7 of the Biggest Takeaways From Netflix's Britney vs. Spears Documentary

Britney Spears's life has been under a microscope for years now, and the public's deep dive into the complexities of her conservatorship have led to the making of several documentary films. Most recently, Netflix released their investigative film, Britney vs. Spears, in an attempt to shed more light on the singer's conservatorship and her quest for freedom. The film, which is directed and produced by Erin Lee Carr, shows how Carr and journalist Jenny Eliscu dug through the tangled history of the 13-year conservatorship, exposing key players and shocking revelations.

Though some of the people mentioned in the making of the film seemed to have close, genuine connections to Spears, the documentary itself falls in line with some of the other projects that the pop star has previously objected to. Earlier this week, she took to her Instagram page to address some of the "drama" that has been exposed in these documentaries, which Spears says she tries to stay away from.

The new Netflix film also comes right on the heels of Spears's latest court hearing being held on Sept. 29, which will hopefully decide whether or not her father will remain in place as her conservator and if the conservatorship will in fact end once and for all.

Ahead, read some of the bombshell details from Britney vs. Spears, available to stream on Netflix now.

Getty | Scott Dudelson

  • Felicia Culotta refused to speak on Jamie Spears or Louise "Lou" Taylor. Compared to how open Culotta appeared in previous documentaries about Spears's life, she was much more hesitant to speak on any personal matters that would reference Jamie or the Tri Star Sports & Entertainment CEO. During her interview with the documentary's filmmakers, she seemed visibly afraid to give any real details. "I don't want to talk about her daddy," she said. "I don't want to talk about Jamie." When asked to identify who Taylor was exactly, she quickly replied, "I will not touch that one, sorry. She will chew me up and spit me out."
  • Confidential documents were leaked to the documentary's filmmakers, including medical reports stating that Spears "lacks the capacity to retain and direct counsel" and "understand or manage her financial affairs without being subject to undue influence." Halfway through the film, a slide pops up on the screen that reads, "During the fall of 2020, a source reached out to the filmmakers. They said they wanted the truth to be out there." What followed was the reveal of several confidential documents that were leaked to filmmakers, including a report that was produced by a doctor who resigned from Spears's conservatorship case back in 2013. In the medical report, it was noted that Spears did not have the means to obtain her own lawyer or properly manage her finances. However, these statements were challenged by Eliscu who pointed out: "At the same time this report was being written, Britney was already back to work. . . . How is someone who was that ill well enough to go to work?"
Getty | Valerie Macon

  • Spears allegedly wrote a letter responding to Kevin Federline's 2008 People cover and wanted it read on television. During the filming of Spears's MTV reality TV special, For the Record, the singer's friend and former photographer Andrew Gallery was pulled into the chaos behind the conservatorship to aid her in getting a message out to the media. Unable to publicly respond to the comments made by her ex-husband in his 2008 People cover, Spears gave Gallery a handwritten note that she compiled. Parts of the letter read, "What happened to Britney was a year ago and people need to get with the times . . . No one talks about these things because no one knows the truth . . . She would love for her new eyes to see her situation, but if she brings it up she's constantly threatened that the conservators will take her kids away." Though he never got the chance to read the letter before this documentary aired, it showed the lengths that Spears had to go to just to be heard.
  • Spears reportedly had to hide out in a hotel bathroom to sign a court document requesting a new lawyer. Eliscu was a major player in the beginning of Spears's conservatorship when she tried to help her secure a new lawyer to represent her in her case. The ambitious mission involved a plan to deliver a document for Spears to sign at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel. The document was a petition that would allow Spears to express the lack of confidence she had in her court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham III. Ultimately, the mission failed after a judge ruled that Spears still lacked the capacity to retain her own lawyer and had reason to doubt that Spears's own signature was even on the document.
  • Spears was pressured by management to do X-Factor against her medical team's advice. The $15 million deal that was struck in 2012 for Spears to serve as a guest judge on The X-Factor put "undue pressure" on her, according to a medical team. However, her management team argued that pulling out of the gig would be a "psychological consequence" and be "just as bad as a publicly observed meltdown." Despite their initial pushback, Spears's medical team cautiously approved her participation on the show, but with strict guidelines in place.
Getty | Rodin Eckenroth

  • Ingham III made nearly $3 million over the course of the conservatorship before resigning. From the looks of it, everyone around and involved in Spears's conservatorship was benefitting from it except her — especially her lawyer. According to the film, he reportedly made off with upwards of $3 million while working for Spears. When filmmakers asked Tony Chicotel, a probate conservatorship attorney, on his thoughts on Ingham III making so much money off the case for someone of his stature, he simply said, "My reaction is that he's on a gravy train and he's going to ride it all the way to the end."
  • Spears finally got a chance to tell her side of the story. Similar to the recording that was played in The New York Times' Controlling Britney Spears doc, the Netflix film played a couple of audio snippets from Spears's statement to a Los Angeles court that was heard on June 23. Her explosive plea to the court about her conservatorship gave her a chance to detail the "abusive" treatment she's been subject to and speak candidly about how it's affected her life. "I've lied and told the whole world I'm OK and I'm happy. It's a lie," she said, "I just want my life back. And it's been 13 years and it's enough."