye, and Spears broke her longstanding silence on the topic with two emotional court testimonies over the summer.
“I’ve been in the conservatorship for 13 years. That’s a really long time to be in a situation you don’t want to be in,” Spears said in her latest Instagram video, joking that she was sharing a “hint” of her thoughts before a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Under the conservatorship, the singer had little control over her personal or financial life and she alleged in court that she had been forced to take birth control and lithium medication, as well as perform against her will.
In her video, the singer said the “little things” made a “huge difference” now that the conservatorship was over.
“So I’m just grateful honestly for each day and being able to have the keys to my car, and being able to be independent and feel like a woman,” Spears told fans in her video. “Owning an ATM card, seeing cash for the first time, being able to buy candles…”
The singer also expressed her hopes that the story of her conservatorship, which remains a relatively uncommon arrangement, would “make an impact and make some changes in the corrupt system.”
“I’m not here to be a victim,” she said. “I lived with victims my whole life as a child, that’s why I got out of my house and I worked for 20 years… I’m here to be an advocate for people with real disabilities and real illnesses.”
In the Instagram caption accompanying her video, Spears appeared to reiterate her previous court statements about the conservatorship, calling it “demoralizing and degrading.”
Although Spears is now free, her lawyer, Matthew Rosengart, filed a 110-page petition requesting to depose Jamie Spears last month, and asking for discovery related to alleged surveillance of the pop star.
The singer, whose 40th birthday is next month, said in an earlier post after the end of the conservatorship that she would be “celebrating my freedom and my B day for the next two months.”