7 Disturbing Details We Learned From the Controlling Britney Spears Documentary

As Britney Spears's conservatorship battle continues to play out in court, we've seen a series of documentaries covering the singer's fight to freedom. Ahead of the release of Netflix's Britney Vs. Spears, The New York Times premiered Controlling Britney Spears on Sept. 24. Controlling Britney Spears, a follow-up to the Framing Britney Spears doc that premiered on Hulu back in February, gives viewers an even closer look at the singer's years-long conservatorship under her father, Jamie Spears. It examines how the pop star's security team seized control of her life through disturbing allegations from those who've worked close to Britney throughout the years, including her former assistant Felicia Culotta.

Britney has previously expressed her discomfort with documentaries about her life. Following the release of Framing Britney Spears, she admitted that she cried for two weeks over the documentary and "was embarrassed by the light" it put her in. She also expressed similar sentiments after the release of BBC Select's The Battle For Britney: Fans, Cash and a Conservatorship in May. "So many documentaries about me this year with other people's takes on my life ... what can I say … I'm deeply flattered !!!!" she wrote on Instagram. "These documentaries are so hypocritical."

The release of Controlling Britney Spears comes a few weeks after Jamie surprisingly filed a petition to end the singer's 13-year conservatorship. The court is set to decide whether or not Jamie will remain his daughter's conservator at the next hearing on Sept. 29. Ahead, see the most heartbreaking revelations from Controlling Britney Spears.


  • Spears was under strict surveillance through her conservatorship, with Black Box Security and Tri Star Sports & Entertainment monitoring the singer 24/7. Edan Yemini, chief executive and founder of Black Box Security, Robin Greenhill, services director of Tri Star Sports & Entertainment, and Lou Taylor, CEO of Tri Star Sports & Entertainment, reportedly had a group chat where they would post Spears's every move and request, according to former Black Box Security employee Alex Vlasov. They allegedly managed all of her personal relationships and medication. "It really reminded me of somebody that was in prison," Vlasov said. "Security was put in a position to be the prison guards essentially."
  • Parental controls were placed on the pop star's iPhone for "her own security and protection." With the parental controls, security was able to monitor all of Spears's phone calls, text messages, notes, photos, and browser history. When Vlasov questioned Yemini about the legality of it, Yemini allegedly said the court was aware of it as well as Spears's lawyer. Security also reportedly used an iPad with the same iCloud login as Spears's phone to mirror all her activity.
  • People around Spears weren't allowed to talk or ask questions about the conservatorship. According to Dan George, the singer's promotional tour manager from her Circus Tour, Spears was kept "very, very isolated" and her close friends were taken away from her. "Her manager, when I first came on, said, 'Be careful, don't get too close. People have a way of disappearing," George recounted. "I think if you're actually concerned with someone's mental health, you don't take their friends away from them, and if their friends are going away, you at least give them a chance to say goodbye."
Getty | Rich Fury

  • When Spears requested that her father, Jamie Spears, undergo random alcohol testing, she was shut down. Because of Jamie's history with alcohol abuse when she was growing up, Jamie was asked by the court to undergo regular alcohol testing as her conservator. However, the singer believed he was still drinking, so her lawyer requested that the testing be done at random. According to court documents, Judge Goetz replied, "Who is she to be demanding that of anybody?" and brushed off the request.
  • Security installed an audio recording device into Spears's bedroom. It is illegal to record people's conversations without their consent in California and it's unclear if the court approved of this. The recordings captured over 180 hours of audio, including the singer's conversations with her boyfriend and children.
  • Despite the fact that a conservator cannot force a conservatee into entering a mental health treatment facility against their will, the New York Times obtained text messages written by Spears that prove the singer involuntarily checked into a mental health facility in 2019. In the texts, Spears allegedly stated that she felt as if she couldn't leave and that her lawyer at the time was working against her. Spears's team even orchestrated paparazzi pictures of her and her now-fiancé Sam Asghari leaving the mental health facility after fans began making claims that she was being held against her will.
  • As a result, when the #FreeBritney movement first began, it was heavily investigated. Yemini was reportedly so worried about the movement that he allegedly had undercover investigators placed within the crowds at #FreeBritney rallies to talk to fans and ID who they were.